Monthly Archives: March 2012

Stolen Identity

I can’t find my ID. I have looked everywhere.

In my wallet.

In my car.

I’ve called and asked my parents.

I’ve called and asked my friends.

I have even tried to search my heart.

I still can’t find my identity. Would you happen to know where it is? No, not you– I am asking God. I have already made the mistake of seeking such answers from man.

Ephesians 1:3-8 (KJV): 3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:4According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 8Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence.”

I had a conversation with a woman earlier this week. She shared issues going on in her home and in the middle of the conversation I said, “You don’t know who you are. You don’t know who you are in Christ.” She immediately broke down in tears and whispered, “You’re right. I don’t know who I am. I am 37 years old and I don’t know who I am.” My heart goes out this woman. I am 20 years old and I dislike the thought of not yet knowing who I am in Christ and I certainly don’t want to grow a day older not knowing who I am in Him. For so many years this woman had tried to find her identity in her two children, her husband, her financial status, and essentially, in the sin of world. A few seconds later in the conversation she became upset and said,”I am worthless. That’s what I am. I am nothing. I am weak. I have nothing. I am nothing.” Certainly that isn’t true–they are all lies from the pit of Hell that I am all too familiar with. It is difficult because if you know nothing else, the lies of Satan become pathetically believable simply out of desperation to be somebody, to be something.
Satan is a thief on every level you can think of. If he has potential to take lives, don’t you think he has potential to take identities?
John 10:10 (KJV): “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
So again, I know about the lies stated by this woman because I believed them myself. The world will give you the identity as being a whore, worthless, stupid, ugly, shameful, pitiful, useless, broken, weak, rejected, filthy– the list could go on. As children of God, our identities have been stolen from us before being born again. While unsaved, we had no idea of the spirit that was behind the comments of being called the most beautiful, the most handsome, the best at this and the most qualified at that. The deceiving spirit behind these “compliments” condition us to think that the world has much to offer us. When we are consumed by these identities we give the world and ultimately Satan, the authority to adopt, name, and identify us. Some attributes and characteristics are indeed given by God but it is always backwards if we seek our identity in the world opposed to seeking, finding, and receiving our identity in our Lord and Savior. Before salvation we found our identities in worldly things but now that we are adopted into His royal family, our identities must change.
My question has usually been..where do I start with finding my identity? Forget the physical stuff. Forget finding identity in my school. Forget my career. Forget the identity in my last name. Forget my material possessions. What is the identity that will follow me all of the way to Glory?
John 1:12 (KJV): “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”

After we realize that we are so much MORE than any identity the world can give us; it is only natural to want to go deeper. God tells us that we are His children. We are His friend. And if we keep His commandments and submit to the will of God we can be His brother, sister, and mother (Matthew 12:50). Once I received that I was a child of the most high God I wanted to know more. Don’t get me wrong, being His child is more than enough. If God never shared another part of my identity with me–being His child, His friend, or even His servant is enough for me. I just know that God has made us individuals, we are each unique and special to Him. With that, it seemed only natural for me to want to know the special identity He has given me. What makes me…me? We are so special that He knows each hair on our head (Luke 12:7) and He bottles our tears (Psalm 56:8). I can only assume that He has given us an identity in Spirit. I want to know who He made me. I want to know the gift(s) and fruit(s) of the Spirit He has embedded in me. I want to know my position in the Body of Christ. It is not to become prideful. It is not to take credit from His work. No one else has to know, only you and God. Knowing our identities can help us operate the way He wants us to. Knowing our identities can give us a mind to thank Him for loving and caring for us so much that He makes us the apple of His eye (Zechariah 2:8). If you are in the army and you don’t know your position, your duty– you ruin the flow of the rest of the Body. You may not be in the military on Earth but if you’re a follower of Christ, you ought to be a soldier in His army. One identity in Christ is better than a million given by Satan.

I want to drop off my old identity. Can you believe for all of these years I have allowed Satan to tell me who I was?  I am so much more in Him than what I have believed for so many years. When the world tells you to blend in with others, be homogeneous, to be androgynous– God tells us to be a light before men so that we may glorify our Father in Heaven (Matthew 5:16). I have found myself standing as a servant of Christ, in a middle platform, moving from the false identity to the true one. Do I have moments when I wonder if some of the old identity was true? Yes, but does God confirm that a lie is a lie when He outshines it with His truth? Absolutely.

When your false identity in Satan tells you that you are incomplete and that you need someone, something to complete you.

God says: Colossians 2:9-10 (KJV): 9For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.10And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.”

When your false identity in Satan says that you’re so wicked and that you have no choice but to end up in Hell.

God says: Philippians 3:20 (KJV): “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

When your false identity in Satan says that you are nothing and that you have nothing.

