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Identity Theft

Identity Theft
What's In Your Wallet?

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)

There's a TV commercial that is advertising a credit card company that uses the catch line, "What's in your wallet?"  They use it to infer that if you have the right credit card then you'll be safe from all those high interest rates and the ensuing bills that will come your way.  The bigger inference of this commercial is that the bearer of this card is "Identified" as being smarter for using it.

Actually, when you think of it, many of the things in our wallet contain a portion of our "Physical identity." From our social security cards, to our driver's license, to a variety of credit cards, to various other forms of identification that connect us to who we are and what we do, such as club memberships. They can tell a story about us by the things we associate with.

I remember the feeling of losing my wallet before and the anxiety that came upon as a result - it was horrible.  I remember the terrifying thought of someone finding it and possibly taking my identity and using it to do dishonorable things.  I remember the panic that ensued, as I would race to backtrack my steps with hopes of finding it.  The energy and commitment to protect that identity was amazing as the adrenaline coursed through my veins.

We live in a time where we all face the challenge of losing our identity, as "Identity theft" is the crime of our times. So prevalent are these thefts, that billions of dollars are being spent by mainstream America to ensure and protect personal identities as companies have been born overnight to meet this new demand.  

As scary as "Physical" identity theft can be for us, it pales in comparison to another deadly form of theft that can and may happen to every one of us as Christians - and that is "Spiritual" identity theft.

Spiritual identity theft is when Satan and his emissaries successfully lure us away from acting on the convictions of the Holy Spirit and abiding in our beliefs as outlined in God's Word.  This happens because we are tempted in our heart by the lusts, desires, cares and worries of this world. It can happen when we get involved in sports or environmental and political causes.  It can happen when we pursue our careers, or build our homes. It can happen as we go to the gym to condition our bodies.

But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. James 1:14-15 (NKJV)

Spiritual identity theft happens when we set our goals on the things that this world has to offer us and we then place these things at a higher level of priority than the things of God.  When this happens we no longer have our minds fixed on the things of God, but on the things of this world, and as a result our energies and resources are often misused and squandered.

It is when we become so fixated on these various things, or causes, that we forget (temporarily or permanently) who we are in Christ Jesus, or of the promises that have been made to us by God.

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15 (NKJV)

As I think about this, I can't help but draw a parallel as to the effort that we are willing to put into developing and protecting our "Physical identity" verses the effort we are willing to put into developing and protecting our "Spiritual Identity."

We need to remember that as Christians our identity is in Christ and what He has done on the Cross of Calvary.  This is important because it allows us to see the things in this world with a proper perspective.  Understanding that we are children of God and that He has a specific plan for our life should cause us to seek Him daily and to remember that purpose in living is to glorify Him and to share the Gospel message with others.  We need to guard ourselves against thinking that we here to simply enjoy this world, and our physical lives, or to work hard in an effort to obtain the more possessions.

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Mark 8:36 (NKJV)

I don't want you to misunderstand me here.  God doesn't care what kind of car you drive, or what house you live in - He cares about what you think that car means to your identity, and with the place that it holds in your heart.  He doesn't care that you are involved in an environmental, social, or political cause - He cares about whether your participation will keep you from honoring Him in your actions or sharing the more important Gospel message with others.  It's the time effort and resources that we put forth that measure where our heart is truly.

Hey Christian, Has the enemy stolen your real identity?

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn about our spiritual identity and our living for this world by the scriptures contained within this devotional?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: What do people know you by?  What do they associate with your name?  Do they think, "Christ-like" when they hear your name?

APPLICATION: Make a commitment to the Lord today to identify with Him in everything you do.  Represent Him, glorify Him, and share Him with everyone you meet today, and in everything you do today.  Give the best of what you have to Him, and allow Him to truly guide and lead you.

Father, Thank You that I can know that my identity is in You alone.  Help me to remember this when I am tempted to think that it is in something I own, or something I do apart from serving You.  In Jesus precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000