Feb 3, 2020, 12:30 PM
If a child should play with a lion’s tail, it is because of a mistaken identity. Most likely the child cannot as yet distinguish between a dog and a lion. Secondly, the lion that does not portray its true identity as the ‘king of the jungle,’ will end up devaluing itself. To get your attention, some people will beckon to you or ‘shhhh’ you because obviously they do not know your name or your status. Sometimes though, people are quick to size you up because of the way you carry yourself. Your looks, your pace, your speech and your attire will either betray or establish who you truly are.
Christians have an identity. The Bible teaches that because we have received Jesus, we are the children of God. “Yet to all who received him (Jesus), to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” (John 1:12) In the Old Testament days, believers were known as the people of the Way – that is, people who were following the way of the Lord. They pointed the way to God, the way everyone should walk in. It was equally known as the true way, meaning there were alternative ways that were false.
When Joshua and his team visited Jericho as spies on a reconnaissance trip they met with Rahab, a prostitute who was willing to help. She could not resist commending the people of the Way. “We have heard how the Lord dried up the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you destroyed completely. When we heard of it, our hearts melted and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.” (Joshua 2:10-11) Rahab was giving all the credit due to Yahweh, the Lord God Almighty – the Lord of the people of the Way. She was acknowledging God’s all-surpassing power.
Many Christians do not know who their God is and what he is able to accomplish, therefore they can consider consulting false gods, charlatans, witch doctors, spirits and false gods – who are blind, deaf, dumb and lame. (Psalm 115:2-8) They have such ‘little faith’ - not even our Lord’s disciples were exempted of such a rebuke about their faith content. Faith is the act of believing without doubting what the word of God says about us and what has been reserved for us as Children of God. Simply put, it is the act of believing that God sent his Son to die a shameful death on the cross at Calvary for our redemption (in order to buy us back) and our salvation (to save us from the consequences of sin). “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.“ (Colossians 1:12)
An awareness of the blessings God has bestowed on us ought to kindle in us a different outlook to life. This will mean that we will carry ourselves bearing in mind our new identity in Christ Jesus. The first step is to get to know that we are the Children of promise (born of Sarah and not of Hagar) and then begin to walk as one. A prince, who is next in line to the throne, is schooled from an early age to know who he is, how to carry himself; he is taught princely manners and speech because his conduct has to be aligned to the office he will hold one day. He has to distinguish himself and not behave like ordinary folks. As children of the promise we are called to an inheritance of blessings through father Abraham and through his seed (Jesus). Certain benefits come with being a child of promise – and we do not have to struggle for it. Thus our identity plays a significant role in shaping our future.
God has given us authority over the devil and the circumstances that surround us, therefore fear should no longer govern our moves: “I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20) “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations...” (Matthew 28:18)
Any uniformed law enforcement agent has authority to stop, arrest or challenge us - not because of his stature per se - but because he is a true representative of the state that has conferred that authority on him. Authority has equally been given to us to dominate this world, to change the circumstances around us as true representatives of our Lord. All authority (and not some) has been given to us to act in his stead. That is how powerful we are. What have we done with that power and authority?
We are scared stiff of Satan and wicked people. We are afraid of our enemies. The bible repeatedly tells us not to fear because “no weapon formed against us shall prosper.” Our number one enemy – Satan - is already a defeated foe. Here is what David said to the giant Goliath: “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (1 Samuel 17:26) Where the whole army of Israel stalled, David put on his true identity as ‘more than a conqueror.’
It is not about what we are able to do or not do, but what Christ has accomplished through his finished work. Take on your new identity in Christ and go in the power of his might!