Have you ever seen a Spirit-filled, bold, and confident daughter of the King and wondered to yourself, “Where does she get all that confidence from?” Well, I can tell you this… she didn’t just wake up like that one day. There is hard work involved in walking in purpose with boldness. What you see is a woman who has surrendered her worth and her identity to God’s truth. It is critical for children of God to know how to walk with their heads held high in truth and love in today’s culture. That boldness is missing, when we were all intended to have it. We were not created or called to passively turn a blind eye to the wickedness of this world. In fact, when God has revealed to us wicked ways and we say nothing, we ourselves will be judged.
If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. Ezekiel 3:18
The practice of speaking the truth in love is the responsibility of every believer, and that requires the right amount of boldness and humility. So, lets look closely at out worth and identity. I want to help us see and understand the distinction between them and how they work together.
Let’s anchor in this verse…
The Lord highlighted this verse to me when I was preparing for a recent conference we were asked to lead. Naturally, we led with the core of our ministries mission – worth, identity, and purpose. As I was sitting with the Lord asking Him to reveal the distinction between worth and identity, He began to show me something very beautiful in this verse. It wasn’t quite like the typical teachings you hear from this verse. I began to see how worth and identity worked together, much like a wineskin filled with wine. Ask yourself this, “What use is an empty wineskin?” or “What use is wine if you don’t have a container to put it in?” In order to pour out, you can not have one without the other. This is the reflection of worth without identity, or identity without worth. The two work hand-in-hand, and when you have one without the other neither reach the fullness of their purpose. Go back and read that again.
Today, there are so many life-giving messages about our Identity in Christ and how to examine that. When we get saved, our identity becomes a child of God, heir to the Kingdom, daughter of the King. Our identity is not subject to change. It doesn’t matter how we think or feel, our identity never changes. It can not be earned, therefore it can not be taken away. We are sealed, marked. That is something satan knows he can not alter and he will not waste his time trying to unseal something he knows he has no access to. Being given a new identity is like being given a new, unbreakable wineskin if you will.
So if we see identity as the wineskin, it leads us to examine our worth in reflection of the wine. All throughout scripture we see the Lord talk about good fruit and bad fruit. We are called to produce good fruit when we are given our new identity. New wineskins meant to contain good wine.
So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. Colossians 1:10
Christ is the vine, and we are the branches that produce grapes, bringing forth wine into this world. The wine resembling the blood of Christ as we are participants with Him and imitators of Him. If we are not connected to Him, we can not produce good grapes for good wine. [John 15:5] What this shows us is that the wine poured into our wineskin is subject to change based on the quality of grapes we produce. When we see God as the gardener in this scripture, we know He is sovreign (perfect) and if there are bad grapes or no grapes, then our wineskin remains empty and we are not serving our purpose in God’s hands. God the Father is left holding an empty wineskin.
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. John 15:1-2
It is important to recognize that we can know our identity and still produce bad fruit. If there is an area where satan has a chance to gain access, he will give it everything he’s got. He can not access our identity, so he attacks our worth.
Let’s look closer and examine the characteristics of identity and worth parallel to one another.
Now, let’s apply this objective vs. subjective thinking to a situation in your life so it can become personal. Think about a situation in your life when you were hurt by someone. Maybe someone called you a name. Maybe they hit you. That moment you have in your mind didn’t make you question your age or the color of your skin because those things are your identity, objective. They are facts that don’t change based on our circumstances. What that moment did, was distort the emotional perception of your value/worth because it is subjective to that situation. The quality of your fruit.
1. based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions.
“his views are highly subjective”
Have you ever scrolled through Instagram and thought to yourself, “I wish I looked like that” or “Why can’t I have their relationship?” This is that emotional evaluation/comparison attached to worth. What about clothes… did you grow up being picked on because you were a thrift store kid, so you vowed to make more money than you had growing up? Again, emotional drive. The world from the day we are born is constantly trying to chip away at our worth. Status, popularity, wealth, physical apperance, marriage, kids… and when we fall short or we are harmed, our fleshly nature is to condemn our worth. The emotional responses are “try harder” or “give up”. Why? Because that area of our worth is not surrendered or connected to Christ. Also, because satan knows he can not touch our election/identity/salvation but, he can render us useless by attacking the quality/value/worth of our fruit.
qual·i·tynoun: quality; plural noun: qualities
the standard of something as measured against other things of a similar kind; the degree of excellence of something.
It is impossible to truly satisfy our worth in the world because we were never created to draw nutrients for good fruit from the world. Yet, we were prepared for a purpose that requires us to bare good fruit. This is why satan has created millions of distractions and circumstances to contaminate our wine. When we connect our branch to the vine of our wounds or the world, we will produce bad fruit or none at all. This is why satan attacks our worth. This is what renders the Lord’s purpose for our life useless and he wants to keep your wineskin empty in God the Fathers hands. What good is our wineskin empty in God’s hands?
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21
God is sovreign. We can not trick Him into using fruit that only appears good. For instance, sometimes that big paycheck, the “perfect marriage”, the puffy lips, the spotless house, and those well behaved kids can look like good fruit when in reality, it is sour. That is not always the case, but we can know through internal evaluation by asking ourselves,” Would I have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control without these things?” Even when we draw our worth from things that seem to be good, our fruit becomes bitter. The wine resembles the blood of Jesus, so our worth can only be found in Him. We MUST connect to the vine first. If you are blessed, you will be disconnected from anything you draw your worth from outside of Christ.
They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work. Titus 1:16
Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. Matthew 7:17-19
Now, let’s think about it from a perspective that may bring about more reverance. What if you were ministering to the Lord and you had the honor of serving Him a glass of wine? What kind of wine would you want to serve Him if He were sitting at your table? Would you dare serve Him contaminated or bitter wine? My prayer is that we all would tremble at the thought.
So, what is the difference you see when you meet a woman who is bold and confident? She is a woman who is practicing daily how to serve wine to her heavenly Father that is sweet and pleasing. She sees Him smiling and hears Him say, “That’s better, now try this” and it is the joy of her heart to obey Him. She knows He comes to the vinyard early in the morning to pick the best fruit for the day.
She knows her identity as a daughter and she draws her worth only from the vine, which is Jesus Christ. She rebukes emotions that codemn her worth to Jesus, which He displayed on the cross to save her. She has allowed herself to be wrecked by how precious the power of His blood is and is awestruck that she is created to produce a resemblence. She trembles at the thought of one drop of the wine her fruit produces, which reflects the power of His blood, be rendered useless to God the Father.
Her wine and her wineskin is serving its purpose. In her purpose she is not afraid, because she knows nothing is stronger, mightier, wiser, and more loving than her Father, the Gardener.