This is perhaps one of the greatest moments in all of Disney’s movies, when Rapunzel realizes she’s not a lost girl destined to live out her days in a lonely tower, but she is in fact the lost Princess, beloved, cherished and desperately needed. It’s through this revelation that she finds the strength to stand up to her captor, embrace her true identity and walk out of the prison that held her back for years.
It wasn’t because she was a woman, or because she had a spunky personality. It wasn’t until she realized who she truly was - a Royal Daughter with purpose, power and authority – that she was truly set free.
And this gets me thinking, why are we spending so much time defending ourselves as women, when all of our power comes from something much deeper, more powerful and infinitely more divine than mere gender. What if the keys that could set you free weren’t in how confident, creative, feminine or talented you came across? What if it starts from the inside, discovering Royal roots that tied you and your Heavenly Father together in unbreakable ways? Then, you would walk in all of the freedom, confidence, power, authority, creativity, and purpose than you ever have on your own.
So let’s talk about this. Who are we? What truly lives on the inside of us and how can this help us in our everyday, moment-by-moment lives?
Here are 6 truths about your identity that will bring you into the freedom you long for...
1. You were created in God’s image
Isn’t it such a cliché? We mumble off “I’m made in the image of Christ,” without really believing it or, perhaps, not truly understanding what this means.
In the Ancient Near East, it was believed that images actually contained the essence of that which they represented. In fact, ancient kings would put images of themselves in places in order to claim their territory, control, and rule, so their essence would be represented. So the fact that you were created in the image of God means that you are meant to bear God’s essence wherever he has placed you. You were designed to represent God and act on his behalf to this broken and hurting world. You were created to display the character and nature of God to the people He has placed in and around your life.
Being an Ambassador of Christ doesn’t just mean that you’re saved. It’s a mission. It’s an assignment. When people experience you they are meant to experience Him. This isn’t some high and lofty standard that we have to meet or God is displeased with us. No! You represent Him because He lives in you! You bear His image and if you cling to this truth and allow Him to flow through you, the image on the inside of you will begin to impact and touch everyone around you.
It’s not about how good or holy you act. It’s about who’s image you bear. Nothing can or will ever change that.
2. You were created in God’s likeness
Usually, we think of the terms “image” and “likeness” as basically the same thing. However, image means essence (God’s character), while likeness means a physical similarity. To put it plainly, somehow, you look like God!
But wait, how can this be true! After all, when I look in the mirror, the last thing I usually think to myself is, “oh, hey God. I didn’t notice you there.” No, usually I’m picking and prying, scrubbing, detangling and moisturizing my heart out, trying to get a different kind of image to appear. But even if you don’t have bouncy locks that tumble to the floor, remember, that never made Rapunzel a Princess.
You are who you are because of who He is. He is good. He is Royal. He is Lord. And He chose you.
Before you did anything right or good, before you were even born, God designed you to resemble him. That should give you a sense of great dignity. You are not a mistake. You are not an afterthought. In fact, it’s been said that a great work of art is a masterpiece when the artists put themself into the art. In the same way, you are a masterpiece of God’s own making.
3. You were created with purpose
Ever noticed that everything God made was for a purpose? The sun, moon, and stars were created to light the skies and govern the days and nights. The land was created to produce vegetation, and those plants were created to bear fruit. Even water was created with purpose—to keep us alive, and be filled with living creatures.
In the same way, you and I were created with a specific purpose in mind. If you don’t know your purpose yet, don’t worry. God isn’t trying to hide that from you. But don’t forget that this life isn’t just about the destination, for then it would be over. But it’s more about the journey ahead. And Your Father is far more interested in who you become along the way, than simply how fast you get “there.”
But living with a sense of purpose will give you the courage to move forward when other people would rather you stay put. It will bring you peace when this world says worry. And it will be your constant guide when others are loud with their plans.
Like Mother Gothel singing to her dear Rapunzel for fear of her leaving, she reminds her of all the things she is not. How she isn’t anyone important, stunning or of interest and it would be better for her to stay put where she’s safe. In the words of American Author John Augustus Shedd, “A ship at harbor is safe – but that’ s not what ships are for.” Don’t let fear, worry or other people’s opinions keep you from living from your sense of purpose.
4. You were created with authority
Did you know that nothing in this world can overtake you if you don’t allow it to? I know that can sound a bit harsh, and I don’ t mean it to! Life is real and it can knock us off our feet sometimes. But I think we’ve gotten a little too comfortable with the idea of being the victim that we hardly ever see any other option.
I’ve got news for you girl: if you’re stuck in that tower (whether it’s with insecurity, brokenness, gossip, envy, strife, stress, unforgiveness...) no one is going to let you out. They want you to stay there. People will support your decision to be the victim, safely locked up away from the world. It takes courage to believe by faith in who you really are, walk out of that tower and live your life free from it’s grasp.
Remember that you are worthy of the authority you possess because He is worthy. Every name must bow to the name of Jesus and you carry His name. Walk in confidence that His authority lives in you. And you are worthy to wield it.
5. You were created for great things
Too often we view the future before us through the dim lens of our spotty past. We take one look at our track record of mistakes, misunderstandings and chapters we wish we could rewrite, and then we project what we feel we deserve into our futures. Or worse, we dream of a bright future full of possibilities, but ache as our troubled hearts condemn the mere thought.
You must believe that you were created for great things despite whatever mistakes might be overwhelming you. It’s not based on what you do, but who you are. After all, this is about your identity, not your performance.
Stop limiting your own future because of your past, your fears, your worries, your doubts or your unbelief. If you believe you aren’t meant for greatness, then your life won’t go very far. Not because God is holding out on you, but faith is the substance of things HOPED for. If you don’t have any hope for a grand and meaningful future, then your faith has nothing to bring into your reality.
The attacks on your life have far more to do with who you might be in the future, than who you have been in the past. After all, Mother Gothel didn’t keep Repunzel locked in that tower because she did something bad. She was the Royal Daughter and Gothel dreaded what would happen if she were to find that out. Don’t be deceived. The enemy doesn’t attack what he is not threatened by and there something on your life that terrifies him.
6. You were created for your King’s delight
Have you ever thought about that? You were created to bring joy and delight to your King. Again, not by what you do (although faith does please God) but just simply because you are His daughter. Did you know if you never did anything FOR God in your entire life, He would still love, cherish and delight in you exactly the same as He does a famous minister? If you can’t believe this, then you will always strive to be good enough to get God’s “special” attention.
You have to know that Your Father, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, delights in the mere thought of you. You are not an accident or an afterthought. You are a carefully crafted work of art that God has poured His very image, likeness, purpose, authority and great plans into. He longs to just spend time with you, hearing about your day, your hopes, dreams, fears and frustrations. He wants you to be real, open and honest. He cares about your heart and wants so desperately for you to let Him in.
In a world that is frantically looking for a source of acceptance and love, it’s more important now than ever to know who you are. But you will only find out who you truly are by getting to know who He truly is. When the world says this is who you are, that’s when you punch back and say, “No, this is who I am.” You stand up, walk out of that tower that’s been holding you back and pursue all of the great chapters that are ahead for you.
Rapuzel’s story is so inspiring because she chose to leave her tower. After all, that’s when all the greatness can begin.
Let’s leave the tower and take the Kingdom. Know who you are, stand in your identity and you will write the story of your life well.