A Question of Identity
 

    A question can be used as an instrument to inquire, and get information.  It can also be used as a tool to doubt the validity of a thing.  Validity signifies the genuineness of an entity. 

    As we view our lives closely, we will discover that six questions govern our lives.  The question Why? Deals with our God-given purpose; the question When? Deals with divine timing. The question How? Deals with divine strategy. The question Where? Deals with destiny and origin.  Finally, the questions What? and Who? Deal with our identity. 

     In Paul's distress as he fell to the ground on the road to Damascus, he blurted out, "who art thou, Lord?"  In other words, "Lord identify yourself." 

There are four voices that testify about you on this planet: The voice of God, the voice of man, the voice of Satan, and the voice of self.  However, it is the voice that you embrace that eventually becomes your own.  Jesus understood this truth very well. 

  Matthew 16:13 reads:

 "When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of Man am?" Jesus wanted to know what the "word" was on the streets.

     In replying this question in verse 14, they answered, "...some say that thou art John the Baptist: some Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets."  Notice the responses vary.  All of them are based upon human perception.  Even though all of the above responses are positive, none of them measured up to who Jesus really was.  When it comes to us as believers, we are finite.  When judging who we are, man may think of us as inferior or superior. 

 Man speaks about us based on sight.  He may be positive today, negative tomorrow.  Satan is the accuser of the brethren (a veteran liar); he constantly changes based on the occasion. The voice of self apart from God speaks, yet it is never consistent.  God does not change and neither does His view. If we were valuable yesterday, we are valuable for eternity. 

It is important for us to look at Jesus as our example. Why? Because though he was the Son of God, He was the most misunderstood man that ever lived.  Look at what the Pharisees said about Jesus. John 9:16 in the Amplified Bible declares, "Then some of the Pharisees said, This man [Jesus] is not from God, because He does not observe the Sabbath.  But others said, How can a man who is a sinner (a bad man) do such signs and miracles?  So there was a difference of opinion among them." 

The latter part of the above verse in the KJV says, "...And there was a division among them."  The word division here is Schisma (in the Greek language).  It is where we derive the word schism. 

Some concluded He did not come from God because He healed a blind man on the Sabbath. By their statement as quoted above, three issues arise:

1. Origin:  if He is not from God, He must be from the devil. 
2. Identity: if He is not from God, then He is not what He claimed to be. 
3. Destiny:  if He is not what He claimed to be, He is a liar and will not fulfill God's will. 
 

Merriam-Webster defines 'opinion' as, "a belief stronger than impression and less strong than positive knowledge...." 
 

As you can see an opinion is not synonymous with actual knowledge. Practically speaking, an opinion is a persuasion based on apparent knowledge of the subject under discussion (be it a person or a thing). 

In simple terms: an opinion is based on sight and not on divine revelation.  Now imagine defining who you are by somebody else's opinion.  Why let someone who has not fully found himself define you?  John 9:29 in the Amplified sheds light about how convinced the Pharisees were about Jesus' origin and hence His claim to be the Christ: "We know for certain that God spoke with Moses, but as for this Fellow, we know nothing about where He hails from."  They were clueless! By there uncertainty as to Jesus' origin, they expressed uncertainty about His claim to be the Christ.

     When it came to Moses, they had no doubt as to his credibility. Yet, they rejected Moses' creator.  It sounds like human nature doesn't it?  It is an inescapable reality, 'when you walk in the fullness of your God-given identity opinions about you will vary.' Jesus did not let those opinions govern how He saw Himself. John 9:39 reveals, "Then Jesus said, I came into this world for judgment [as a Separator, in order that there may be separation between those who believe on me and those who reject me], to make those who see become blind." 

  Those who "see" here are endowed with natural sight but lack spiritual insight.  This is a vivid picture of most of the world's population.  Yet, God has placed us where we are historically, geographically and culturally for a reason. 

Acts 17:25,26 state,
"Neither is worshipped with man's hands, as though he needed anything, seeing He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
"And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the time before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation."  His intent was that we seek Him.  The Amplified Bible sheds light on verse 26: "And He made from one [common origin, one source, one blood] all nations of men to settle on the face of the earth, having definitely determined [their] allotted periods of time and the fixed boundaries of their habitation (their settlements, lands and abodes)." Verse 28 in the Amplified Bible reads, "For in Him we live and move and have our being...For we are His offspring."

   Note: we originated in Him.  We are not a freak of nature. Consider this, 'our parents know close to nothing about our destiny and who we really are.' 

   Concerning John the Baptist, it is written in Luke 1:15 "For he will be great and distinguished in the sight of the Lord." This means: for the onlooker to perceive this greatness (that is, the significance of John's existence), he or she would have to tap into the mind of God, and see John from God's point of view.  It would literally take illumination to see it. 

Now take a second look at the Pharisees conclusion about Jesus: "...This man [Jesus] is not from God." If all men originated from God why would such a statement be uttered?  The fact of the matter is that, 'since the fall of man, the certainty of the genuineness of a person's identity has been obscured by the deceitfulness of man.' It is not the existence of Jesus that they questioned; it was His alliance with the Father. They did not believe that Jesus got His marching orders from God the Father, hence they perceived Him to be an impostor (an offense of blasphemous proportions).

An impostor is a con artist, a deceiver.  Merriam-Webster defines an impostor as "one that assumes an identity or title not his own in order to deceive." Do not pretend to be who you are not.  Be the best you, you could ever be.  So, if Jesus were not what He claimed to be, He would have been the greatest impostor that ever lived!  History has proven time and time again that Jesus is really who He claimed to be--the Son of God.
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God has a plan for your life. He knew you before you were conceived. So go to God and let Him tell you who you are. The manufacturer can tell you more about the product than anyone else can.

  (The above vision pearl is an excerpt from the book, Uncovering the Hidden Stranger Within). To order this dynamic book: $10.00 plus S/H

 
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Vision For Life Ministries
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