God says: Colossians 3:1-4 (KJV): 1If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.3For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.4When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”

When your false identity in Satan tells you that you have no family; you have no friends.

God says: Galatians 4:6-7 (KJV): 6And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.7Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”

When your false identity in Satan tells you that there is always someone better than you; that God could never want YOU.

God says: Galatians 3:26-28 (KJV): 26For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.27For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”

When your false identity in Satan tells you that you cannot produce good or offer anything to God.

God says: John 15:16 (KJV): “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”

When your false identity in Satan tells you that you can’t do anything to become saved–it is true but this is the catch.

God says: Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV): 8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

When your false identity in Satan tells you that you aren’t attractive or smart enough to be married or wanted by someone else.

God says: Revelation 19: 7-9 (KJV):7Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.8And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.9And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.”

I encourage and challenge everyone reading this article to not go another day without knowing their identity in Christ. It is a never-ending process but let us get the ball rolling. No one in this world can give you the true identity that has been assigned to you. We aren’t robots, God knows us individually. We have gifts. We have weaknesses. We have strengths. Satan can and will tell you a lot of lies if you give him the opportunity. Ask God to renew your mind and search your heart so that not even a piece of your old identity remains. We cannot come together with someone or even rush into having children to find our identities because the void will remain. Trust me. Regardless of the avenues you seek, the pain you endure, or the instant gratification you obtain– His identity can only be received from Him and from His throne. This identity can’t be picked up at your school’s student office or at the DMV after you pass your driver’s test. You cannot be more familiar with motherhood than you are with servanthood. Being a father or mother, son or daughter, brother or sister, or friend–can be great gifts from God but it isn’t wise to come before God with a list of identities that doesn’t begin with a true relationship with Him. Prepare intimate time with God and simply ask who you are in Him. We have not because we ask not, as long as we obey (1 John 3:22). Before you push to gain more titles and beg to be given an identity by the world, know your identity in Him. He is all to us.

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Miserably Misunderstood

John 14:27 (KJV): “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

I used to think that I was the most misunderstood person in the world. I began to accept that some people will never understand me and that I should just give up trying to help others understand me. I am unsure where the misunderstanding comes from but in addition to my communication skills not being the strongest, I sometimes have become so frustrated that I have given up. I don’t mean being misunderstood in the sense of an argument or confusion. I simply mean being misunderstood, or not understood at all. There has been times when I have tried to explain something to someone and they just did not get it. I will admit that even in my frustration, I have been guilty of saying ,”Yes, that’s what I mean,” just so the individual would drop the topic. Agreeing to something that I didn’t mean at all. I began to get tired of the moments when I felt so frustrated and anxious about trying to explain something to someone and for them to understand what I was trying to say.  For a little while I decided not to talk about anything but that didn’t work for long because we NEED to share things. The key is just WHO we share them with. In my talking with the Lord about feeling misunderstood, He has shown me that not only am I not always understood by others, but I am not always understood by myself either.

Job 28: 12-13 (KJV): 12But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding? 13Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living.”

Understanding is spiritual. Wisdom is spiritual. We are spiritual.

Hebrews 11:3 (KJV): “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”

All of this makes sense as only God truly understands ALL things. No matter how long we have known someone or how close we are to them–no one will understand us, what we go through, how we feel, or what we experience the way He can and does. Could you imagine if that weren’t the case? So much idolatry would be presented in our lives if our spouses, family, and friends had the mind of God and therefore could understand all things. This brings me comfort, when God reminds me the special things He saves unto Himself. If everyone or anyone on earth understood everything, we would naturally never go to God.

As I walked home yesterday I began talking with God, thanking Him for understanding me. When I try to express something spiritual that I am experiencing and no one understands, He does. When I am struggling with school and no one understands why, He does. When I feel a certain way but can’t understand it enough to put it in words, He does. When I am upset and can’t figure out why, He knows. When I am so joyful and want to scream the Gospel from mountain tops, He understands. When I am nervous and afraid and people think it is foolish, He knows how to make sense of it. When I am unsure and just can’t understand something, He understands it for me. When I am rebellious and disobedient and no one knows the root of it, He knows the root and prepares to pull it out. When I do the things that I don’t want to do and others or myself don’t understand why, He does. I can rest assured knowing that even when I don’t understand, He does. When I am misunderstood on earth, I don’t have to panic. He never leaves us misunderstood in Him.

