When Jesus asked the question, “Who do you say I am?” He wasn’t fishing for a compliment, He was making a crucial point about identity.
When you know WHO you are then you know HOW you are supposed to live both within yourself and towards people around you. When those people know your real identity then they have to act accordingly with you.
This question comes on the back of another question he had asked a few minutes before that, “Who do people say that I am?” and he got back four distorted images as a response.
He wanted the disciples to understand his true identity because that revelation is what would shape their relationship.
What you think about God is the most important thing in the world.
Who you perceive God is for you shapes your personality, your identity, your own self-awareness in the Kingdom.
Our true identity is made up of who we are on Earth and how we are known in Heaven. It’s made up of our personality and our persona.
Your personality is the integrated organization of soul and body. You’re a combination of psychological, intellectual, emotional, and physical attributes that have been shaped by your upbringing, your environment, your training, your modeling into a learned behavior that’s either positive or negative.
A negative personality is one that has victim thinking. It’s cautious, pessimistic, judgemental, prejudice, fearful, fear-of-man, fear of being wrong, fear of looking stupid, fear of taking risks, always wanting to be safe, finding comfort in the familiar, hesitant. It’s prone to deception, whether it’s self-deception or deception from the influence of others, it’s believing the worst, living with a sense of a general or specific unworthiness, or maybe it’s just overly self-conscious.
A positive personality is rooted in a sense of values. Knowing who God is for you, knowing who you are in yourself, it’s optimistic, trusting, willing to try, can be challenged, it’s not defensive, it’s a risk-taker, brave, honest, self-aware, open-minded, and open hearted.
In our relationship with God we’re learning how to deal with the negative stuff in our personality and how to call ourselves up to a higher place in the spirit.
Persona is something different. Our true identity is made up of who we are on Earth (in our personality) and how we are known in Heaven (our persona).
Isaiah 61 – Jesus was outlining his persona. His mandate from Heaven. Great thing about our persona is it’s part of our redemption to have our persona in Christ.
Literally a persona is an elevated status. It’s how you are known and perceived in Heaven. The wonderful thing about being in Christ is that he is the union of human and divine qualities. Therefore when we embrace him fully, we must become aware of how the Father sees us in particular in Jesus.
You have a general relationship with the Father in Jesus because everything in our life is subject to his rule and his reign but you also have a specific persona in Jesus in the sense of what God has called you to in particular.
Your persona is an expression of God’s image in you, how he wants to be specifically seen in and through you. Our biggest joy is finding that out because all our favor is in that place, all our permission is in that place, all our provision is in that place. It’s the place of our acceptance, it’s the place where we are the beloved, it’s the place where we are highly favored. It’s the place where you are perceived perpetually in God. Every time He looks at you and every time he talks to you it will always be in the context of how he sees you not how you see yourself.
That’s one of the great pleasures in life is coming into alignment with that vision that He has over you. What we’re doing as a community, we aren’t just coming into our own alignment in turns of “this is who I am in Jesus”, but we’re actually practicing that on one another too. WE’RE LEARNING TO SEE ONE ANOTHER IN THAT WAY. We’re learning to help to shape one another’s identity and sense of destiny. Accountability is when we hold each other true to that persona. Accountability is saying, “You can’t do that because “this” is who you are” and we pull each other up and we remind each other “THIS is your destiny, THIS is your identity, THIS is essentially who you are and all your provision flows from that place.” GROWING IN YOUR IDENTITY IS A RELATIONAL PROCESS.
Your persona is the role that you adopt for yourself by kind permission of the Father. As he is, so are we. It’s where we put on Christ in our persona. We put him on specifically in the area of God’s choices for us. In our persona we are invested from Heaven with legal authority over the enemy.
In our persona we are invested with permission to overcome every obstacle. We are invested with the right to rule and to establish peace. We are invested to, we have a particular charge from Heaven about how we get to act in our own behavior. Our persona is the integrated coordination of our identity in Christ with our calling, favor, and authority.
We’re learning how to BE and we’re learning how to DO. We’re learning how to behave and we’re learning how to act out of persona. The thing is, when God shows up in our life, calling us to a specific task, he is introducing us to our persona as he defines it. That persona is designed to give you an elevated status on the Earth.
