Knowing Your True Identity
by Graham Cooke
presented at Aglow International Convention 2008
[MBP: The following notes were taken from Graham Cooke’s presentation at Aglow International’s convention in 2008 and viewed 2010.]
“Who do you say that I am?” Matthew 16:15
When you know WHO Jesus, is, you know who YOU are. That’s where wisdom comes. Circumstances aren’t the problem. Your perception of the problem is. Jesus has all power.
Two questions to ask about Pentecost
- What does this mean? And
- What must I do?
NEVER ask a WHY question. It’s an invalid question. It’s a VICTIM question. You’re a warrior. You’re the beloved, the betrothed. Ask questions in line with your identity.
When people around you know your identity, they must act accordingly.
So many Christians have a distorted image of Jesus. They know Him as Savior, but that’s only the introduction. Take your cues from the personality of God.
1. Who we are on earth.
2. How we are known in heaven.
Our identity is our personality on earth and our PERSONA in heaven.
Personality is the integrated organization of soul and body. It’s a combination of psychological, intellectual, emotional and physical attributes—things that have been shaped by our upbringing, our environment, our training and modeling. These form behavior—whether positive or negative.
Negative Personality is victim thinking, cautious or pessimistic, judgmental, prejudiced, fearful and hesitant. You don’t like it when things change. This personality is embroiled in the fear of man, the fear of being wrong or stupid. It is the fear of risking. Therefore, they are prone to deception, believing the worst, having a sense of unworthiness and being entirely too self-conscious.
Positive Personality is driven by values, optimism, trusting, being willing to try. Can be challenged on things. Risk-taker, learning to be brave, honest, self-aware and open.
The positive personality may just need an upgrade.
The negative personality needs the transformation.
When God comes to you, He declares His PERSONA. God gets you to ask the right questions so that He can engineer you into the right experience. An example: Moses, Ex. 33
Exodus 33:18 And he said, “Please, show me Your glory.” 19 Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” 20 But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.” 21 And the Lord said, “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. 22 So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. 23 Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.” Exodus 34: 5 Now the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. 6 And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, 7 keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”
At Moses’ request, God causes “His Goodness” to pass before him. His Goodness is THAT Glorious, Radiant, that you need to be protected. God calls out, ”I’m compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, merciful, truthful, faithful, forgiving.” THIS is who I am. THIS is how you may know Me.
Example: Jesus visiting Nazareth
Luke 4: 16 So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. 17 And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; 19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” 20 Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”
THIS is who I am – His persona. Jesus is saying, “This is what I’m here for, what I’m doing.”
Ever notice how the God-head likes to talk about one another?
Father: This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.
Jesus: He only does and says what He sees the Father doing. AND it’s better for you if I go away, so HE can come—the Holy Spirit is better than Me in this next phase of your life. He will lead you into all truth.
Holy Spirit: Will convict the world concerning sin, righteousness and judgment.
The ruler of this world has been judged on your behalf. It’s the ONLY judgment in this life.
[Get this] When God poured out His anger and wrath on Jesus, it ALSO was finished. The Father doesn’t have anger and wrath anymore. IF judgment is still possible, we have NO salvation! Calgary was judgment for sin once and for all. The Judgment Seat – the Day of Judgment – we are living in a season of GRACE. Our job is to be ambassadors of reconciliation. The WAY is completely open to ALL. He is not judging anyone. There is a Redeemer and His Name is Jesus.
We are here to pass judgment on the enemy.
Cast out devils. You have authority over principalities and powers. It’s like getting a credit card in the mail. You’re not activated until you get in touch with the Principal.
Call out the GRACE OF GOD rather than judgment on sin.
Call out the Goodness and Kindness of God.
Overcome evil with GOD. Don’t rail against sin.
Therefore, celebrate Jesus in the earth.
The Spirit will disclose those things to come. Therefore, He will make us a prophetic people. We should know what’s coming to our city and stand in the gates. Isaiah 61 is Jesus’ mandate. Jesus is the exact representation of God.
Persona = Image
What you trust in the nature of God gives you power in the Kingdom.
Everyone in heaven has a persona. When Zacharias questioned Gabriel’s word, Gabriel declares that he stands in the presence of God! Gabriel came to prophesy over John even before he was born.
When you know who you are, you’ve got to talk about it. “This is who I am.” NO false humility. That’s just a religious spirit. John said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness…”
Your persona comes out of your mouth. You have to step into it, stand in it, make war through it, and speak it. When you speak, people should know who you are in the Kingdom.
Your persona is literally an elevated status. It’s an expression of God’s image in us. It’s the place of our acceptance where we know we are the beloved and highly favored. God is completely and utterly biased in our favor.
Your persona is who you are perpetually in God. This is where we “put on Christ.” Our persona gives us 4 things:
- Legal authority over the enemy.
- Permission to overcome every obstacle.
- The right to rule and establish peace.
- A particular charge in how we are to act in any given circumstance through ongoing revelation.
Your persona integrates Jesus with your calling and your authority.
- Persona and personality are two sides of the same coin. They are relational and functional.
- Most of what God does in our lives in RELATIONAL, establishing who you are in Him and who He is in you.
- When God calls us to a particular task, He is introducing you to your persona. He refines it. It elevates us. Think about Abraham, Esther, Mary, David… He loves to tell you who you are. That’s why we have prophecy! Prophecy is when He introduces you to your true self. He relates to you that way for the rest of your life.