Last summer I was a teacher’s assistant and I had a student who is extremely bright but who had a difficult time expressing himself and his thoughts. One day he wanted to tell me a joke but he just couldn’t get it out. As I watched this 6-year-old young boy bounce from side to side and nervously twirl his fingers–he burst out in tears. My eyes got bigger because…. I saw myself. Sure, we may think that explaining a joke is no big deal but to this young boy it was. And beyond just joke telling, it can be overwhelming to so desperately want someone to understand but they just don’t seem to be able to. I tried my best to calm the young boy, knowing all too well the feeling he was experiencing. Before we knew it I was able to bridge our language and age barrier and I was able to help him out and as a result, he was able to share his joke. We laughed and laughed and laughed. The joke was cute but our breakthrough was even cuter. He was 6 and I was 19 and we each knew what it felt like to be misunderstood. Although I was able to help him, sometimes things won’t work out that way for us. We must remember that humans are only humans, like you and I.

Regardless if you express yourself effectively or not, some things are to remain for God. I have been misunderstood in many areas, even with consequences coming out in a skewed way, when my intentions had been good. I’ve been misunderstood in the classroom, in friendships, and in conversation–just to name a few. However, at this point the only thing that still sometimes bothers me is being misunderstood in my walk. God does give us help in our Christian walk but no one can ever replace Him. Sometimes I have a spiritual question and before I even ask someone about it I just KNOW that I should take it directly to the Lord. He hasn’t failed me yet. Cry out to Him who has the knowledge to understand all things and all people.

I am learning that it is okay to be misunderstood to and by the world, fore I am always understood in the Father.

Job 26:14 (KJV): “Lo, these are parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him? but the thunder of his power who can understand?”


His Great Love

Ephesians 1:7 (KJV): In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”

Today, as I listened to one stanza of the song posted below, God began to do a mighty work in me. Never lose sight of His promises:

He breaks the power of cancelled sin
He sets the prisoners free
His blood can make the foulest clean
His blood availed for me

Psalm 139: 23-24 (KJV): 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:24And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”


Saturate My Mind

2 Timothy 3:16-17(KJV): 16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

The importance of staying in the Word has been on my heart for these past few weeks. Since being saved I have learned how important it is to constantly renew our mind but I am now seeing that it is more than important, it is vital. The other day I was talking with God and I asked Him, “God, what is my problem? Why do I sin even without temptation?” He had to remind me that even without temptation, my flesh is naturally wicked. Mark 7:21 (KJV): “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders.” It makes perfect sense because if in my natural form I am wicked, I don’t stand a chance in saying no to sin without the leading of His Spirit. Being inconsistent in our reading and studying of the Word makes us a victim to the wickedness of flesh and the perverse nature of Satan. When I first got saved I was always eager to read the Word. I read the Bible each time I got a chance, desperately asking God for deliverance and life. But now that He has started answering my petitions, I must do my job in filling my empty rooms with His Spirit. Matthew 12:44-45 (KJV):43When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.44Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.45Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.”

I read the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation in a matter of months, just because I couldn’t put the book down. Of course we never “finish” reading the Bible, that was only the beginning for me. I thought about reading different verses each day but as much as I have read books, I started with the way I knew how–from the beginning. Genesis 1:1 (KJV): “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” There is no correct way to read the Bible, this is just the approach I decided to take. I read it during meetings, during times of the night that my body begged me to sleep, in the morning before class, when I took breaks between doing homework, and when I found myself surrounded by conversation that seemed too pointless for me to partake in.

Today, a little over a year later, I ask God for that same zeal so that my mind may be saturated in His word.

Matthew 12: 43-45 (KJV): “43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. 44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. 45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.”

You actually read the Bible?

A few weeks ago someone mentioned that Christianity is only the first testament of the Bible. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t feel led to but I certainly wondered what this person was talking about. About a minute later the same lady said to me, “I assume you only read the new testament as well.” I responded, “Nope. I read the old and new.” The woman and everyone else at the table stopped talking and looked at me. Then she asked,”Well why?” So then I said, “It is never a good idea to only read half of a book.” She nodded her head and that was the end of the conversation. Apparently that is a common misconception but that was the first time I had heard of it. As much as I have camped out in libraries and books stores, not once had I ever heard of someone reading only half of a book. That only shows you that there is something special about the Bible. There is life in the Bible—-why else would it be suggested that individuals skip over parts? I told someone a few months ago, “You can’t study Adam and not study Jesus. You can’t study the fall and not study the resurrection.” We must be logical, don’t allow ignorance to skew the perception of our God.

Why the Bible?