David became King. Elevated status. Abraham becomes the Father of many nations. Moses becomes a deliverer. Joseph becomes a Prime Minister. Deborah becomes a Prophetess. Esther becomes a Queen. Mary becomes the Mother of Emmanuel. God loves your true identity. He ENJOYS the way He looks at you. He ENJOYS ALL his thoughts about you. He loves to tell you who you are. That’s why we have prophecy, because in prophecy God gets to brag about you in public, he gets to talk to you about who you are, he gets to open you up to “this is how I see you.”
When he introduces you to your true self, he then relates to you in that way, always. The problem is, when God introduces our persona we meet him in our personality because at that time it’s maybe all we have. God introduces our persona and we meet him in who we are not and so we come up with all of these excuses. He’s speaking to who we are becoming and we are replying in “this is what I am on Earth”.
God is introducing us to how we are known in Heaven.
The thing is, your personality is never equal to the task. Initially, we make excuses because we are undeveloped in our true identity. Your first response, when God shows you your persona, will be to express a negative.
Which is good.
Actually, the calling is designed to bring UP and OUT all of your negativity. So when God calls you in your persona it’s like all of your negative stuff rises to the top. The Lord is smiling at you and wanting to get it out of the way right from the start. “I didn’t call you because you’re articulate, I called you because you have a stutter. I didn’t call you because you’re capable, I called you because I am brilliant.”
Your persona is going to wage war on your negative personality. Your persona is going to clash with your negativity. Get used to it. It’s like the Spirit and the flesh; they’re going to fight. They’re at enmity, they are hostile towards one another.
There’s a fight that will go on inside of you, but it’s a fight you are designed to WIN because of who God is. We have to accept that battle and we have to win it.
You cannot change your negativity by becoming more positive. God is not into self-help. We fight negativity by stepping into our persona and practicing our identity as God sees it. You’ve got something to live up to and it is your pleasure and it is your delight, it is your JOY to live up to that.
Persona develops the positive side of our personality. We come into full alignment when we adopt the status and the role that God has given us. This is really important because God’s provision can only come to your persona. He doesn’t provide for your excuses. You have to be living in the right place.
Judges 6 – Gideon is hiding out in fear. Instead he hears, “The Lord is with you MIGHTY WARRIOR” that’s the last thing he felt but God is not interested in how you feel on Earth. He’s interested in you understanding how you are perceived in Heaven.
“Go in this your strength and deliver Israel because I have sent you”. See it: elevated status, legal authority, permission to overcome. That’s what your persona is all about: elevated status, legal authority over the enemy, and permission to overcome.
Gideon meets that in his personality. “How am I going to deliver Israel?” God completely ignores all of your excuses. All he’s going to give you is the “nevertheless” word. Nevertheless, this is who you are…
God will never answer your personality. All he’ll say is “surely I will be with you”. And HE WILL BE WITH YOU to develop your persona. When he introduces you to your identity that’s how he talks to you, from that place, for the rest of your life. If you’re going to talk to him out of your personality and he’s talking to you, to your persona, you’re going to miss each other.
The whole point of your persona is that we get to deal with our inadequacies. We get to turn them into a JOYFUL VULNERABILITY. We get to understand that our weaknesses are a STEPPING STONE for GOD to come into our life every day. And we get the PLEASURE of ENGAGING with the Holy Spirit in how he sees us.
God will only engage with your personality to bring it in line with your persona. That’s a major part of our training right now in life. The things that we’re going through right now, this is the lesson that we’re all learning. We’re learning about who we are, we’re learning about how to stand up on the inside, we’re learning how to pray from a different place, we’re learning how to believe from a different place, and we’re learning that faith is much easier when you tackle it in your persona. When you tackle it in your personality doubts and negativity are always going to creep into that space.
Gideon does something really sensible. He asks for a sign that this is really God. Your whole life will depend on this encounter of being shown your persona. When God shows you your persona, you want to ask him for proof, because from that point on, you’re going to have to believe THAT more than anything else in this life.
God grants the request for Gideon’s confirmation because the Lord wants him to be confident. THE LORD IS GOING TO REASSURE YOU AS MUCH AS YOU NEED IT because you need to get into this place and have it established so that all your personality, all your thinking, who you essentially are is then pushed through your persona so you KNOW how to access God, you KNOW how to stand before Heaven, you KNOW what you have the right to pull down into your circumstances, and you KNOW what you have permission to pull up and call up into your life.
On the journey that Gideon is about to take, he has to learn obedience, he has to act in line with his persona. When God has called you to something, not getting in line with that takes you into a place of unbelief and disobedience.
