16As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” – Matthew 3:16-17

“I am  _________.”

How do you fill in the blank? Better question…who do you let fill in the blank? The world? Your teammates or coaches? Your fears and insecurities? Far too often, our identity is decided by people’s opinions, our results on the field, and our shortcomings off of it. If you’re like me, your answer might be: “I am not good enough.” I spent most of my career just trying to prove myself, only to learn that no starting position, championship, or amount of popularity was ever enough. What if instead, we allowed our Heavenly Father to fill in the blank?

In the passage above, we read about Jesus being baptized and affirmed by His Father. Typically, we affirm people after they do something for us. Thankfully, that’s not how our Father works. Before Jesus began His ministry of healing, spoke a word about the Kingdom of God, or died on the cross for our salvation, His Father said, “You are my child. I love you and am so proud of you.” The obedience and faithfulness of Jesus is a response to His Father’s great love for Him. He steps into who the Father says He is.

We do this too, but usually, we step into the lies of the enemy or opinions of people. What if we stepped into who God says we are? If you have faith in Jesus Christ and believe in the truth of the Gospel, then the Father’s words are spoken over you as well. You have been raised to life in Christ and are now His child. He loves you and is so proud of you. Period. Nothing you do will increase or decrease His love for you. So before taking a step on the field, how about taking a step into His love for you?

“I am a beloved child of God.

  • Reflect on what you fill the blank with most often. If you are meeting with a teammate, confess to them any lies or identities you have taken on other than your identity in Christ.
  • Prayerfully meditate over who God says you are: “You are my child. I love you and am so proud of you.” Allow this truth to fill you up.
  • Ask God to help you keep your identity in His love regardless of victory or defeat.