Friday, May 23, 2014

Where is your identity?

I love this definition of identity according to "the state or fact of remaining the same one or ones, as under varying aspects or conditions." 

Let's look at how the Lord describes our identity if we are genuine, born again believers in Christ: 

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." (2 Cor. 5:17)

"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." (1 Peter 2:9)

"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Gal. 2:20)

"For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God." (Col. 3:3)

So let's see here. If you are a believer then you are:
For His own possession, 
Crucified with Christ 
Hidden with Christ in God.

That is your identity. You no longer are your own. You no longer are identified with your past, with the world, with your flesh... You are officially HIS.

How should this affect our day to day life? How does this influence us hour by hour? 

Let's look back at our definition of identity: "the state or fact of remaining the same one or ones, as under varying aspects or conditions." Hmmm, in other words, our state... or our identity in Christ remains the same regardless of the varying aspects or conditions of our lives. That's powerful! That's life changing!

Your identity should be "wrapped up" in Christ. Not in motherhood. Not in your marriage. Not in your occupation. Not in your home. Not in what others say or don't say about you. Your identity is in Christ ALONE.  Now marriage, motherhood, work, your home and people are important and gifts from God but they do not constitute who we are in Christ. If all those things fade or change or waver your identity in Christ doesn't fade, change or waver.

When your identity is wrapped up in who you are in Christ then the way you respond to the various aspects, conditions and circumstances in your life will be vastly different than the way those in the world respond to those same things. When your identity however is wrapped up in the passing things of this world then you will reap the consequences of that.

Fighting with your husband? Having a rough day with the kids? Find out that someone is talking trash about you? Get some bad news? Well, none of that changes the state of your identity. You are still His. You are still hidden in Christ. You are still crucified with Christ. You are still His possession.

Your life will continue to have MANY ups and downs. Don't let your identity be shaped by the ups and downs, let it be continuously shaped by who you are in Him. 

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." (Hebrews 13:8)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Silly Stuff We Say And Think About Satan

"The devil made me do it." "Man, the devil is really after me this week."

We have all heard these at one time or another... and it's silly. The devil most likely did not make you do anything. Most likely, it was you. "each man is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed. Then the lust, when it hath conceived, beareth sin: and the sin, when it is fullgrown, bringeth forth death." James 1:14-15 A lot of the time, we are the problem. We are capable of greater evil then we give ourselves credit for. We are drawn away time and time again by the lusts of our flesh and just like Eve did in the garden, we are tempted to blame the devil (although, let's face it, she has a better case than we do in blaming the devil).

There seem to be many misconceptions of the devil not only in the world but in the church itself. Many think it is their personal goal in life to go around rebuking him. Satan is not omnipresent. He can only be one place at a time. The likelihood that he is bugging you is VERY slim. Yes, He has his demons. But the bible says that He who is in you is greater than he who is against you (1 John. 4:4) and since the devil is the king of the demons and He who is in you is greater than him then we must conclude that He who is in you is greater than his little worker bees too.

I think Satan loves the fear Christians have of him. It's all unnecessary though. God has given us everything we need in His Word and through His divine power to stand against the devil, the evil forces, the world and our flesh (2 Peter 1:3).  Many just don't want to take the time to read what the bible actually says about the devil.

Even if the devil is pursuing you, you don't have to have some fancy-smancy-hocus-pocus-silliness to get him to leave. The bible says to simply RESIST him (James 4:7). Resist him. That's it. Not only does he leave, the bible says he FLEES. That's crazy. He flees from you, doesn't sound too scary to me.

The bible also tells us that the devil has schemes. But have no fear, the Word gives us what we need to combat his schemes too!

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.
  Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to STAND FIRM against the schemes of the devil.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.  Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,  and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;  in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." Ephesians 6:10-17

Again, no "get out there and rebuke the devil and all his nasty schemes". Instead, we are told to put on truth, righteousness, the gospel, faith, salvation and the word of God! 

Don't get caught up in what the world or even well meaning Christians are teaching about the devil. Simply look to the Words of God and be comforted and never forget, greater is He who is in you than he who is against you.