I see you dressed in white
Every wrong made right
I see a rose in bloom
At the sight of you
Oh, so priceless
Irreplaceable, unmistakable, incomparable
Darling, it's beautiful
I see it all in you
Oh, so priceless
—King and Country
I opened the package that had just been delivered with enthusiasm. I order so much online I often forget what it is I have ordered, or I wonder which item it may be.
This time an adorable accent pillow peaked out at me from the packaging I tore away. With it’s muslin fabric, boldy-stitched saying, soft fringing, and earthy colors, it was definitely my taste and something I would have ordered. Only…I hadn’t.
I sat confused. I was getting older to be sure but didn't think I'd traveled that far down memory-loss lane. I looked at the address on the package. Yes, it was addressed to me. I called my daughter and asked if she had ordered it. It didn’t look like her style, but maybe she had ordered it for a gift. Nope. Dead end.
Then the light bulb went on.
I went to check my credit card bill. It took awhile for me to find it in the overflowing fountain of junk mail and bill payment notices. And sure enough… This was not the only package “I” had ordered. My identity had been stolen. Lucky for me, the novice thief had forgotten to change the delivery address on this particular item. So I made a call to my credit card company and started the process of getting my identity back.
I’m not alone. Last year 15.4 million Americans had their identity stolen. Financial fraud with stolen account information was at a record high to the tune of $16 billion (2017 Identity Fraud Study from Javelin Strategy & Research). And regardless if your identity was stolen, we all pay for it in the form of higher prices and interest rates.
But actually, I believe we have all had our identity stolen. And the effects and reasons are much more insideous.
You see, being an identity thief is not a new concept. We read about the first identity thief in the very beginning chapters of Genesis. In the very beginning of time, the master identity thief was at work.
He [Satan] said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”… “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:1b, 4,5
The first two lies in the world right there: You will not die. Eat what God tells you not to and you will be like Him.
The thing is, they were already made in God’s image according to Genesis 1:26: Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
But they believed the lies. They doubted the relationship and sweet fellowship they had with God, what he wanted for them and what he told them. And they took the bite. They believed what Satan said about them instead of remembering that they actually rule over him like they were told in Genesis 1:26.
Says Robby Dawkins, well-known pastor, speaker and author:
“What happened next? Their eyes were opened and empowerment came? No. Their eyes were opened and joy came? Again, no. Their eyes were opened and clarity came? Not at all. When their eyes were opened, shame came rushing in… In an instant, they went from rulers to slaves. When they followed the unbelief he tossed at them and acted on it, a power transfer occurred. They took on Satan’s position as one who would be ruled, and they gave him their position as one who had power to rule over the earth. Satan has been using that power to destroy humanity and the earth ever since. He became the ruler, and we all became his subjects.”
But praise God this is not the end of the story. God had a plan of restoration for us because of his great love for us.
He has restored our right standing and relationship with himself through his Son Jesus Christ. And God informed Satan as much, right after this incident in Genesis 3:14-15. As Dawkins puts it:
“We gave our identity away so Jesus came to restore that which was lost. He sacrificed to give us his identity. He clothes us in his right standing and covered us in his precious blood. His DNA was given to restore ours.”
We don't have to let shame keep us from God anymore. When we acknowledge Christ’s finished work of the cross and invite Christ to take over our lives, we take back our original identity from Satan, the identity thief (Romans 10:9-11).
Here is a sampling of your real identity dear sister in Christ*:
We and all those around us pay too great a price when we believe the identity thief dear Daughter of God. Next time the Identity Thief whispers in our ear: "you can't have peace," or "you are too stained with sin to be effective for God" or "you will never overcome this addiction" or whatever area Satan likes to hit you with, quote truth out loud of your true identity. Remind him that the Identity Giver is way more powerful that any lies he throws at you, and he is not welcome to steal your identity any more.
*Mostly taken from Identity Verses compiled by www.grovempls.com