Identity Under Attack
It had to have been a glorious experience. As Jesus came out of the water at his baptism, the Spirit descended like a dove and the Father spoke. It’s perhaps the clearest picture of Trinitarian experience we get in scripture. And it was profoundly affirming about Jesus’ identity. “This is my Son, whom I love,” said the Father (Matthew 3:17 niv). God was well pleased.
So what happened next, of course, was a lengthy season of basking in the afterglow, right? Well, not exactly. Jesus was driven by the Spirit into a harsh and haunting wilderness, where he was tempted and tested in isolation for 40 days. And when the tempter came, his first words were anything but random. “If you are the Son of God . . .,” he began (Matthew 4:3). In other words, the first attack was to question the identity that had just been affirmed.
You’ll find that strategy playing out in your life too. God has given you a new identity, but it will be roundly attacked from every side. “If you’re really a new creation . . .” “If you’re truly born of God . . .” “If Jesus really does live within you . . .” And on and on. You know the drill. You’ve probably even succumbed to it at times.
Don’t. Resolutely insist on the identity God gave you in Christ. Refuse to be swayed, distracted, or even questioned. What God has affirmed, let no one even dare try to undermine. You are who you are because he said so. Live in your true, God-given identity as his child, a new creation, a member of a royal priesthood, and more. The Father is well pleased with his children, and no unholy voice can convince him otherwise.
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