A few days later that same woman began to mention how she isn’t sure if she can believe the Bible. Her argument was that the Bible has been “tampered” with too much. I never understood how and why individuals use this as an argument for why they think the Bible is sketchy. My thing is that, we believe every word written in History books that supposedly give us insight into what took place years before even our grandparents were born. Some individuals suggest that our history has been saved and patiently documented regardless of what we hear through the grapevine. If you think the information we receive in our American History books are raw and honest, I am sorry to disappoint you. We all know that our history’s documents are skewed and the most tampered with. So what is the issue again? No one has come back from the dead to tell me about George Washington but in the past the Holy Spirit has given me Scripture to say in prayer that I had never read before, bearing witness of Himself. Not saying that our academic books doesn’t share some of our country’s history with us but I am saying that our books are no match for His book. People think I am crazy when I tell them that I believe everything the Bible says and guess what? I pray that I believe it more and more each day. So when people ask how can I to be sure that what is written in the Bible is true and accurate, my initial answer is…….. I can believe the Bible because I know and trust the Author.
If I was an author and I had written a book but an individual had suspicion that someone was interpreting my book wrong, was tampering with my verbiage, or was misleading my children—- all that individual would have to do is call or email me. It would be a pleasure for me to respond by letting that individual know either yes, the fruit of my book is being presented righteously OR that the pages of my book were being perverted by others. We should have that same relationship with God. I know the Word is truth because the Holy Spirit dwelling within me bears witness. If I am naturally wicked and I have the mind to tell a reader that my book has been tampered with, why wouldn’t He who is Holy do that and much more?
Luke 11:11 (KJV): “If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? of if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?”
A few weeks ago I began to have a strong desire to buy a new Bible, KJV version, and do some heavy studying. So I ordered a new Bible, KJV, with Hebrew and Greek keynotes. I am really excited if you haven’t noticed. I plan to dedicate time each day to read the Word, meditate, and pray with active and genuine fasting. I read the Word but definitely not as much as I should or must—but that is a work in progress, just like everything else. Reading the Word is vital for all of our spiritual growth. We can’t fight Satan in our own name or with our own authority so we certainly need to know His. Nothing I say in my name can be taken seriously in the natural or the spiritual realm (Ephesians 6:10-17). How can we fight in a war of we don’t know our weapons and maybe more importantly, how to effectively use them?

Matthew 4:2 (KJV): “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

 

I wanted to share something else. When I am out of the will of God one of the ways He gets my attention is when I try reading the Word. There has been times when I have tried to read a verse which I have read and understood many times before but at a specific time I suddenly sat there, confused and worried. 1 Corinthians 2:13 (KJV): “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” It takes supernatural wisdom, knowledge, truth, and understanding to understand the Word of God. Not being in alignment with God will certainly hide His truth from us. For those who have a hard time understanding the Bible, you must be making a genuine and fruitful effort to live righteously and without spot or blemish. It is not impossible to understand Scripture but it is an honor to be able to do so. There has been times that I have read a verse—- had a difficult time understanding it—-prayed and asked for understanding—- read the Scripture again and it made perfect and complete sense to me. Also, I want to mention that the way Scripture applies to our life can change as we change. Don’t be surprised.
I usually pray and ask God to lead me to read whatever it is He wants me to read. One time I was reading Esther but my Bible and Bible app kept going back to Job. I took that as God wanting me to read Job as I would wake up at all different times of the night with my Bible open to Job. As I read Job, I was able to extract something still truthful but different from the many times I read it before. God is that amazing! His Word never comes back void. Never. Ever. Romans 15:4 (KJV): “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”

Some of my favorite verses are below. When I first read this passage a year ago I had an understanding that we should eat the Word. Now, don’t go tearing out pages of your Bible and start eating them. I mean that we shouldn’t only read the Bible but we should eat and digest it, so that it becomes part of us. We must take note that the Bible isn’t just a book. It is a way of life.

 

Ezekiel 3:1-4 (KJV): 1Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel.2So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll. 3And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness. 4And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them.”
I want this post to be of encouragement to myself and everyone else who may be reading it. Lets be honest, God knows if you genuinely want to know Him more or if you sit at your desk grudgingly skimming through the pages of the Bible. You will only frustrate yourself more. When reading the Bible you must come with a desire to want to understand more, discern better, and retain abundantly. Our Word is our weapon and never lose sight of that. Without Scripture wrapped in our spirit, hidden in our heart, saturating our mind, and crucifying our flesh–we are doomed. In the natural, if we want to know more about something we read a book about it. If we want to know more about a person we read their autobiography. Why do we rush to read books that explain homeostasis to us? Books that give us an accurate breakdown of the economy? And even books containing pictures and stories about our past, trying to evaluate and validate our identity? Our entire existence is naturally hidden but spiritually revealed on each page of the Bible. Everything you need is in there, whether you are anticipating its truth or not.
I say all of this to say…..
Lord, saturate my mind. You know about every hair on my head. You know about every pore on my body. You know my days numbered on this earth. You know me. Why don’t I know You the way You know me? Why do I sometimes forget the words life You have given me to speak during moments of death? Why do I sometimes unsuccessfully seek for Scriptures of light because I can’t find my way through the discouragement of darkness? Enough. I have had enough. Oh Lord, saturate my mind.

 

Hebrews 4:12 (KJV): “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”