Identity Definition: (noun) The fact of being who or what a person or thing is (thanks Google).
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 (The Passion Translation): For although we live in the natural realm, we don’t wage a military campaign employing human weapons, using manipulation to achieve our aims. Instead, our spiritual weapons are energized with divine power to effectively dismantle the defenses behind which people hide. 5 We can demolish every deceptive fantasy that opposes God and break through every arrogant attitude that is raised up in defiance of the true knowledge of God. We capture, like prisoners of war, every thought and insist that it bow in obedience to the Anointed One. 6 Since we are armed with such dynamic weaponry, we stand ready to punish any trace of rebellion, as soon as you choose complete obedience.
What does identity have to do with this dynamic weaponry?
The identity of a Christian is perhaps the most attacked thing in a Christian’s life, apart from time in the Secret Place. And again, the Secret Place is where we remember and learn our identity, thus our need for this dynamic weaponry that Paul speaks of in 2 Corinthians.
Ephesians 6 also talks about the armor of God, which is not just reserved for a cute children’s Sunday School art project. The armor of God is to protect our identity in Christ!
My good friend Pastor Tony Thompson says that the devil tries to steal a person’s identity in three ways:
1). Through the temptation of performance.
2). Through power and possessions.
3). Through fear of man.
I would even go as far as to add a fourth way, and that’s
4). Through discouragement while waiting on unfulfilled promises.
Identity must be important if it’s always under attack.
Before Jesus even went into the wilderness, God instilled identity into Him (“This is my Son, in Whom I am well pleased…” – Luke 3:22).
How ironic that in Luke chapter 4 when Jesus is tempted in the wilderness, the first thing the devil attacks is this very identity: “The devil said to Him, ‘if you are the Son of God, turn this stone into bread'” (Luke 4:3).
If You truly are who You are…then perform for it….
But Jesus knew His identity, and used the truth as a dynamic weapon: ” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone’” (Luke 4:4).
The devil then tried attacking Jesus’ identity through the temptation of possessions. “And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours” (Luke 4:5-7). But, of course once again, Jesus used scripture as a sword to overcome the devil’s lies. Jesus knew Who He was and the authority that He carried, therefore showing Him what He could potentially gain was useless.
The last temptation that is recorded in the wilderness is from Luke 4:9-12 when the devil tries to bully Jesus and tells Him to throw Himself down and let His angels care for Him. And once again, Jesus knows His identity well enough to give the devil the pushback needed, not falling into fear or the desire to show off.
My point is, Jesus KNEW His identity. And it was a weapon.
I feel that the same is true for those who may feel discouraged. When discouragement comes, it’s so easy to begin to forget your identity. This is perhaps when we have to fight the hardest, when those dynamic weapons of warfare must be pulled out.
We can demolish every deceptive fantasy that opposes God and break through every arrogant attitude that is raised up in defiance of the true knowledge of God. We capture, like prisoners of war, every thought and insist that it bow in obedience to the Anointed One. – 2 Corinthians 10:5
Anything that raises itself up in defiance of the true knowledge of God CAN and MUST be captured and brought low. As one who is crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20), who has been made a new creation and the very righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17-21), and as one who is indeed a partaker of Christ’s divine nature (2 Peter 1:4), this also refers to the true knowledge of YOU. 1 John 4:17 says that as Jesus is so are we in this world, therefore every deceptive fantasy that tries to come and tell us that we are less than what God says we are is a LIE and needs to be captured and brought low in obedience to Jesus!
Knowing not just who you are but also what Jesus truly did for you is the best and most dynamic weapon you have. Knowing it, and then reciting it back to the devil when he comes to tempt you, is powerful. Clinging to it with all your heart and mind when you feel discouraged is imperative.
You have also been given heavenly armor to protect you (Ephesians 6), so begin to ask Holy Spirit how to use what He’s given you to protect who you are.
A dynamic identity calls for dynamic weaponry.
When you have Jesus, that makes you the most important recipient of the most powerful and victorious weaponry.
~ Mandy Woodhouse