- Our problem is we meet our calling in our personality! We meet Him in who “we are not.” Example: Gideon (scared, worried, low self-esteem). Yet, God calls him, “Gideon, you might man of valor!” That’s his persona – how he is known in heaven. How did Gideon reply? His “personality.” – the negative side. God allows it to rise to the top. Our personality is never equal to the task.
- Your calling is designed to bring up and out your negative personality. Your persona wages war on your inherent negativity. The clash we’ll flight. When the Spirit comes, he goes straight for the carnality in the house. Spirit and flesh are hostile. The flesh splits churches.
Therefore, step into your persona and practice your identity as God sees us. Persona develops our positive personality. We get an upgrade. Our negative personality gets a transformation. We come into alignment. God’s provision can only come to your persona.
In personality, you’ll get your needs met, BUT, you’ll never get your inheritance! [WOW!] Your inheritance is attached to your persona. In Gideon’s case, his persona was 1) elevated status, 2) legal authority, and 3) permission to overcome.
God will never answer your personality once He has established your person. Therefore, get over your bad self and get in the right place. Once He speaks, you’ve got to align yourself with that. The Lord says, “I’ve told you who you are. Now you need to become it.” PRACTICE!!! Practice until you become brilliant at it. Note: we can also help each other to who they are becoming.
Again, once God has spoken to your persona, He will never speak to your personality. If you moan or complain, He will use the “N” word: NEVERTHELESS! “I will be with you.” He will be with your persona. NOT your negative personality. Grow up! He will develop your persona and personality to how you are known in heaven. Example: Daniel (a man greatly beloved) and Caleb (a man of a different spirit).
God has abundance. The enemy has a budget. Why does the enemy always use intimidation? Because it’s cheap! It works! [He plants the lie as early in your life as he can.] Think about David and Goliath. When David stood before Goliath and Goliath bragged on how he was going to demolish David, David had a word from Samuel that he would be king one day. “Goliath, you’re a goner!” [Think about those prophetic words spoken over our lives. Where does the intimidation come from – that doubt and unbelief and false humility?]
Your persona gives you an elevated status and power over the enemy. Example: Elijah. He was one person walking in his persona against 850 prophets of Baal. He won! And the enemy lost the nation!
You are “condemned to victory.” It’s your fight to lose. It’s the battle that belongs to the Lord. In your persona, you step into WHO God is and who you are becoming.
Gideon asked for a sign, a fleece. He wasn’t asking for guidance. Gideon already blew the trumpet to gather the warriors. He was asking, “Are you going to use me?” And yes, God reassured him. God is like that.
Moses’ personality: Who am I? God will give us all the training we need. We MUST make war on our negative personality! Note what God says in Exodus 7:1 “See, I have made you as God to Pharaoh and Aaron shall be your prophet.” It was important that Pharaoh see Moses as God in human form. Moses had to be above Pharaoh.
We have NO choice. We MUST live from those seats in heavenly places. It is given to us not to live beneath, but rise above it. We fight thrusting down – not thrusting up. We don’t actually “pull down” strongholds – who do they fall on? Pull down the stronghold of God into our midst. Worshippers!!
Your persona is your permission to step out of the confines of your personality into the fullness of God… to your true identity.
We pray like a widow instead of a bride.
We pray like He’s reluctant to bless us!
When you see your identity, you’ll see the resources that come with it. Grow up in all things. Don’t pray about them. DECLARE them into being. ASSUME your inheritance. Put on Christ. Live in your persona. It’s a new mindset—a new language—and they lead to NEW. It’s the process of alignment. Make a list of the negatives and work on them. Negativity is giving the enemy permission in those areas. Our persona will accelerate our deliverance, the faith, the creativity, the power we need.
“Who do you say that I am?” Jesus wanted to know if they saw His persona. Who gets it? Simon’s own persona was released to him. He was given the KEYS to bind and loose! Note: elevated status, legal authority and permission (commission?) to overcome.
Kick negativity out of your house.
Work with the Holy Spirit.
Practice in small groups.
Graham believes prophecy is VERY important. We are present/future with God. In Genesis 18:17 God visits Abraham. Shall I tell him now (present) SINCE he will be the father of many nations (future). Prophecy is important. It’s a process to get us in the place.
Graham gave an example of giving a word to a young man who got angrier and angrier as Graham proceeded. Graham saw him 10 years ahead in Africa with a great ministry with signs and wonders. Graham stopped and asked the man why he was so angry. He had just been given a diagnosis of leukemia with only 4 months to live. He wanted a word on his terminal illness, not future ministry. Graham had to set him straight… that’s 10 years from NOW! Duh! Figure it out!!!
Get a word…. Get an upgrade! Move from glory to glory. All change is glorious! It’s a miracle and wonderful. Make the adjustment. See what the glory looks like for you. Real warriors don’t look for sympathy. They look for majesty.
Changing is a fabulous experience. It’s brilliant. Go to war on your negativity. Be free, happy, glorious, up! Be energized by life. God takes care of our humility. Most of us don’t come near to arrogance. God wishes we would!
Faith will get you close to presumption.
God draws a line on our persona. God wants us to walk up to the line of presumption, but not cross it. Most of us are so scared of presumption that we live WAY back in unbelief. Get that? Unbelief! Unbelief is EVIL. Faith will get us out of unbelief. Graham says, “Hey, even if you draw the line at presumption and cross it, God could draw another one! He won’t say, “You’re believing Me too much!””
If you make a mistake, make it a good one.
Choose presumption rather than unbelief.
To walk in joy is to walk in His presence. Be fascinated by Jesus… endlessly curious. Energized by life. Enjoy the good fight. There’s No negativity or tears in heaven!