“I an the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing,” – John 15:5 ESV
God uses our trials and suffering to produce character in our lives. Our response should be to draw near to him during these times. Many of us were excited when we first started our journey with Jesus. But life’s disappointments caused us to give up on our faith prematurely. Gods’ desire is that we would find our identity in Jesus, and that our lives be hidden in Christ. Spiritual growth and our identity comes from abiding in, or staying close to Jesus.
Spiritual growth doesn’t just happen by osmosis. The Christian life is all about the grace of God from start to finish, but if we want to grow spiritually, it will be because we actively pursue him. Our growth happens as we receive our identity as sons of God, and both male and female are considered sons (which has to do with inheritance) of the Father, in the Bible. The study and meditation of Scripture and prayer is the food our inner man (soul /spirit) needs. We receive instruction and find out who we are in Christ in the Bible. If we don’t perceive accurately who we are in Jesus, we will have a distorted view of reality. This allows Satan to lie to us about our identity, and the result will be what the Bible calls, strongholds. The darkness can actually get a stronghold on your personalities.
The only way to break free form wrong thinking is through beholding the glory of God in the Scriptures, and agreeing with God on how we should live, while leaving behind (with God’s help) our former lives. And change is progressive. We can’t fully discover who God has created us to be without spending time with other believers, both privately and in corporate Church meetings. Much of the identity crises that most of us experience comes from the lack of genuine Christian community. And we all need community.