Recognizing and Maintaining Your Identity In Christ
Amid the political, cultural, social, and religious wars that seem to be endless, there is one thing people forget about. Identity theft is at an all-time high, and with a digital economy and so much on social media, it’s no wonder that identity thieves are on the rise.
However, I am talking about the oldest form of identity theft known to us. This one goes back to the garden of Eden and is Satan’s number one tool in deceiving every person of their true identity. You may have had your social security number compromised, your bank account hacked, or even your IRS account hacked and used.
But that pales in comparison to losing your identity as a Child of God, heir, and co-heir with Jesus, priest to God, and chosen to rule and reign with Christ. The vast majority of believers don’t even understand or identify with who they are in Christ. Worse, those not yet born into the kingdom do not know their true identity. Below I will discuss five practical ways to avoid identity theft by Satan and his minions.
Don’t Get Offended
Satan’s number one tool is the bait of offense. He used that with Eve when he said, “Did God really say that?” This placed doubt in Eve’s mind, and since she only had Adam’s word as to what God actually said, she became offended at God and her husband. Imagine not believing your spouse or close family member and taking up an offense, and deliberately disobeying the command of God.
That is exactly what we do when God gives us a command, and then when someone questions what we are doing, or ridicules us, we doubt, second guess what we heard, and then disobey and birth Ishamel. We then blame God when everything goes wrong.
Ephesians 2:10~ “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Adam and Eve were created by the hand of Yhwh. You say ‘how can ‘they be in Christ if came three thousand years later?’ John 1:1 tells us, ‘in the beginning, was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.’ That is Jesus.
Colossians 1:16 ‘by Him all things were created. So the Son played a role with creation as the Father and Spirit did, together in unison. When we blame God, we blame the creator. We must stand our ground when the deceiver comes when His lies. In the hour we live in, we are bombarded with news and words that sound good, but they are not the Word of God. Listening to any voice other than the voice of God leads us astray, and ultimately we get offended.
We get offended at God or someone who offends us, and that sets up a whole mess. When we are offended, we set the offense as an idol and focus on it and replay it repeatedly. This is a result of taking our eyes and ears off of Jesus. The only way to avoid losing our identity to an offense or offender is to give that offense to Jesus, place it under the blood, and worship. Crucify the flesh.
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love, serve one another.
“You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.”
Realizing that we are in this flesh and that it is easy to slip over and be offended, we need to be quick to do the next step on our list.
Be Quick To Forgive
Unforgiveness can destroy relationships, families, churches, workplaces, governments, and individuals. Unforgiveness can lead to sickness, bitterness, and broken lives. Ultimately, when you choose not to forgive an offender, then you are saying what Jesus did on the cross is not good enough for them. You put them in bondage to you, and it is idolatry.
Idolatry has many aspects and is more commonplace than we realize. Placing the offense is putting it above your relationship with Christ. It pulls you out of being a child of God. Kingdom people are quick to forgive because they understand the power of forgiveness. It goes with our identity.
Matthew 6:15, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. ESV
Not forgiving also places you as an enemy of God. He is a God who loves reconciliation and forgiveness, after all, He sent Jesus to reconcile us to the Father. We must stay reconciled, so choosing to live a lifestyle of forgiveness is the path to maintaining the proper fellowship with God.
Staying In The Word: Discover Your Identity
Knowing who you really are is the ultimate key to avoiding identity theft of identity crisis. Study the Word to see what it says about who you are. We are born into a fallen world and we are born into the Kingdom of God and then we come into the fullness of who we are. But we have to walk it out.
Galatians 2:20 “ I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
The list of verses are endless, describing who we were created to be and who we are. The cross is the stopping place that transforms us from the old, dead man or woman to the person filled with life, joy, and confidence in their calling as a Child of God, a priest, and one destined to rule and reign with Christ. Don’t listen to anything that tells you differently. It’s an identity thief.
Prayer is our lifeline with the throne of God. It is part of how we were created to be in joyous fellowship. Jesus spent hours alone in prayer with the Father. Paul said to pray without ceasing and to give thanks in all things. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
God seeks for people to share His heart with in prayer and intercession. We often hear people say, ‘intercession is for a select few.’ That is like saying evangelism or any other ministry is just for a select group. We are called to personal prayer and devotion. Without it, we cannot mature and develop as people of God.
Prayer also increases our ability to hear the voice of God and brings life, joy, and peace. So, when the enemy comes with deception or an opportunity to be offended, we recognize it and take authority over it. That is the mind of Christ, a mind that seeks to kive in the word, be unoffendable, forgive and pray for those who persecute us or offend us.
Consider Job and his three friends. Job’s friend’s advice may have been sound and reasonable, but it was misapplied. No one really understood what was going on until Elihu showed up. In the end, God told the three friends that Job would pray for them. So Jesus told us in the Sermon On The Mount to pray for those who despise us and pray for our enemies.
Worship The Lord At All Times
What we place the highest value on or who we spend our time with says a lot about what or who we worship. Worship involves surrender. People like Mary of Bethany demonstrate extravagant worship. Anna at the temple is another one that lived a life of worship, surrendered to the King.
We were made to worship God. If we choose to become offended, live in unforgiveness, or identify with any sin or life-controlling issue in our lives as believers, then we have lost our identity. By choosing to focus on things of this world, it replaces our true place of worship. We are hindered in our identity as a worshipper.
Learn to worship Him continuously. Choose not to fall from a place of worshipping before the throne at all times. It is a choice. It is who we are.
Kingdom people should know who they are and live in that place daily. We should not allow Satan, a person, or anything to keep us from walking in our identity in Christ. Live loved. Live forgiven, and forgive quickly. Stay in the Word and in prayer. Blessings