Knowing Your Identity

In this world we live in, proper identification of who you are is a must.   Picture ID’s are often required in banks, hotels, and other places of business.  Proving who you are is a must to keeping hold of your finances, your job opportunities, and your security.  Knowing who we are and proving who we are is key to stability in all our worldly affairs.

It is even more important in our spiritual world.  Our arch enemy, Satan, is always attempting to bring us down.  He tempts us, tells us lies about ourselves and others around us, and seeks to confuse us as to who we really are.  You see, if we keep our minds concentrated on the truth, that the same Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead is the same Holy Spirit who inhabits our being, then that is cause for Satan and his kingdom to tremble.  We have nothing to fear; Satan does, when we know who we are.

Apostle Paul wrote in Galations 2:20, “My old self has been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.  So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”  When you and I remember our identification in Christ, then we also know from whom comes our power to conquer anything, to stand strong against temptations that would cause us harm, to move in peace when the world is swirling in storms of confusion, and grappling with all manner of madness that we see daily on any news channel.  When we know who we are; that our lives are hidden with Christ in God, then we walk forward in God’s strength.  We reason with God’s wisdom.  We make decisions with God’s guidance.  We hold our heads up courageously, no matter the name calling others may slander us with, all because we know who we are — children of the Most High.  Sons and daughters with a most amazing heavenly inheritance.

When we know who we are, there is no emotional onslaught that we cannot walk through in absolute victory because we know that “with God nothing shall be impossible.”   Luke 1:37.

Therefore, be courageous.  Be victorious.  Know who you are.

An Unlikely Hero

This past Sunday, many churches celebrated Pentecost — the day that Jesus told His followers they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit.  (Acts 1:5)  Jesus told them all in Acts 1:8, “But when the Holy Spirit is come upon you, you will receive power, and will tell people about me everywhere — in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 

But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.  Do you recall Jesus’ disciples?  What a motley crew.  A rough and tough band of fisherman.  These were the ones Jesus chose, to train them up, to take His message of love and hope throughout the world.  If these same men were to enter any type of leadership training program today, they would be shown the door.  They had no skills, no training, and showed no natural abilities of leadership of any kind.

Remember Peter?  Loud mouthed, a bit of a braggart, very opinionated, and when it really counted, He proved himself to be a coward.  He was sorry enough after his cowardly deed; he wept bitterly, but the deed was done.   At this point, Peter was not a shining example of success in Christian living.

Now, let’s get back to the part where Jesus promised that after He returned to His Father in heaven, He would send the Holy Spirit to be their comforter and teacher.  The Holy Spirit would remind them of the things Jesus taught them, and He would empower them to make a difference in the world in the name of Christ.  Even Peter?  I’m happy to say — even Peter.

Peter was used mightily of God.  In fact, just as soon as the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost, it was Peter who led the way out into the streets to share the Good News of Jesus.  I love the verse in Acts 2:14, “Then Peter stepped forward…”  Gone was the former fear.  Cowardice was nowhere to be found within him.  The rest of this chapter in Acts records a most powerful sermon, and it was given by Peter.  How could this be? He was empowered by the Holy Spirit.  What happened?   3000 people came to accept Jesus as their Savior that day.

Before the Holy Spirit took charge of Peter, he was the most unlikely candidate for “Hero of the Faith.”  Do you ever feel that way?  Have you really blown it?  Has the Lord put in your heart to do something, or to share His truth with someone, but you got so scared you backed away?  Like Peter, have you been so sorry you wept bitterly in misery and self loathing?

If that’s you, take heart from the example of Peter.  What a failure he was — before surrendering all of himself to the molding and empowering of the Holy Spirit.  Then — what a success he became, used mightily of God to bring literally thousands into the Kingdom of Heaven.  If God could take a loud mouthed coward like Peter, and turn him into one of the Bible’s greatest success stories — can’t God do the same with you?  After all, He is “the same yesterday, today, and forever.”  Hebrews 13:5

Don’t waste time beating yourself up for failures.  That’s what Satan wants you to do.  Instead,  spend time soaking in the Word of God.  Then, like Peter, step forward in the power of the Holy Spirit.  Turn the impossibilities about your life into everything possible through Jesus Christ.