Our adversary, Satan, launches temptations and obstacles designed to cause us to slip up, trip up or fall flat. He then comes as the accuser with arguments as to why we're no longer good enough or deserving of God's affection.
"Look what you've done!" he torments. "Who do you think you are?"
Who you are. This is precisely what the enemy attempts to put in to question. Scripture reveals that his "imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ" (2 Cor. 10:5). The "knowledge of God" is the truth that God says in His Word. To put it personally, it's the reality about who we each are in Christ: made new (2 Cor. 5:17) and declared righteous (2 Cor. 5:21).
Satan: The Original Identity Thief
As I explore in my book, Silence Satan, the devil is scared stiff of anyone armed with the knowledge of who he or she is in Christ. Satan knows that a man fully convinced about God's love holds himself with a confidence that poses a huge threat to plundering his sham kingdom. He realizes that a woman assured that her past is crucified lives with a boldness that neither he nor his minions can counter.
And so, Satan comes as the great identity thief, seeking to conceal or steal your identity in Christ and replace it with his defeated one. He often does it by insisting, "You'll always be who you always were."
Perhaps you've heard one of these arguments:
- "You were abused by men all of your life; you can't trust any man.
- "You are a victim."
- "Drugs and alcohol will always be a temptation; you can't ever overcome it. You are a junkie."
- "You'll always live with bouts of sadness. You are depressed."
Using situations from the past or feelings from the present, Satan attempts to define who you are. The moment you confess, "I am ___________" (fill in the blank with a negative feeling, symptom or situation), he succeeds.
Like so many, I was a victim of Satan's identity theft long after my salvation. The devil used the effects of rejection in my childhood to create a lens through which I viewed my everyday situations. If I walked into a room and people were laughing in the corner, I instantly became insecure, believing that the people must be laughing at me. I was so accustomed to being laughed at as a child that I expected it to continue as an adult. "I am a reject," I pitifully thought.
For more than a decade, I constantly lived with the tension of, "I'm supposed to be a new person in Christ, yet I still feel like the old me." Thankfully, God heard my cries. Nearly 13 years after my salvation experience, in the climax of a profound revelation at Christ's cross, He revealed to me the key to finally end the tension and the torment—to finally identify with my newness in Christ.
The key? I had to "put on Christ."
Putting on Christ
At my salvation at 16 years old, I came to the cross and confessed my sins. With this, I certainly was forgiven and my record of wrongs was erased. But God showed me that forgiveness of sin is only half the significance of the cross.
I saw that during the events of crucifixion, Jesus was disrobed. Yes, He hung on the cross naked. Scripture informs that His robe laid at the foot of the cross where the soldiers cast lots for it (John 19:23).
This robe that the soldiers celebrated as a trophy to their "accomplishment" that day actually represented Jesus' identity—His perfection and righteousness. This is what Isaiah prophesied: "He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness" (Is. 61:10).
Through this, God revealed to me that Jesus' robe of righteousness still lies at the foot of the cross for whoever will go there to pick it up and put it on. The meaning of this is profound! Jesus takes our old identities of sin and offers us His identity of sinlessness. This is the second half of the significance of the cross. And this is the part of God's salvation transaction that I had to go back to receive and "put on." But when I did, I heard God declare me righteous (2 Cor 5:21). "It is finished!" He assured.
An Identity No Devil Can Accuse
Perhaps you too need to return to the cross to put on Jesus' identity. Why don't you do this now? It's simple. Envision yourself at Calvary; not an inch of you is untouched by Jesus' blood. Now declare this aloud: "I clothe myself in You, Jesus. I put on Your righteousness."
Hear Jesus reply, "It is finished!" Slavery to sin is finished. Guilt and shame are finished. The question of "Does God love me?" is finished.
God wants you to know this: You are not your past, your feelings or what anyone has ever spoken about you. His Word is your reality. And covered in Christ, He declares that you are spotless, clean, pure, holy and righteous. This is incredible! To God, you look like Jesus because you're covered in Jesus. Yes, you have an identity that no devil can accuse, because it's not about you, but about Him in whom Satan can find no fault.
Here's a new "I am" to confess: "I am the righteousness of God in Christ!"
For the rest of Kyle's message, watch this video:
Kyle Winkler equips people to live in victory. His mobile app, Shut Up, Devil!, is the No. 1 spiritual warfare app; and his recent book, Silence Satan, has helped thousands shut down the enemy's attacks, threats, lies and accusations. Kyle holds a Master of Divinity in biblical studies from Regent University. Get daily encouragement from Kyle on Facebook and Twitter.
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