The Father takes a HUGE INTEREST in the DEVELOPMENT of your persona; in how Heaven sees you and knows you. All of your resources are allocated to your persona.
The more Gideon grows, the higher the stakes become, and the more he is pushed into conflict with the enemy. You better hope that you live in conflict with the enemy. If you are not in conflict with the enemy, you are in conflict with God. We already know that we’re victors, we already know that victory is always possible in the language of Heaven. It’s like playing a football game when you already know the score. The best place to be is in the clash between two Kingdoms. You get to see a side of God that you never see at any other time and you get to hear God laughing.
Conflict creates dependence and dependence requires reassurance. God is always happy to accommodate you. He wants you confident. You can ask for reassurance until you get it. God loves to reassure. He wants you to understand that you have this incredible capacity to be wonderful. Wonderful is one of his names and he’s going to give it you.
Gideon puts this fleece out and asks for the fleece to be wet and the ground to be dry. So God does that and in Gideon’s negative personality which he’s still dealing with, he’s thinking that it’s too easy for a sign. So he asks for the fleece to be dry and the ground to be wet instead as a sign that he really has been called by God to deliver Israel. When he receives his confirmation he knows “I am the one and I can step into this place.”
God wants YOU CONFIDENT ABOUT WHO YOU ARE. Confident to take bold steps, to run into something, to be confident like David and run towards a giant because you know the outcome already. You can’t wait to get into the fight.
God loves to reassure us, we must love obedience.
Moses faced a similar battle when God called him to deliver Israel from bondage. He has the same response, he is introduced to his persona and he meets it in his personality. “Who am I that I should go?”
God gives Moses three signs and is involved in introducing him to the fact that nothing is impossible. Yet in your persona you get to do wild stuff and weird stuff; boldness.
“I’m not eloquent and I’m slow of speech” and all God says is “Go and I will be with you and I will teach you what to say, but you have to go…”
There isn’t any excuse you could invent that gets you out of your persona. God will give you all the training, all the support, all the development you need to establish your persona but you will establish it. That’s your job. Who are you? Who has God called you to be? Everything in your life right now is about the development of that persona. It’s about you understanding that this is how you are perceived in Heaven. When you step into that place and you begin to say of yourself “THIS is who I am” it’s like standing under a spotlight, it’s like standing under an open Heaven; your provision can come, your power can come, your significance can come because this is WHO you are and God has already said YES to all of that.
When you step into your persona you are stepping into the fullness of God’s YES and AMEN in Jesus. You get permission to be that, you get authority to be that, you’re going to get the provision to be that, and when you step into it, and when you own it you are surrounded by a huge YES from Heaven.
And that changes your praying. How do you pray when you already know the answer? It’s YES. The answer is YES.
Finally Moses says, “Here I am, send somebody else” and at that point God gets tough with him. There is one sure way to annoy God, that is not to step into the place, the persona that Jesus died to give you.
Eventually God says to him, “See, I have made you as God to Pharaoh and Aaron shall be your prophet” you need to SEE your persona. You need to SEE it. You need to see it and go out in the strength of it. You’ve gotta take your persona out there. You gotta see how far you can go with it.
The thing that’s holding most of us back is that we’ve not yet won the battle between our persona and the negative side of our personality and we’re still referring to ourselves as our personality – as what you can see on Earth – BUT WE’RE NOT. We have an ascended lifestyle, we’re seated with Christ in Heavenly places, we now have to take our information about ourselves from Heaven. That’s the whole point of prophecy, to open you up to your real identity, and when that gets opened up, you have to step into it – you need to learn the lessons of how to live in that, think in that, speak in that, see in that, behave in that, and believe in that, because THAT is who you are and you are RESPONSIBLE for SEEING THAT IDENTITY BEING ESTABLISHED. THAT IS YOUR PARTNERSHIP WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT. You need to make it a thing of JOY and a thing of BEAUTY because that’s exactly what it is.
You need to discover who you really, essentially are, and then you need to LOVE IT.
YOUR FRIENDS AROUND YOU NEED TO LOVE YOU BECOMING IT.
You can’t deny yourself this incredible permission that Jesus died to give you.
Your persona is your permission to step outside the confines of your personality and into the fullness of God.
A lot of the time we’re living in a negative space but trying to believe something from God but he’s giving you your very own place. Stand in this place, assume this role, assume this identity and everything comes to you in that place.
If you’re praying like a widow in your personality, rather than like a bride in your persona your prayers are going to become unfruitful. When you see your identity, you can see the resources that come with it. GROW UP IN ALL THINGS IN CHRIST.
