If I had a nickel for every time I said the phrase “your identity is found in Christ,” I would have a literal mountain of nickels. I’m not sure there is a phrase used more in girls ministry than that one, and rightly so. Many of our girls’ struggles stem out of their identity being found in things other than Christ. We can see this clearly; however, as girls ministers and leaders, it is easy for us to overlook our personal struggle to find our identity in Christ alone. We often fall into the trap of finding our identity and worth in the approval of our co-workers, the number of girls who come to events we plan, and how well others perceive us. Our title and responsibilities do not make us immune to insecurities or the battle of identity.
In fact, as leaders, we must be all the more diligent to fight against the temptation to find our personal or ministry worth in what others say. Romans 8:6 says, “For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” When we set our minds on (find our value in) what others say or think about us, it leads to death: emotional death, spiritual death, and even the death of the ministry God has called us to. BUT when we set our minds (find our value in) Christ alone, we are promised life and peace!
Satan is an expert at knowing just how best to discourage and defeat us, and when we find our identity and worth in anything or anyone other than Christ, we open the door to Satan’s discouragement. The story of Nehemiah is an amazing picture of a leader who was used mightily by the Lord because he found his identity and affirmation in the Lord and not in what man said about him. As he led in the re-building of the wall around Jerusalem, he was bombarded with rumors about his character, his motives, and his safety. Yet, he recognized them for what they were, attacks from the enemy without a basis in truth. Nehemiah said, “For they all were trying to make us afraid, saying, ‘Their hands will be weakened in the work, and it will not be done.’ Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands” (Nehemiah 6:9).
If Nehemiah had found his identity in what was being said about him, he would have jumped off that wall in order to address the rumors. The ministry God had called him to (re-building the wall) would have never been completed, and the enemy would have had victory. However, Nehemiah faithfully remained on that wall, finding his value and calling in God alone, and recognizing the lies of the enemy’s attempt at discouragement.
If you find yourself struggling with the battle of identity, being bombarded by the enemy’s discouragement, I encourage you to claim these facts as truth about who God says you are in Him:
- You were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27)
- You were created purposefully (Jeremiah 1:5)
- You do not have to live in condemnation (Romans 8:1)
- You are a co-heir with Christ Jesus, a daughter of God (Romans 8:15-17)
- Nothing can separate you from God’s love (Romans 8:35-39)
- Your weakness allows God’s strength to be made known (2 Corinthians 2:9)
- You have been called to walk in the worth of Christ alone (Ephesians 4:1)
- “Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands” (Nehemiah 6:9b)
The following post was written by Kate Downing. Kate has the privilege of serving as the Girls Ministry Director at First Baptist Church Dallas, TX. A Georgia peach by birth, Kate graduated with a degree in Biblical Studies and Youth Ministry from Liberty University and a Masters of Religious Education from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. God has given her a heart for helping girls come to know and build a relationship with Jesus Christ.