Identity. What does it mean?
We all have one. We’ve all heard of identity theft, right?
Wikipedia says, “It means to assume another person’s private identifying information…to commit fraud or other crimes.” It also says, “The person whose identity has been assumed may suffer adverse consequences…”
But, what is our identity? Who seeks to steal it?
Some may have their identity in their ethnicity, like being Greek, Italian, or an American. Others in their vocations: I’m a doctor, a teacher, or a mom. You may call yourself a Baptist, Pentecostal, Nazarene, or Charismatic and honestly believe that defines who you are.
Maybe your identity is found in being a Republican, Democrat, Conservative or Liberal.
Our pastor has been doing a series on Sexuality and Gender. Many people find their identity in being Gay, Lesbian or a Transgender, among others. Their identity is wrapped up in their sexuality. A young girl I know recently told me about a friend of hers. She is struggling with gender fluidity. According to Gender.wikia.com, this is a gender identity which refers to a gender which varies over time. They may identify as male, female, or neutral on any given day.
Maybe your identity is called Rejected, Abandoned, Angry, or Fear.
Let’s face it, all of us have had or are having an identity crisis of some sort. If you’ve been through Middle school, you probably struggled with your identity in one way or another. It is normal (For a time) to not know who we are or what our purpose is on this Earth.
However, when we come to believe in Yeshua, we are given the most significant identity ever. We become the child of God. That means we are important, we are loved beyond belief, and we matter! Our life has always been important to the Creator even before we knew Him.
In the book of Hebrews, Yeshua is called our Great High Priest because He is a mediator between God and us. He is able to sympathize with our weaknesses because He walked in our shoes and was tempted in every way we are. He became like us to identify with us.
Yeshua gave up His identity so that we can have our identity in Him. In 1 Peter 2:9, Peter calls us a royal priesthood. Why? Because it is our calling to be like Yeshua.
In his book, Cup of Salvation, Rabbi Pesach Wolicki writes about Psalm 114:2: ‘”When God told the people of Israel that they will be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation He was telling them as follows: ‘You have a job to do. You will be the priests of the world. Your mission is to draw everyone on the earth closer to me. In order to continue to carry out that mission, you will need to be holy – to have a distinct and different identity from the rest of the world.'” (bold highlight is mine).
Our identity is NOT of the world. It is of God. We are set apart…that is what it means to be holy. Satan does not want us to have a heavenly identity, but a worldly one. He wants carbon-copies. He wants to steal your God-given individualism and uniqueness.
John 10:10 (ESV) “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
Satan is our identity thief. Remember the definition at the top of this page from Wikipedia? “The person whose identity has been assumed may suffer adverse consequences…”
That is precisely what happens when we let Satan steal or destroy our identity. We suffer! Satan wants to deceive us into thinking that we have no other identity except what we believe about ourselves, which is always changing with our circumstances. This is fluidity.
If a season of our life is fruitful, then we think well of ourselves, but when that changes in some way, our feelings about ourselves change too.
We are so much more than our sexuality. We are much more than the rejection we’ve experienced. We are more than a Baptist or Pentecostal. We are more than what we do for a living.
Satan wants us to believe the worst possible thoughts about ourselves.
However, we can not depend on how we feel. Our feelings lie to us. There is only one truth, that is found in Yeshua and in His Word.
Yeshua is truth. He will tell you the truth about yourself without condemnation. He corrects us in love. He wants to give you identity and purpose. He is our base-line. He is the beginning of our true identity. Our circumstances, whether we fail, succeed, lose, or win, whether we are rich, poor, happy, sad, sick, or healthy, do not change who we are in Yeshua.
You are forever His child. He will forever love you. Come to Him with the struggles of your life. He already knows them and is waiting to help you.
Yeshua came to give us identity and life.