Resolving Our Identity Crisis

by APC on July 08, 2015

Identity. Crisis. Those two words have evoked fear in the hearts of millions all over the world. Middle age men and women dread the day they gaze upon themselves in a mirror and don’t know and/or recognize the person in the reflection.

As a Christian, an identity crisis poses no limitation on age, gender, socioeconomic status, and the like. At one point or another, we’ve all looked into our spiritual looking glass—the Bible—and not known the person staring back at us. Who are we? What are we called to be? What are we supposed to be doing? And, more importantly, how do we figure this out?

Scripture accounts the story of Zerubbabel and Jeshua who took the initiative and began rebuilding God’s house in Jerusalem (Ezra 5:2–11). Tatnai, the governor of Trans-Euphrates, demanded to know who they were and under what authority were they rebuilding the temple. Zerubbabel and Jeshua’s response was simple: “We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth…” (Ezra 5:11, KJV).

What’s key in this Scripture setting is both men didn’t give their names. In Biblical times, a person’s name was very significant. Names established a person’s identity and destiny. But, instead of a name, these men identified themselves as “the servants of God.” They replied without hesitation and complete assurance of who they were. There was no question of their identity that day. They were God’s servants!

The word servants in Hebrew is the word abad, which means slave or servant to a king. Our culture does not define “servant” as a sought-after identity, but Scripture tells us differently. In the Old Testament, when a servant determined he loved his master, he would allow his master to mark his ear. This symbolized his choice to willingly serve his master forever (Exodus 21:5–6).

A man who made this decision in life laid down his own agenda and sacrificed everything to serve the one whom he loved. The moment he made this decision and his ear was marked, his identity changed—he was known from that point on as a servant to one master.

When we make the decision to live for God, obey His Word, repent of our sins, and be baptized in the lovely name of Jesus, we too are marked, but with the Holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians 1:13). Our identity is changed at that point and we will have the same identity from that moment forward—we will be servants. Moreover, we have the privilege of being servants to the King of kings and the Lord of lords!

In our identity as a servant, we are dedicated to working for God’s Kingdom. When we give our all to the Kingdom of God, we will see rapid progress—just like Zerubbabel and Jeshua (Ezra 5:8)—but in church growth, soul-winning, and possibly building construction! In our identity as a servant, we also worship and praise the One true God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Shadrack, Meshack, and Abendego, in their refusal to worship anything other than the Lord were called the servants of the Most High God (Daniel 3:26).

We will find that servanthood is our identity. It’s how we live for God each and every day. It’s in our work for His kingdom, the love we extend to others, the praise we give God for who He is and what He does in our life, and everything else in-between. The next time we see ourselves in the mirror, we will know our identity. The answer is simple. We are servants!