by David Brenneman
The most prevalent attack on humanity has been with regards to identity. It began with Adam and Eve. When they fell into sin, the first to be changed was how they saw themselves. Their identity. They rushed to find something to cover up with. Even today due to social media and the news it's extremely visible in society. Demands are made on others to accept or reject identity. It has not changed in the 6 to 8 thousand years that mankind has been around. Satan's go-to attack is in regards to identity. It begins in the home in most cases and then peer pressure comes in to find ways to alter identity to fit what the world wants to see. If you want to be successful you must... If you want to achieve then you must become... If you're not losing weight then you are not being...
In Christ Jesus we're told that we are loved for who we are, as we were created to be. Some just cannot accept that. God made no mistakes in how we were born. Some look to any means possible to prove God wrong.
If I had a dollar for every time that both my sin nature and Satan came after me by attacking my identity, I would have retired over half my life ago.
We will never win the battle of identity with the God of this Universe when we are opposed to who we were made to be at our creation.
Any who think otherwise, upon standing face to face with Jesus in the future judgement...will find that everything they have done to themselves will have been reversed. We will only appear before Jesus as He had created us to be. He is the God of Truth. God's Truth is the ONLY ultimate unending unwavering truth.
Even as close as this morning...my identity kept coming under attack. I have people close and those not so close believing they know my identity. I have had employers try to influence my identity. Have had those in the public school system shaping my identity.
When you look at what trouble the people will be in before Jesus returns: the list begins with identity. "they will be lovers of self" or some translations say "lovers of themselves". Satan goes with what works. Creative he is not. He cares not who is in Hell. Just as long as people don't make it to Heaven on God's terms through Jesus Christ alone. It dawned on me the other day...and I've lost track of how many times I've read through the Bible. None of the demons that Jesus cast out were sentenced to Hell. They were cast out and they are still in this world today. Satan indeed lost at the Cross of Christ. Satan could not warp or alter Jesus's identity when He had been in the wilderness for 40 days. Jesus shaped the future of the Church by shaping identity: Be a Disciple - Make Disciples. In regards to the body of Christ: All in Christ Jesus are part of the body of Christ - Identity.
Our santification is to make us more like Christ - a change in identity from 'the old man' or 'old person' into the new one in Christ Jesus.
Many people choose to run off and 'find themselves' with getaway's and vacations. Or to 'try something new' even.
When our identity is wrapped up in the person of Jesus Christ we do not need to look to anyone's approval in this world. Not from our looks, our eating habits, our thinking. We do need to be descipled but not constantly coached. Jesus said the Helper, the Holy Spirit would be within each person who is saved in Christ Jesus. We have all the help we will ever truly need in the power and person of that part of the Godhead. We should not forsake the assembly, as the Scriptures say is the habit of some, we ought to both be learning from each other and to be doing as the Apostles...showing a still better way to live in Christ.
There is no sin more powerful than Jesus. There's no thoughts that cannot be conquered in Christ Jesus. In our microwave society of wanting things faster than we get them we lose sight in the truth that God's timing is not our timing. Trust and obey for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus as the song goes.
The sin of false identity is for some the absolute hardest to deal with. For many suicide is their out when they believe their acceptance isn't going to happen.
The only upardonable sin is to die without having Jesus as your Savior and Lord. No amount of changes to our identity will ever make us equal to the requirement of the Cross of Christ to save a soul. Nobody's advice, nobody's teaching, coaching, or anything, that does not lead towards a true life in Christ is worth anything in light of eternity. We don't need 24/7 on call counselor's or coaches to live life. We need to be surrounded by those who are true Disciples and who walk the talk of praying for others. Truth be told the healthiest of people can fall over dead at any moment because God says their time is up. The most knowledgeable of people, with the highest of IQ's can still fall over dead in a heartbeat because God says their time is up.
Those of us who are in Christ have our identity in who He says we are. He says we are loved by Him. Loved by His Father. Loved by the Spirit. We are forgiven. We are chosen. Not forsaken. I am who He says that I am. Yes those are out of a song. Hillsong "Who You Say I am".
Who the Son sets free...is free indeed. I'm a child of God...Yes I am.
Free at last He has ransomed me. His grace runs deep...while I was a slave to sin Jesus died for me.
I am chosen not forsaken
I am who You say I am
You are for me not against me
I am who You say I am
You are for me not against me
I am who you say I am
There is so much freedom from the identity problem when we go back to that truth: In Christ I am who HE says that I am. My mind, my imagination, the world's demands, the world's ideals, the world's choices DO NOT define me.
If you're reading this and you're confused about who you are.
If you're reading this and have been confused about the battles in your mind.
Only in Christ is there one powerful enough to show you who you are and that you are loved by Him.
You are the reason that Jesus was on the cross.
You are worth everything to Him...that He would leave His perfect Heaven to come to earth to live as He did...was to save even the likes of you.
You are not forsaken. You were not cast away from God. You are a somebody to Him and He loves you.
Oh how these attacks can be relentless. There's a very very big reason why. When we find our identity where it always has been...and we live that out...Satan loses. He's a very very sore loser. Sometimes the greatest of prayers is simple: "Lord! SAVE ME!!" As Peter cried out from the water.
Let today be your first taste of freedom...
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