Is your identity secure in Christ?
If we know who we are and whose we are, we can easily quote these words of David:
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well. Psalm 139: 14 NIV
When life hits back hard, when temptations lure, when the situation seems hopeless, when the direction ahead is dark, when hurts overwhelm, when foundations shake, do you know where you can go? We are invited to go to the place where we can be assured of our security and our identity. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. We have purpose in this crazy, uncertain world.
David wrote these words in Psalm 139: 7-12 NIV
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
When darkness descends and temptations taunt, we need the Light. We need to follow our Lord through the wilderness of temptation.
In the Lord’s Prayer we come to this index sentence…
And do not lead us into temptation
We need Jesus to help us navigate through the dark wilderness of temptation. There are dangers everywhere. I bet we can think of any number of threats and vices that can tempt us to walk or to fall away from an intimate relationship with Jesus. How does that happen? Why does it happen? I believe it’s because we don’t know who we are. We don’t know what our passion in life is. We don’t know our purpose. We don’t know our destiny.
Jesus didn’t have these identity or purpose problems.
Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God, got up from supper, and laid aside his garments, and taking a towel, He girded Himself. John 13:1-4 NIV
In this short passage, we see how Jesus embraced His identity, His purpose, and His destiny before His greatest trial on earth was about to come.
He had come forth from God
We need to realize who we are and whose we are and where we come from! This is our identity.
The Father had given all things into His hands
We need to recognize that everything in our lives have been entrusted to us through the grace of God. This is our stewardship of what we have been given.
He loved them to the end.
We need to dedicate ourselves to loving and serving those in our sphere of influence. This is our purpose.
He was going back to God.
We need to know where we’re going at the end of our lives and determine/refine how we want to live out our days. This is our destiny.
If we have these concepts in place in how we live out our lives, when temptations come our way, we won’t be interested in their invitation and we won’t fall prey to their enticement. Temptations come in both internal and external forms. Lust, greed, pride, shame, being a people pleaser, and other sins of the flesh are fanned into a flame when we forget, ignore, or fail to embrace our identity, purpose and destiny. Fame, wealth, performance at all costs, and power appeal to those of us interested in making a good appearance, scoring popularity points or being the big ‘man.’ If our identity is linked to any of these motivations, then when a temptation comes that offers something alluring in regard to them, we accept.
It is critical then, in my mind, that we each know who we are. We need to know…
We belong in Christ.
We are significant in Christ.
We are loved in Christ.
We have purpose in Christ.
We have destiny in Christ.
Jesus overcame every temptation in the desert.
Jesus overcame every temptation and trick that man tried to throw at Him.
Jesus overcame every temptation before his imminent trial and eventual death.
Jesus overcame in every way. He shows us how. It starts with being secure in our own skin and being secure in our position with our Savior and our Heavenly Father.
Please pray with me…
Our Father in Heaven
Hallowed be Your Name
Your kingdom come
Your will be done
On earth as it is in Heaven
Give us today our daily bread
Forgive us our debts
As we forgive our trespassers
And lead us not into temptation