Identity Theft – June 11, 2017

Posted by on Jun 11, 2017 in Sermon |

 

Has anyone here ever been a victim of identity theft? The truth is, everyone here should all raise our hands because, before Christ, our identities were stolen by the devil in the Garden of Eden.

Our identities, both our spiritual and physical, determine:

  • Who we are
  • What we do
  • Who we belong to
  • What belongs to us

For those of you who don’t know, last week, we found out that we were victims of identity theft. A person in Tennessee somehow got hold of one of my debit card, called the bank as us, made transfer from our savings account into our debit account, realized that they transferred it to the wrong card, called and moved it from one debit card to another. Once the debit card they had had the funds they needed in it, they made a nice size jewelry purchase online.

When Olivia found the missing money from the first transaction, she immediately called me to see if I transferred or withdrew any money recently. Upon learning that I had not, she started clicking through all our accounts to find that a large sum of money was moved, not once, but twice and the worst part was that there was a huge jewelry purchase made, just six hours before the Holy Spirit prompted her to log online, for no reason, and checkout account.

Upon assuring Olivia that I didn’t use most of our savings to surprise her with jewelry, we contacted our bank, then the company who the purchase was made from. Luckily, we caught it early enough and got hold of the jewelry store before the order was fulfilled and the director of sales, reversed the order and nothing but our sense of security, was lost.

Needless to say, Olivia and I felt violated when we found out about the theft. After all, both of us are very careful with where we use our cards and how we discard of our sensitive items and yet the criminals in Tennessee somehow acquired my card info, and other sensitive information, and made us victims.

As followers of Jesus Christ, our identities are priceless, and we need to be willing to do whatever it takes to keep it safe. Too often I see believers settle for being victims of identity theft to the devil, easily handing over what Jesus gave back to us, our rightful place as kings and priests of the earth.

Before the fall of man, there was another fall, the fall of Lucifer and one third of every angel ever created out of Heaven. In one swift blow, the angelic beings were throwing out of Heaven, lost their identities and the angels and became the first minions. In Luke 10:18, Jesus said, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” The fall of Lucifer, was a violent one.

Ever since the fall of Lucifer, and the creation of the devil, he and his minions have been trying to regain the influence they had in Heaven through the stealing our identities. You see, the devil is powerless on this planet and being so, needs to partner with people to accomplish his plans and who better to partner with, than with Christians who don’t know who they are and what they can do.

When Adam and Eve were created, they were given full dominion over the earth. However, as you know, a short time after taking rule, the devil stole their identity, when he convinced them, the rightful rulers of earth, to sin, forfeiting their position to the devil.

Making Adam and Eve the first people to sin, to fall, to lose their identities, and to become slaves.

We become slaves to who we are indebted to, on earth and in the spiritual. (Proverbs 22:7) in this instance, the debt could be sin or grace, one is paid for with our life, the other by the life/identity of Christ.

Sin caused man to fall and we remained fallen from the first sin, all the way to the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. During those dark ages, the devil used the authority and identities of Adam and Eve which he stole to spread darkness, death, and destruction over the earth, bringing hell to earth, instead bringing heaven to earth, as we believers are designed to do.

Despite being saved, a lot of us, including me, were and still are victims of identity theft. It is evident of our status of being either a victim or a victor by how we love one another (John 13:35), receive a stranger (Matthew 25:40), or repay an offense (1 Peter 3:9).

For instance, my flesh, sometimes provides my first inclination, wanted to retaliate, call down a little fire, and see them get punished. Although, I believe, they need to be caught to keep others from falling victim, and I believe I have all their information now, I first want them to be saved.

God accomplishes whatever He wants through whoever and whatever He decides. The devil needs you, your identity, your authority, your dominion, and your life to accomplish his plans. He knows we carry more power on our worst day than he does on his best day.

Last week, after my sermon, Tamesha, Olivia, and I went out to La Madeleine for lunch. I noticed that the cashier was missing an arm and upon informing the ladies, Olivia insisted that we offer to pray for her. Which, after being reminded on my last sermon, I agreed and upon praying for her, her countenance completely changed. She lite up the restaurant with her joy as she asked us to pray for her schooling. After praying for her first request, Olivia stepped out in boldness to inquire about how she lost her arm. The girl, gladly shared about the accident she had when she was younger while she was in a different country. Then, Olivia asked if we could pray for a new arm. She agreed and we prayed. No arm grew yet, but we are still believing and expecting a testimony. We all left the restaurant realizing that God just showed that girl, a complete stranger to us, that she mattered, that He knew her, and that He loves her.

I once heard Bill Johnson say, “The only thing better than knowing God, is God knowing you.”

A practice that Olivia and I have, is the practice of calling out people’s true identities. Allowing us to use our God-given authority to speak what we see in the supernatural to the natural.

In the bible, there are many examples of God calling someone’s true identity out:

  • God called Gideon a mighty man of valor, thru an angel, when Gideon was hiding.
  • Jesus called Peter the rock, knowing Peter would deny him.
  • Jesus proclaimed Nathaniel a man with no deceit/guile after Nathaniel asked what good can come from Nazareth.

The world is lost, identities stolen, and no one knows who they really are and what they were created to do.  

It’s our duty, to fully embrace who we are to do what we are called to do. Here are some facts to help you fully grasp your identity.

  1. You were worthy dying for. In fact, Jesus Christ, came and proved it through providing Himself, God’s only son, as a sacrifice for all of us.
  2. You were created to rule. When men were first created, we were given full dominion over the earth (Genesis 1:26). Our dominion was forfeited in the garden but restored at the cross.
  3. You are under a new covenant. Even though Adam and Eve failed… however, we believers are under a new covenant because Jesus Christ succeeded! He not only restored our authority but He gave us His authority, to complete His work and greater! (John 14:12)  
  4. The devil is a liar! The only thing he can do is try to put you in situations to doubt or forget who you are. Luckily, scripture states that we have all fallen short. (Romans 3:23), meaning our identities are no longer ours to forfeit because they are hidden with in Jesus.

Both the enemy and God will use your weakness. The devil will use it to convince you out of your identity, however, God will use your weakness to exalt you and Himself because God promises to make you strong in your weakness.

If you are like me, tired of having your identity stolen by the devil and used to glorify darkness, please stand up and repeat after me.

Devil, shut up and go! I know who I am and will do exactly what I was created to do. I will no longer partner with you in your plots but will allow my actions to show the world who my God is. I am powerful, I have authority, I know who I am, and I am worth the sacrifice! In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Beloved. You are released into your identity in Jesus Christ. Go and let your light shine!

SALVATION:
I never want to end a service without giving an opportunity to for those who do not know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

If this is your first time hearing about Jesus Christ and you want what we have. It is freely yours. Would everyone close your eyes and repeat after me: Lord, my heart yearns for You. I ask You to be my Lord, Savior, and Father today. I ask You to come into my heart, wash me in Your blood, and make me whole. Today, I have received your free gift of salvation and choose You, as my Lord, Savior and Heavenly Father, in Jesus name, amen.