In the newest Rocky movie called Creed, Rocky Balboa says to his protege, Adonis Creed, “See this guy here” pointing to his reflection in a mirror, “That’s the toughest opponent you’re ever going to have to face. I believe that is true in the ring and I think that’s true in life.”
It can take a long time to feel comfortable in your own skin. Since the beginning of time people have sought to know and understand themselves, but how do you actually do that?
Over the last few months, I have attempted to lead people on a journey to move from dissatisfaction to contentment. It starts by admitting you are ticked off because life has turned out differently than you had hoped or planned. This will help you acknowledge how you are really feeling so you can start to move forward. As you are honest with yourself, you will learn to go deep with Jesus. As you get to know Him more deeply, you will start to discover who you really are and what He made you to do. Knowing God as Father and who we are as sons and daughters will have a deep and lasting effect on our lives and leave a lasting mark. In this final segment, I want to talk about the last piece – knowing yourself.
It’s easy to think you know yourself, only to discover you don’t – or at least not fully. Maybe you’ve asked yourself questions like these: why do I do the things I do? Think the way I think? Feel the way I feel? Where did I come from? What on earth am I supposed to be doing here? The answers to these questions only come through a relationship with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. The more we know Him, the more we will know ourselves. Everything comes out of that defining relationship.
In Latin, “temet nosce,” or “gnothi seauton” in Greek means “Know Thyself.” Originally thought to come from ancient Egypt, the phrase has been used throughout history as a calling card to exalt “self,” but the profound yet hidden truth of this statement lies not in self but in this: in order to truly know yourself, you must first know God! Identity is one of the most important issues in life, and your identity is determined by His. God is Father and you are His son or daughter. Everything else about you springs from this revelatory truth.
“To all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12 ESV)
Who Am I To You?
During one poignant interaction, Jesus asks His disciples this question, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They answer honestly and say, “Some say, John the Baptist; some, Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” The scripture doesn’t say this, but I think Jesus looks right into their eyes with His soul piercing gaze before He says, “But who do you say that I am” (see Matthew 16:15, italics mine)? Suddenly it gets very personal. You could hear a pin drop. At some point we must all grapple with this question: who do you say that Jesus is?
Peter was the first one to answer, and oddly enough he got it right! He replies, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). Jesus replies, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 16:17). After Peter had a revelation from the Father about who Jesus was, Jesus declares to Peter who He is, “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). Here’s the lesson: In order to know who you are, you must first know who Jesus is! Revelation comes through relationship.
The kingdom of God is founded on relationship. How did Jesus teach us to pray? “Our Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 6:9, emphasis added). The Father wants to have a relationship with us, and He provided a way for us to come to Him through His Son! Jesus Himself said, “Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father” (Matt. 14:9). Because Father God revealed it, Peter had clearly discerned Jesus’ true identity. The word revelation means to “take off the cover, to disclose, or to reveal.”[i] In essence, Jesus was saying, “You got it Peter! And because you’ve had a revelation of Me from My Father, now I am going to tell you who you are. You are Peter [his name means “rock”] and on this rock I will build My Church.
What Is Your Real Name?
A while back, I was reading a John Eldridge book called Waking the Dead. In the book, he encourages readers to ask God your real name; ask God, who am I to You? Although “son” or “daughter” is first and foremost, He also speaks His purpose over us through names. Names carry weight. In the Bible, they often used names as a form of prophecy and destiny. My name is Kent, which means “handsome” (no spiritual relevance, just thought you might like to know). One day, as the book recommended, I was asking God, “What is my real name? Who am I to you?” The Lord spoke this back to my heart, “You are My Elijah!” This carries with it a lot of significance for me. Like Elijah, I am called to “turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers” (see Malachi 4:5-6). A few years earlier, the Lord spoke to me saying, “Remember the name Elijah. Like Elijah, you are going to do great and mighty things for Me, but you are going to raise up many Elisha’s who go on to do greater things than you!”
The Father is Waiting…
Go ahead, ask Father God, “What is my real name? Who am I to you?” When you see yourself as God sees you, you begin to grow into who He made you to be.
Join the Conversation
What has been helpful in discovering who you are as a person? I want to hear from you!