If you don’t see it, you can’t develop it. As we learn to put on Christ we’re also learning how to live in our persona about his call on us. When we’re learning how to step into our persona it will feel strange to us initially. GET OVER YOUR BAD-SELF. It feels like an ACT and we’re UNCOMFORTABLE with it. YOU’RE NOT PRETENDING TO BE A DIFFERENT VERSION OF YOURSELF, YOU’RE PRACTICING. You’ve got to practice who you are.
Practice a new way of thinking, new mindset, new perspective, new language. These all lead to new actions. We need to practice, it’s the process of aligning yourself with God.
Right now, maybe the negative side of your personality is under necessary challenge in the LOVE of God. He’s after you. He’s going to kill that negative side of you. We’re being delivered from fear, inadequacy, insecurity, pessimism, unworthiness, overly self-consciousness. Your persona has all the faith that you require, it has the creativity you need, it has the power to succeed. We’re learning to step into that place and ABIDE in the Lord in that place.
When Jesus was asking who they believed him to be, he was looking to see if they perceived his persona.
IF PEOPLE DON’T SEE YOUR TRUE IDENTITY, IT’S REALLY HARD TO WALK WITH THEM.
When someone you’ve been walking with recognizes and affirms your persona, your TRUE IDENTITY, something shifts in the Heavens over you two and in that moment the other persons persona is revealed. (Mark 8:29)
In our own relationship with God and one another, we all need to define where our personality is right now. You need to write out what is the most positive thing about my personality. What are the negatives about my personality that I really need to work on? You’ve gotta know because those are the areas where God is going to overwhelm you. Those are the areas where God is going to show you who he wants to be for you. But you’ve got to get victory over yourself before you can get sustained victory over the enemy.
Don’t get worried if you see something negative in your personality or the personality of someone you love. You need to get EXCITED by the fact that it’s not going to hang around for very long because I’m going to partner with the Holy Spirit to change that part.
Take authority over the thing that God is saying “lets deal with this” and you establish your persona over that thing, so instead of having fear, you now have FAITH in that area.
THAT IS A GOOD DEAL for all of us and we should ENJOY the process.
Then we should be asking the Father what He says about us. Get those dreams out, get those prophecies out, have a look at what’s been spoken over you, your persona is right there. You need to understand that when you look at those things, that’s how you’re going to have a conversation with God. He’s going to speak to that in you.
How are you going to step into the place of your truest identity? What help, what support, what development will you need from God and from people around you?
This is where, as friends, we can start to get together and ENCOURAGE each other. We get to know specifically, this is what we’re going to identify, this is what we’re going to work on together, this is the identity and truth we are going to speak over you and help pull you up into.
What are we doing?
WE ARE BUILDING AN ENVIRONMENT WHERE YOUR PERSONA CAN FLOURISH.
This is kingdom relationship:
Building that safe place to recognize the negatives in our personality but to help each other walk into the fullness of our PERSONA in GOD.
Then you get to think about what help and support am I going to give to other people? Looking at the people around you that you love, what do you get to be for them to usher them into their truest identity and destiny in God? How do I get to see them? How should I speak into that? What conversations are now possible for us because I am going to approach them in the light of how the FATHER sees them, not how I see them?
We provide a prophetic and creative environment that EMPOWERS people around us to step into their TRUEST IDENTITY and be established in that.
How we see one another, how we think of one another, how we speak to one another must be developed so that we can all partner with Heaven.
Over the last year or so God has been constantly hammering this point to us. A lot of us still haven’t quite got it. We have the concept of identity, we have the theory of identity, but we haven’t quite gotten the PRACTICE of it.
This is a GREAT ADVENTURE for all of us to learn and grow with each other.
This is a great time for us and we must not go into this place fighting our own weaknesses, we must inhabit this place with a confidence and a boldness that we step into our assumed role. We all need to be stepping up into our roles.
Stepping into something deliberately, owning the miracle that is around you, this is our time. God is constantly talking to us about this point. We have to get it. We really have to get it. It’s so important for you as an individual, for you as a family, and for you as a community.
Thank God for the circumstances that you’ve got in your life right now because they are all an aide to you, they are all developing your persona. You’re going to have difficulties stepping into your persona and you’re going to have difficulties when you run away from it. When you run away from it your difficulties continue. You might as well have the difficulties with the befits of stepping into who you’re supposed to be.