Unfortunately, identity theft is rampant these days. The motivation behind identity theft is to assume the legal authority to transact business secretly on behalf of the victim for the purpose of personal gain. We go to great lengths to protect our identity from scheming thieves in order to preserve our personal, legal and financial standing.
Are we even aware that the evil one, the father of all lies (John 8:44), has as his main purpose to steal and destroy our identity in Christ (John 10:10)? Do we recognize his tactics and make as much effort efforts to protect our eternal identity in Christ as we do our earthly wealth and right standing?
Enemy Tactic #1. We know ourselves all too well. We remember the sins from our past and recognize the self-centered, self-protecting motivations in the present to keep the knowledge of those sins hidden. (God already knows!) Satan is all too happy to remind us of our sins, heaping on guilt and shame to convince us of our unworthiness before the LORD.
The antidote for this tactic is to agree with God that through Jesus He has separated our sins from us as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12), and in Christ has made us perfect as He is perfect (Matthew 5:48). As we allow the LORD to release His perfect peace into our hearts and memories over anything hurtful that we have done or that was done to us in the past, the fruit of that peace is true freedom from the perceived dishonor of unworthiness (Philippians 4:7).
Enemy Tactic #2. The idol of self and the pride of life blind us from knowing who we are in the Kingdom of God (1 John 2:16). Our culture tells us that we only live once, so we must “make the most of it,” in order to find personal significance and satisfaction. Hence we define ourselves and the perception of our worth by our professional careers, through our kids’ accomplishments, and so many other standards that are not from God. Contemporary media encourages the development of personal platforms to radiate a “glorified persona,” so that the world won’t know the reality of what someone is truly like on the inside. We become convinced that if we don’t look and live like superstars, we have somehow failed at life. Comparison is surely the thief of our joy as we trod the pathway of trying to become something that we were never intended to be, exhausting ourselves in the process. We live out of the fear that if people really knew us, they probably wouldn’t like us very much, always striving to be loved for how we are known by others (Proverbs 29:25).
We break free from the cycle of seeking love and acceptance by others’ opinions of us by agreeing with God that we are His masterpieces, created in Christ for good (Ephesians 2:10), knowing that we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) in God’s image and that is very good (Genesis 1:27 & 31). As we begin to love ourselves—not in a narcissistic, self-aggrandizing way, but by agreeing with God that we are worthy of His love (1 John 4:16)—He can begin to strip away the cultural lies and the self-loathing that we have agreed with for far too long. A true friend is someone who knows our song and can sing it back to us when we forget who we are. Ask God for a friend who will challenge you in loving ways to see yourself as God sees you and to agree to receive His good and perfect love!
Enemy Tactic #3. This third enemy tactic is the most insidious and similar to Tactic #2 because it keeps the focus on ourselves spiritually. It is good to recognize that having accepted Christ, each of us is a child of God (John 1:12), redeemed (Galatians 3:14), heirs to all of His promises (2 Corinthians 1:20), and we get heaven instead of hell when we die (John 3:16). But when salvation and how God can make my life better in the here and now become the primary focus of our faith, we fall short of the fullness of what it means to be “in Christ.”
Becoming saved is just the beginning – the “key to the Kingdom.” God’s Word says that the fullness of His Son (Ephesians 3:19), His immeasurably great power (Ephesians 1:19), and all of Christ’s authority over the devil and every form of darkness (Luke 10:19) belong to those who are His, for the purpose of demonstrating and advancing His Heavenly Kingdom in the earth (John 14:12). His Word also says that as we fix our eyes on Christ, we become transformed into His image (2 Corinthians 3:18), and that we are “like him” in the earth (1 John 4:17).
Only when we know who we are in Christ can we truly act like ourselves. May Jesus Himself cause us to know ourselves seated in Him on His throne (Ephesians 2:6), one with Him and the Father (John 14:20), seeing His eternal perspective on all of life’s circumstances, and exercising the fullness of who we are in Him so that we may indeed see His glory, radiating through us, covering the earth as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14). Let’s invest in God’s identity protection plan for ourselves and others by overtly transacting Kingdom business in such a way that all may understand the good news of who they were created to be in Him!