I’m grateful to a friend (Antony Mark Brown) for the title of and ideas for this post. Identity theft is the deliberate use of someone else’s identity, usually as a method to gain a financial advantage or obtain credit and other benefits in the other person’s name, and perhaps to the other person’s disadvantage or loss. It occurs when someone uses another’s personally identifying information (such as their name and bank details) without their permission to commit fraud or other crimes. It can be difficult to prove that you have not made the purchases, for example, since the things which identify you have been stolen from you and this can leave you in a vulnerable position.
In John 10, Jesus said that ‘the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy‘ (John 10:10). We have an enemy, the devil, who seeks to steal our identity in Christ. He seeks to accuse us (Rev 12:10 calls him ‘the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night‘) and to condemn us, to sow doubt and fear into our lives. If he can do this succesfully, then our lives are negatively impacted and our witness is impaired.
We need to ensure that we know who we are in Christ. Matthew West’s powerful song ‘Hello, my name is…’ reminds us that we don’t have to be defined by regret, shame, guilt or condemnation if we know our true identity in Him:
‘Hello, my name is child of the one true king.
I’ve been saved, I’ve been changed, and I have been set free.
Amazing grace is the song I sing,
Hello, my name is child of the one true king.’ (‘Hello, My Name is…’, Matthew West)
In John 13, when Jesus washed His disciples’ feet, we read, ‘Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.’ (John 13:3-4) Secure in His identity as God’s Son, sure of who He was, Jesus could humble Himself to wash feet, the lowliest of tasks. Paul echoes those thoughts in Philippians 2:1-11, how Jesus, being in very nature God, could freely humble Himself to take on human flesh and even face the indignity and humiliation of the cross. When we are sure of our identity, we have nothing to prove and can live lives of service to God.
So don’t allow the enemy to steal your identity as a child of God, but know that Jesus has done everything necessary to give us this new identity!