Spiritual Identity Theft
(c) Doug Addison
I woke up the day after Christmas after several dreams where I saw the enemy trying to steal people’s destinies. As I prayed about it I heard the words “identity theft.” Oftentimes, things that are happening in the natural realm reflect what is happening in the spiritual realm. The rise of identity theft in the world is symbolic of what is happening spiritually to people all around the world. I saw two covert strategies that Satan is trying to use against people to keep them from seeing, finding, and fulfilling their life purpose and destiny in God.
Strategy 1: Getting us to Believe That we are our Behavior
Bad experiences or painful pasts can negatively affect our present. There are forces of darkness that want us to believe that we are the only ones who suffer with these issues and that it is unchangeable. This is simply not true. Too often our sin and emotional baggage gets linked to what we believe about ourselves. In other words, our personality and identity becomes associated with the things we struggle with. The strategy of the enemy is for us to believe that we actually “are” how we feel or behave, which is not true at all. Satan wants you to believe things like: you “are” depressed, unhappy, worthless, unable to change, stupid, a failure … the list could go on and on. It is important to realize that our feelings and behavior are situational and we can change them—the truth is feelings and behavior are not who we really are. They might be things that we struggle with, but they are not our identity, or who we are in Christ.
This includes the things that you may think about yourself at a deep level. You might not consciously believe them but you find yourself thinking them or saying them about yourself on a regular basis. Most people don’t see that there is a direct connection between the way they view themselves and their destiny.
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he Proverbs 23:7 NKJV.
Strategy 2: Dying too Much to Yourself and Losing Your Passion
Satan wants to steal our identities and take away any hope for change. When he is able to get us to believe the lies about ourselves in Strategy 1, he then uses Bible verses out of context as he did with Jesus to release a second deadly attack against our destinies by getting us to over respond to our sin.
To experience a radically transformed life we must have renewed thinking. It is interesting that while writing about how to find God’s will for your life, the Apostle Paul says that we must first change our thinking by renewing our minds.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God Romans 12:1 NIV.
The process of renewing your mind involves a principle called dying to yourself. There are several verses in the Bible that talk about dying to the sinful nature or “old self” and allowing God to live through us. This is a necessary process for transforming your life. However, it is also a very misunderstood principle. Satan wants to get us to take this to the extreme and believe that we must die to all the heart desires and plans that we have. The truth is, dying to ourselves does not mean that we cannot have any desires or ideas of our own. If that were the case you would become a robot for God. God wants us to be his sons and daughters and to have authority on the earth. God created the earth and we are created in His image. Therefore, we all have the ability to be co-creators to expand His Kingdom on earth.
God wants to give us good things that we want and desire once our motives are right. It is no wonder that so many people don’t know their destiny; it may be because they have died to any desire they may have once had.
Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart Psalm 37:4 NIV.
Dying to yourself means that your heart has the right intentions. Not all of our desires are necessarily from God. Quite often God will give us a passion or strong desire to fulfill something in our lives. Passion is important because it brings about a divinely inspired drive to accomplish things for God.
The Remedy: God’s Good Intentions for You
A really great thing about God is that He sees us as who we are becoming through His love and power. As He looks at our lives, He knows our past, understands our present, and can see us in the future, all at the same time. His love, mercy, and grace are unfathomable. Imagine the possibilities if we could see ourselves the same way that God sees us. Much of the time we are not able to see our purpose and destiny with much clarity, so we are required to rely on faith. The principle of faith allows us to trust that there is something special and unique for us, even if our experiences have been the opposite. Sometimes there is great resistance or even setbacks before we are able to get into the fullness of God’s desires for us.
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1 NIV.
We need to be certain of the fact that God has nothing but good intentions for us, even though we may not see them yet. You’ll see this in this powerful biblical principle:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV.
These are God’s intentions for us. His plans are to prosper us, to give us hope and a future. If you read on, you’ll see the benefits of grasping this.
Then [after you discover God’s plans for you] you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart Jeremiah 29:12–13 NIV.
We must see what God is doing in our lives and work with Him to bring it about. It’s time to take a stand against what Satan has in mind for us and come into line with God’s wonderful intentions for us.
If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; but when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed Proverbs 29:18 The Message.
Our Identity is in Christ
The foundation of my life is this: in Christ, I am a new creation, and all the old thoughts and behaviors no longer have power over me. I am being renewed every day with God’s love and character. I share in God’s divine nature because God’s Spirit lives in me. I am free from condemnation and have the strength to live my life free of despairing thoughts and the competing desires of my flesh. I am God’s workmanship, created to do good works, which God has prepared ahead of time for me to accomplish. I am more than a conqueror through God who loves me. I have a clear mind and can make good decisions. I am increasing daily in faith, strength, wisdom, and love. I am able to love others because God has first loved me.