When I am talking with women about various struggles in their lives, I often notice a basic problem - lack of understanding of who God is, and who they are in Christ. If you haven't spent time in God's Word, your view of God will necessarily be shaped by your life experiences and your own personality. It is essential to dig into scripture to know God's truth about Himself, and about you.
"Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth." - John 17:17
This is so important for all believers. So when I met Courtney Cohen at the Declare Conference, and heard about her new book Refining Identity, I knew I would want to read and review it for you all. Courtney welcomed my enthusiasm and graciously sent me an advance copy.
The title is based on the analogy of God as Refiner. Throughout the book you will find references to the process smelters use to refine gold to purify it, just as God purifies us.
Refining Identity begins with a scriptural study of who God is. Courtney leads you through the bible, seeking His nature and character. There is space for you to jot notes as you look up each scripture and discover for yourself what it says. Courtney adds her own observations and personal stories.
Then Refining Identity takes you through a process of addressing challenges and weaknesses you may have as you relinquish your identity to the refiner of your soul. This is followed by a beautiful embracing of the renewal that comes as the Lord builds you up as He created you to be. All throughout this journey you will be in scripture, seeking God's truth in His Word.
Near the end is an important chapter on spiritual warfare. Committed believers can expect to experience this challenge, and it is critical to be scripturally equipped to understand and deal with it.
And of course the precious completion of the refining process is when we are like shiny golden mirrors, reflecting His love. Not one of us will be perfectly refined until we are face to face with God, but the power of Jesus Christ in our lives shines even in our weakness and failings.
We all find ourselves at some point asking the question "Who am I?" For a Christian, the answer is a combination of how God sees you through the lens of Christ, and the specific gifts He has given to you. As Courtney puts it:
"I am who I AM says I am."
Each of us was put on earth to glorify God and love others. But we often get caught up in distractions and become confused about our identities. Because of this we feel trapped and are unable to love with the freedom and joy that we have been given.
Only Jesus can set us free, only in Him can we be fully who we were created to be. If you are feeling trapped, if you are not really sure who you are, I encourage you to consider reading Refining Identity, and commit to the process of working through the scriptures Courtney has lovingly laid out. Meet your Refiner in His Word!
You can hear a little bit of Courtney's heart for this book in the above video.
Also, take a moment to stop by Courtney's facebook page today (November 26, 2013) for some special giveaways in honor of today's launch. You may even win a free copy for yourself!
disclosure: affiliate links are included in this post