We have all had that sinking feeling. You get a message from your bank about a strange charge. Your assistant asks for documentation for the purchase instruction you just authorized. A friend responds to an email that you never sent. It’s gut-wrenching when you realize that your identity has been stolen or used by someone else. Even if nothing actually clears, we feel violated, used, manipulated, or vulnerable.
Years ago, I had a friendship go sour when he was convinced that I had betrayed a mutual friend. No one else believed it and I denied it consistently. But no matter how many times I said, “It never happened,” I was presumed guilty. “Does that sound like me?” I asked. “Have you seen any other behavior remotely like that?” I pled. In the end, I had a very tough decision. I knew the truth, I had stated the truth, and I refused to give up on that truth, and I still lost a friend.
Every day, Satan is working to steal our identity, steal our joy, cloud the truth. Sometimes it’s through enhancing our guilt. Sometimes it’s through slandering God. Sometimes, it’s through false accusations of us. Jesus called him “the father of lies” for a reason. Even when we KNOW the truth, we can feel the sting of shame or guilt or doubt or worry because we are bombarded by his lies. And the only way we defeat that is that we CLING to the TRUTH.
“I trusted Jesus with my whole life–and He pronounced me forgiven and clean. I still trust Jesus with my whole life. And nothing can snatch me from His hand. In His sight, I am freely forgiven, holy, without blemish and even free from accusation. IN CHRIST, I am whole, welcomed, adopted, and empowered.” That is the truth about a believer.
When the call came today about an imposter using my identity, I asked the familiar question, “Does that even sound like me, the me you KNOW, the me that has clear and consistent habits?” And because it didn’t, the imposter was exposed, and his power dissolved.
Friends, we cannot let the evil one steal our TRUE identity as God’s kids. Satan can’t do it in eternity, but he sometimes accomplishes it in our own minds and hearts. But to do so requires something which we alone can do:
We choose to LET him do it.
That’s why Paul and Peter and James and John urge us throughout the Christian Scriptures to hold fast or cling to the truth. The truth sets you free from the theft, from the lies. Sitting across from my friend all those years ago, I knew he believed a lie, but no matter how many different ways he would ask or accuse, I knew the truth and the story would never change.
No matter how many ways Satan attempts to accuse, diminish, or devalue, the TRUTH is still the TRUTH. Jesus died for my sin. I can’t change that fact of history. I made a choice to trust Him years ago. I can’t change that fact of history. I still trust Him. I can’t change that fact of history. No matter how many times or ways the evil one tries, he cannot change history. Neither my identity nor yours can be stolen unless we let him do it!