Identity.

Who do you think you are?

The answer to that establishes your identity. Just look at your Facebook profile to figure out what you think your identity looks like. Often enough in our world our identity is founded on our friend group, our money or socio-economic group, or our achievements. Facebook, actually gives us a window into the ways that our culture, and therefore ultimately we as people, measure out who we are. And our problem is, that when we believe that there's a God and know He's a person, then we think that he sees our identity, sees us, just the way others see us. So God wants us to measure up, wants us to do good things, be kind to people, give money away and be a lovely person. And that will appear on God's Twitter feed, that's what God sees of your identity. That's what we think God thinks of us.

But here's the truth, our identity is to be received, not achieved. God does not relate to us in the same way as we try to relate to other people. "For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7b) God does not demand to see an interesting, fun, cool person with an interesting or good life before he will befriend you. God wants you the way you are, regardless of your circumstances. Whether you are poor or rich, lonely or highly sociable, depressed or happy, God wants to know you. And not only that, He wants to give you a new identity. This identity is not found in our possessions, hobbies or interests, it's bound up in something greater. God's identity for you is found in Jesus. It's through Jesus death that we can now be called sons and daughters of God! There can be no greater identity than being a child of God, being able to call God our Father. And so God is not far off, he's not distant occasionally just checking how you're getting on. He's constantly there, caring for each one of us, because He is our Father.

So we no longer have to live for our identity, but can live from our identity as children, dependent and joyful in our relationship with our Father. "And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God." (Galatians 4:6-7) No longer are we slaves to what people think of us, because that's not where our identity is. We are sons, and nothing is more secure than this. We can't lose it, and so our identity is permanent and steadfast in God.