Have you ever felt like you understood a season of your life, only to realize you didn’t?

That’s what happened to me this week.

I was sitting in a conference session and suddenly realized that for years I had been miscast in a role that defined my identity for over a decade.


I was really good at what I did.  I helped a lot of people.  It was something that I excelled at, but it was also a label that boxed me in.

Can you relate?

The Identity War:

Sometimes we forget, or fail to recognize the level of warfare that the enemy levels against our identity.

But here’s the reality:

No matter who you are, there is a war that is being waged against you to keep you from understanding your identity.


Because you cannot shift into the purpose and authority that God has designed for your life unless you shift into your proper identity.  If the enemy can defeat or distract you, you’ll get out of timing and miss your window of opportunity.

The identity war is real.

No one is immune.

No one is ignored.

Can you identify how it has played out in your life? If you can’t see it, it’s not because it isn’t happening.

Defeat or Distraction – The Two Forces That Keep You From Your True Identity

As I mentioned earlier, there are two strategies against your identity: defeat and distraction.

Many people experience emotional warfare that is designed to compromise their identity. It frequently comes in the form of rejection, unresolved failure, fear, unhealthy standards or insecurity. The seeds of defeat are sown when we are young and vulnerable, often by those that are closest to us.  In many cases, our own thoughts keep us so focused on failure that we miss the truth of what God is saying about us.  When you step back, you can trace generational patterns designed to keep family lines locked out of God’s purposes.  This is where strongholds are formed.

Just as divisive, distraction will pull at your focus and lull you into a false comfort. In my case, I spent years filling a role that I was good at, at the expense of what I was truly called to.

I excelled at what I was doing.

I helped people.

As a result, the people I worked with began to see me through the label of what I did. I don’t fault them for that. I had skill and anointing to do what I was doing. I was fulfilling a role that was needed.

But in the back of my mind there was a constant gnawing of dissatisfaction.

As I have looked back on that season, I think that I was supposed to get things started. That’s a huge part of how I’m wired. But success boxed me into a label that held me back from my greater purpose.

That’s how distraction works.

Success gets your eyes off of the bigger picture.  After all, you’re succeeding, aren’t you?  How could that be wrong?

With success comes reputation, and for better or worse, reputation creates identity.

Success creates labels and those labels while seeming to create comfort, have the power to restrict our potential.

Who’s Defining You?

If we allow the world to define us – by either or failures or our successes, we’ll find ourselves embracing an identity that falls short of what we’re truly called to be. That’s why you can’t look to others to define you.  Some people mistakenly think that it’s the job of leaders to define the purpose of the people that follow them.  I think that’s a big mistake.  To be sure, leaders play a vital role in helping us to walk out our purpose, but it’s not their job to tell us who we are.

The best leaders do this:

  • Confirm what you already understand about who you are.  Confirmation breeds confidence.
  • Their blessing brings legitimacy to your boundaries.  When you are in alignment with a spiritual leader who has confirmed and blessed the direction you are headed in, you will begin to walk in a greater level of authority to carry out your purpose.
  • They support and press into maturity what is already evidenced in your spirit.  Great leaders will push you when you’re afraid, encourage you when you fail and challenge you to never play it safe.  Their job is to be the friendly thorn in your side, pushing you to be your best.
  • But they cannot tell you who you are.  There is a constant level of warfare (not defeat) around people who move in their true purpose.  In moments of warfare, you must know beyond a shadow of a doubt who you are.  If you’re relying on the words of someone else, your faith will waver in seasons of testing.

Wrapping It Up: 

To wrap up this week, I want to leave you with a few thoughts:

How are you doing in the identity war?  Do you tend to fight more against defeat or distraction?

Do you recognize any areas where you might be wearing the wrong label?

Who’s the person in your life that pushes you to be your very best?  Have you thanked them lately?

Share your thoughts in the comments or send an email.  I’d love to hear from you!