Episode #41 The Danger of Mistaken Identity- What God Sees

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From Today's Episode:

Welcome! We're in our What God Sees Series and today's topic is The Danger of Mistaken Identity.


Exodus 17; Song of Solomon 2:3-4

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God, what's something you want to tell me about your banner over me?

Here's the episode transcript

One of the problems with mistaken identity is that we don't always recognize right away when we've taken on an identity that doesn't belong to us. And it happens way more than we realize. I'm not talking about intentionally stealing someone else's identity, but I am talking about putting our identity in the wrong things, looking for other sources to tell us who we are or why we matter, and what value we have. We're talking about that today because we're continuing in this series of talking with God about what he sees. And what God sees and says about us is often different and far better than what we see or say about ourselves.

I was talking with my husband, Jared, recently about how easy it is to fall into habits of busyness. Even looking at common ways that we talk with one another. Oh, how are you doing? How are things going? Busy. Oh, how are you? Tired. Sometimes we can go through seasons where we wear those things like badges of honor. The stress, the hustle, the busyness, the achievements, they can be merit badges that we're trying to earn and place on ourselves as forms of identity to prove that we're doing what we need to be doing, that our time is worthwhile, that we ourselves are worthwhile and valuable.

We can also find identity in places of pain or struggle. We can wear those things as badges to identify or define us. "Well, this is who I am. Now I have this diagnosis." "Well, this is who I am, I've gone through this trauma or this heartache." We don't want to ignore them or pretend those things didn't happen, but as we walk through those seasons, we also don't want to take them on and claim them as badges of our identity or as definitions of who we are now.

And I've also seen this for myself when it comes to my work. I enjoy working. We talk about this regularly. I think it's fun. I enjoy the challenge and the creativity of creating and of problem solving. But sometimes I can assign myself a mistaken identity by finding identity in how I work and in what I do. I can mistakenly depend on hard work to keep me safe, to give me worth or value, or even to define what warrants success in my life.

So, if you can relate to that, that's what we're talking about today. We can look down at these badges to give us identity, to tell us who we are instead of looking up to the banners that fly over us. And I'll explain what that means here in this episode.

In biblical times, banners were used as rallying points for armies when they would go into battle. The banners were made of cloth and the troops could look for it, they would gather around it, they would rally under it, and it represented their king. It represented the authority under which they entered into the battle. We see this referenced in Exodus 17 when Israel goes to battle against Amalek. And Israel is victorious in battle. And so, Moses is building an altar and he names the altar "The Lord is my banner." God is Israel's banner. God is the one under whose authority, under whose covering, under whose identity and marking they rally under and they move forward underneath.

Also, the king's love is like a banner that is displayed publicly for all to see. We see this referenced in Song of Solomon 2:3-4. This is where the woman is speaking of her beloved, and she says, "as an apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved, among the young men with great delight I sat in his shadow and his fruit was sweet to my taste. He brought me to the banqueting house and his banner over me was love."

Where we can look toward badges and the things that we can achieve as God's people, we are also under his banner. The identity that we have comes from his covering, comes from who he is and what he says about us. And when I think about how this plays out in my life, so often, I'm focused on my own achievements and accolades and my hard work to signify where I am safe, where I have value, where I can move forward in victory. But instead, we're invited to look to God as the banner who's over us. We are safe because we are under his covering. We receive identity because of who he is and what he says about us. And it's not just for places where we're entering into battle. It's also in those places where we can come and draw near to him in love. The shadow of his banner over us. We're invited in to his banqueting table, and so our question for him today is to ask him to talk with us about the banner that is over us.

We know according to the Bible, that his banner over us is love. But I wonder what else is in that banner that he flies over you. I wonder what else he would want to tell you about the banner, the covering, the authority that you get to draw near to him under-to be marked by your king who loves you and to find yourself safe. So, let's ask him.

God, what's something you want to tell me about the banner over me?

Have a good talk.

And if you've been encouraged by this content, please share it with a friend and help them grow in their conversational relationship with God too!

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