By: Ysrael De la Cruz
People’s identity may be tied to their career, accomplishments in life, spouse, parents, looks, etc. A person whose identity is tied up to their job or career may suffer an identity crisis when they lose their job. If your identity is based on your looks, then you will experience identity crisis when the looks turn deceiving. If your identity is based on your feelings, you will experience crisis when those feelings betray you. When you don’t know who you truly are or what you believe, you are suffering from identity crisis. Identity crisis: definition (a period of uncertainty and confusion in which a person’s sense of identity becomes insecure, typically due to a change in their expected aims or role in society) Google dictionary
In the movie “The Bourne Identity” stars Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, a man suffering from extreme memory loss and attempting to discover his true identity amidst a clandestine conspiracy within the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Jason Bourne doesn’t really know who he is despite the skill sets he knows he has
A woman chose to join a different church from the one her parents and relatives attended. She grew up in this church, but she chose to go with her own family to another one where no one really knew her that well. She wanted to find her own identity there; there she can be herself without having been to be associated with the rest of the family. Identity crises can lead people to self-pity, suicide, also to compare themselves with others.
The Bible tells us of people who experienced identity crisis in their lives. However, these people were used by God in mighty ways, once they got passed their struggles with whom they were.
When you read Exodus 3, you find Moses being a shepherd. He was taking care of his father in law’s sheep. Moses wasn’t always a shepherd; he was the prince of Egypt and the reason we find him shepherding sheep was because he had left Egypt after killing an Egyptian. So, he fled from Egypt and went to the land of Midian (Saudi Arabia). There Moses settled down. He married and had two sons. He worked for his father-in-law Jethro. This was a fresh start for Moses, leaving his past behind and starting a new life.
Moses’ encounter with God: Moses had an encounter with God while he was shepherding the flock of his father-in-law. God appeared to Moses from a burning bush and this encounter changed Moses’ life
God catches Moses’ attention through this burning bush. Moses goes to check out why the bush is on fire but is not being consumed. God calls him from the flame of fire. Moses, Moses. Don’t come any closer; take off the sandals because you are standing on holy ground.
God introduced himself to Moses (v.6) I am the God of your ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Moses was afraid and he hid his face from God. God came down to meet Moses to send him on a mission to Egypt. God told Moses about the plan he had to rescue his people from slavery (7-10) (v.10) SO now go, I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt
Identity ask the question: who are you? (v.11).
How do you define yourself? What do you value? What do you believe? Who are you? You need to know how to answer these questions.
Who I am? (v.11)
Moses told God, who am I that I should go to Egypt?
This is what Moses thought of himself. He was no body to go to Egypt.
Egypt was far from Moses’s radar; he ran from it and he never planned to go back there. Moses’ life was in Median, but God came to send him to where he did not want to go.
Exodus chapter 4 sheds more light into Moses’ “who am I?”
-He was fearful and lacked confidence (4:1). What if they don’t believe me?
-He claimed to be slow of speech, not eloquent enough to go before a king. (v.10)
-He told God to please send someone else instead. (v.13)
We at times feel like Moses, we feel God cannot use someone like us; maybe because of our past. We let our inadequacies dictate who we are; we can’t see pass our failures, our fears. It’s obvious that God sees and knows everything. He knew those things about Moses, and he knows us.
When you’re not sure who you are in life. Then it’s time to hear God’s word to calibrate your thinking and so you can find your identity. When Moses said, Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh?
God’s answer to Moses: (v12) I will be with you. God told Moses that he will be with him and will give him success on his journey to and back. This should have been enough for Moses.
Moses didn’t understand much about God; this is the first time he encountered the God of the Hebrews. God already introduce himself to Moses (3:3) as the God of his forefathers. Moses didn’t really know him, and he asked God for his name. (v.13) What if they ask me “what is his name?” what shall I say?
What is your name?
God answered: I am who I am. I AM is my name. Tell the people I Am has sent you.
I AM (The LORD, Yahweh, Jehovah). This is God’s personal name by which he relates to his people. It is used over six thousand times in the Old Testament
You and I have an appropriate name to describe ourselves; we became or came into existence. But God’s name is He is who he is. He has always existed and will always continue to be.
The Lord, I am with you.
When you feel downcast because of life’s struggles; when you suffer from identity crisis, you must hear God’s word saying I am with you. You are God’s child; his instrument and You can’t define yourself apart from him.
“From the very beginning God’s people are known as those whose God is with them. We belong to Him, and there is no way we can define ourselves apart from God. It is his presence in us that enables us to accomplish the tasks he gives us.” (Francis Chan-Multiply)
Paul said to a group of people in Athens “in him we live and move and have our being. Acts 17:28 In him we should have our identity. Who we are has to be found in God. You are who God says you are. You don’t suffer identity crisis when you see yourself as God sees you. When who you are founded in who He, fear is gone and inadequacies won’t matter because it won’t be about you, but about the one in whose name your identity is found.
Many years later Moses learned who he was in God. He found that his identity was truly founded in Yahweh. In Ex.33:15-16 Moses tells God if your presence doesn’t go with us; do not send us from here. We are not moving if you’re not going with us. It is your presence that sets us apart from other people on the face of the earth. Moses found his true identity. He finally knew who he was in the LORD. Moses truly developed a relationship with God. God would speak with him face to face. Moses learned to defined himself in God. When you don’t know who God is, you will always struggle with your identity, you will struggle to find out who you are.
People struggle with their own identity today because they are trying to find themselves in something else except God; in their careers, sexuality, friendship, family name, beauty, fame, money, etc. and so forth, but these things are not constant. They are momentary.
When your identity is found in God, it will carry you through the ends of time. Moses and the Israelites were known as the children of God. This was their new identity. They knew who they were, and they knew Yahweh their God. God told them I will be your God and you will be my people.
As followers of Jesus you should always remember who you are and to whom you belong. Your identity is in Christ. Why would followers of Jesus struggle with their identity or experience identity crisis?
-Because they forget who God truly is. They don’t know him as well as they think.
Knowing God will help you know who you truly are.
Moses thought he was no body because he did not know the one who brings meaning to his life.
The cure for identity crisis is getting to know the LORD, the great I am. In him we live, we move and in him we exist. That is our identity.