Who do you say I am?

The other day two of my kids “switched” places.  They wore each other’s clothes and wanted to be called by their “new” names, and would in fact, only respond when called by the correct name (until it was time for lunch, and then they came running regardless!).  The excitement and novelty wore off by mid-afternoon, just about the time I had trained myself to call each daughter by her new name.

Last weekend I called home and the phone was answered by an unidentified little person with a sweet little voice.  I talked to this person for a few minutes, but then finally had to interrupt and ask, “Wait a minute – who is this?  To whom am I talking?!”  The little voice giggled and informed me I needed to guess, so I cycled through probably 10 names before finally arriving at the right one!

While mixed up identities with daughters who switch places and unidentified voices on the other end of the phone line are cute, truly knowing some identities is critical.  Take Jesus for example.  One day as Jesus and His disciples were walking, Jesus turned to Peter and asked what must have seemed an odd question.  “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”  Peter suggested that people consider Him to possibly be John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah or other prophets.

But then Jesus turned again to Peter and asked, “Who you YOU say I am?”  Always ready with an answer, Peter responded saying “You are the Messiah, the son of the living God.”

Peter’s response sounded good.  He used the right words and demonstrated that he’d at least been paying attention to Jesus’ teaching.  But did Peter really believe what he said?  Did he claim Jesus as Messiah with his lips, or did he fully believe it in his heart?

What about you?  If Jesus were to turn to you and ask, “Who do YOU say I am?”, how would you answer?  When was the last time you reflected on who God is?  Depending on your circumstances and situation, His identity in your life might be quite different than in mine.  Is He Jehovah Jireh, the God who provides?  Jehovah Rapha, the Lord who heals?  Is He your shepherd, Jehovah Rohi, or peace, Jehovah Shalom?  Maybe He is the embodiment of mercy, kindness, justice, righteousness or joy.  Or perhaps you know Him as Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, or the Price of Peace.

Harden not your heart and be open to His guidance and ministry to your heart.  Spend some quiet time in prayer reflecting on who God is.  Be able to answer Jesus’ question to you, “Who do YOU say I am?”  And then ask Him to help you know, understand and believe that truth fully.  Don’t let God’s identity get mixed up or switched in your life.  Don’t settle for knowing about Him.  Instead know Him deeply, rely on Him completely, and love Him fully.