Have you or someone you know been the object of identity theft? I don't personally know anyone who it has happened to, but I imagine it has got to be more than frustrating, totally inconvenient, and extremely violating! The audacity of someone else, a total stranger, using your name and personal information to do whatever it is they do with it...and often you don't know until some big purchase is made or your name is linked to something slanderous.Well, guess what?! The bible says, "The enemy comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10
The first word is steal. Here's what Merriam-Webster defines it as:
1: to take the property of another wrongfully and especially as a habitual or regular practice
2: to come or go secretly, unobtrusively, gradually, or unexpectedly
1 a: to take or appropriate without right or leave and with intent to keep or make use of wrongfully b: to take away by force or unjust means stolen our liberty c: to take surreptitiously or without permission steal a kiss d: to appropriate to oneself or beyond one's proper share : make oneself the focus of steal the show
2 a: to move, convey, or introduce secretly : smuggle b: to accomplish in a concealed or unobserved manner steal a visit
3 a: to seize, gain, or win by trickery, skill, or daring
The next word is kill. Here's the definition:
1 a: to deprive of life : cause the death of
2 a: to put an end to kill competition b: defeat, veto killed the amendment c: to mark for omission ; also delete d: annihilate or destroy to kill an enemy
3 a: to destroy the vital or essential quality of killed the pain with drugs b: to cause to stop kill the motor
6 a: to cause extreme pain to b: to tire almost to the point of collapse
The final word is destroy. Here's that definition:
1: to ruin the structure, organic existence, or condition of destroyed the files ; also: to ruin as if by tearing to shreds destroyed
2 a: to put out of existence
As far as our identity goes, in this sense, I have had my identity stolen. I've even allowed it to happen. I believed the lies of the enemy that I should act, look, perform a certain way. I bought into thinking that what I do defines me. I had actually aligned my thinking with the way the world thinks and conformed to its opinion of me. Many of us have. We have tried to make names for ourselves. We even revel in the roles we play: wife, mother, daughter, friend, employee, employer, etc. The problem with that is when we move from Jesus as Savior to inviting Him into our lives as Lord, our identity then lies in Him, not ourselves. We become children of God. His daughter or son. We are forgiven. We are free. We often try to hold onto who we are, what we want, who we have made ourselves to be, what we do.
Last week the Lord spoke to my heart in a pretty powerful way. My heart was heavy for many different friends going through hard times and as I was praying for them, God had me write this down. He then said, "The message is never only for the recipient but for the messenger and for My body." As a result, I am going to share it here. He did not share it to condemn us but to draw us closer to Him. To expose the enemy's tactics and schemes in our lives. To bring light where we have welcomed darkness.
Somehow you’ve made ‘all this’…’your life’…’this trial’ all about you. When you gave your life to Me, it became My life. Do not be surprised that any of this is happening to you, as if you are a victim. You are right that under pressure true character is revealed. Yours is being revealed, layer by layer, who you have made yourself to be. Once we are done playing your game, I’d like to show you how to truly live. Any time one of My children is tested, I do not take pleasure in it. Don’t you think that I would have preferred you to have listened to Me long ago when I’ve gently nudged you to discern between right and wrong, plenty and excess, contentment and greed? But, as all of My children, you have shown Me your independence. When will you stop, rest at My feet, and know that You will only be prosperous when your full dependence is on Me? And what is prosperity (success, recognition)? It is your god! You have willingly removed Me from My rightful throne…your heart. This is why you are faltering. And in the midst of this trial you are slandering My name. I am the God of the Universe! No one may use my name in vain…for your own advantage. Do not say you love My son and carry on as you do! I love you more than you can even comprehend! I love the family (and friends) I have given you more than you ever will! You are broken. I am your only Healer. If you care what other people really thought than you would be more concerned that in this trial you have run from Me rather than to Me. The enemy of your heart only intends destruction for My children. I have come so that you would have full life and peace. So as people see you in this trial they aren’t seeing My name because you won’t run to Me. They see a person who cares more about their own name than the Name that is above every name. My name. I am. I am the One who has promised never to leave you. Everything else, as you have seen, is temporary. Come to Me.
Believe me, I've been on my face about it since He put it on my heart and I will continue to do so. All of it may be for you, or just parts of it, but know that God never commits identity theft. With us and Him it's a willing transfer. With satan, he'll do anything to destroy who we are in Christ and the life to which God has called us. Has he stolen yours?