Sunday, May 04, 2008

Stop Identity Theft

Loss of one's identity is tragic enough, but it is even worse when it is willfully surrendered. When we fail to appreciate who we are, like Esau, we casually exchange that which is of great value for a few slurps of bean soup. Forsaking the mansion, we choose the pig pen. Instead of living like an heir to the throne, we prefer life as a pauper. Call it amnesia, spiritual Alzheimer's, or even intentional forgetfulness - same difference. Our identity crisis causes us to forfeit treasure for a measly temporary counterfeit. What are we thinking, and why does this happen?

Paul warns about misunderstanding our God-given identity. "What, know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price." That which was "dead in trespasses and sins has been made alive." The heart of stone has been replaced with the implanted nature of Christ. Heavenly treasure has been deposited into earthen vessels. We were "chosen in Him from the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love." Why then would we ever consider returning to roam in the grave yard?

Peter also tells us why we seem to forget our identity. "He that lacks these things - faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, charity (each a gift from God) - is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins." So our blindness is caused by our neglect of the One who has chosen to redeem and conform us to Himself. His work has not changed, but we have turned the blind eye to all that He is doing on our behalf.

Forgetting who we are is the all-to-effective distraction of an enemy who is intent on robbing us of our identity and perspective. The thief only enters, however, when there is no guard on duty. Fortunately Christ is the Protector and Shepherd of our souls who is able to keep that which is committed unto Him against that day. The good work which He has begun in us, He has also promised to finish, and will present us faultless before His throne. We couldn't be in better hands.