I Choose to Identify

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. (Heb. 11:24-25)

We all know Moses. He's about 6'3", sandy brown hair. Square jaw that looks like it was chiseled out of granite, piercing blue eyes. Come to think of it, unusually blue eyes, for a Jewish guy born in the Middle East. We all know him, we've seen him many times over the years. Because I can picture how he looks (accurately or not), it helps me to think about him as an example of a hero. He is a hero, Moses. A man with flaws but who was powerfully used by God. A man who came to discover and embrace the new identity that God had for him. An identity as one of God's people.

Moses reached a point where he pictured his life differently. He could have viewed himself as a prince of Egypt, and instead, he chose to identify with slaves. Why would anyone choose such a thing?

Because that is who he really was. He could not see himself both ways. So he chose the truth. Making this choice wasn't just about thinking a certain way about himself, or even climbing into the mud pits to make bricks; it affected all his values. He chose mistreatment with his people rather than the opportunity to sin in the courts of Egypt. He could not see himself any longer as a son of Pharaoh's daughter, and therefore he refused to live like one.

God has a vision for us also, for those of us who put our faith in him. We are not the people we have been told we are; we are children of God. We may have been characterized in many different ways in our life. Some positive, some negative. Many of us bear wounds as a result. We may have lost hope for ourselves, or think badly of ourselves, as a result of our failure, our skin color, or where we grew up. Some of us may view ourselves highly, but for reasons that are incidental to who we really are. We are more than the money we earn or how much recognition we receive from others. Seeing ourselves as we really are can change everything for us.

If we are God's children, we must live differently. It is hard in our culture; we are more accustomed to putting on a different face for different situations than the people of Moses' time. In his time, that would have been a sign of poor character, but in ours, it's often the way we conduct ourselves. We can also maintain more anonymity than Moses. In his time he was a celebrity; picking one identity over another was not something he could have hidden. It is for this reason that we know the depth to which he embraced the new life he discovered in the Lord.

This man is my hero. And by saying that I mean, he is an example to me, the kind of man I should be. I too am a child of God, and I choose to see myself that way. Not as a failure, and not the person I appear to be superficially, but someone who has put their trust in God. And that means I live differently. If I truly am who I say I am, and I believe that, I cannot do otherwise. Who we are, and how we live, are connected.

Choose to see yourself as you are—as his child. You were created to serve and honor him. Anything else is something you have left behind and don't want to return to. It's someone else. You were made for something greater.

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