Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Who Stole Your Identity? {Part One}

One of the first verses I remember learning as a little girl was in the book of Psalms. I remember the day in school, probably about 1st grade, that we we told to draw a self portrait. Once we completed that picture we were to write this.

"For you formed my inward parts; you covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are your works, my soul knows full well."
Psalm 139:13-14

That verse along with knowing that when God created man He said he was "very good" gave me a great understanding of the character of God. Even though I was only about 6 years old these verses told me that God loved me and knew me. That I was special, unique and created in His image. As I got older I learn about sin and the enemy. How the devil seeks to destroy what God has created. How he tempts you to take you off the path of relationship with God. So like any good parents do I was taught to make good choices. Choices that would keep me in the good and prosperous plan that God had for me. Choices that steered clear of the lies and deception of the enemy. My parents taught me that we were born into battle between God and the devil. That we were created as a vessel that was to be filled with God. When we don't the devil will chip away at your vessel till it breaks.

"If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you don't do well sin is crouching at the door; and it's desire is for you, but you must rule over it." Genesis 4:6

This gave me a real sense of responsibility. It gave me an understanding that my choices on a day to day basis had an effect in the spirit realm. My choices would either glorify God or give way to the temptation of the devil. Remember in the garden we didn't just sin. We were tempted and deceived by the devil to sin. If the serpent wasn't there would we still have disobeyed? I don't think so. But God knowing the will and the character of the devil set boundaries to protect us. I learned to do the same in my own life.

"Do not remove the ancient boundary with your forefathers have set." Proverbs 22:28

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commands that I give you today are to be upon your hearts." Deuteronomy 6:4-6

I also learned to quickly repent when I had made a mistake. To take responsibility for my choice and get back on the right path. There was no "the devil made me do it" or "that was just my sinful nature acting up" in our house! If I ever said anything like that my dad would sit me down and say "No, Cherie that is not who you are or who you were created to be. You are a child of God in His image so act like it!" He would go on to say "Don't glorify the devil to say he has that much power over you. 'Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world' anything other than that is a lie from the pit of hell!" Ahhhh...I can hear those words as if it were yesterday, not 30 years ago. Maybe it is because I am now using those same word with my 6 year old daughter. A strong foundation is not easily broken. Boy was I glad about that. Years later the rebellion of the teenager began to brew. The foundation my parents had instilled in me was to be a saving grace.

What is sin? The Hebrew word for sin means to wander from the way. In other words you believe the lie of the enemy and turn from God. When we repent, we acknowledge the above and take responsibility then turn to God. The Hebrew word for repent means regret. It also means comfort oneself or God's comfort. Now if you do not repent for a sin right away and just heap sin upon sin something different happens. The desire that you had to repent lessens. You sink deeper into the lies and deception of the enemy. You begin to forget who God created you to be and you still refuse to be comforted. Now you have wandered so far from the right path you have lost your identity all together. Not only is your vessel empty of God it is smashed by the bondage of the devil. You are lost, broken and in total despair.

Now a few things to point out here. Bondage and oppression is brought on by the relentless chipping away of the enemy. It is solidified by the choice of the person not to turn around. What often times happens is that the oppressed take on the identity of the oppressor. The person is not only in bondage the are putting others in bondage as well. Let's look at the old testament for examples of this.

Here you have a group of somewhat righteous people that God often refers to as virgin Israel. So God warns virgin Israel not to be deceived by foreign gods {the devil} but to keep their eyes on their first love God. But virgin Israel was deceived and forgot their fist love. The begin to act as an adulteress and their hearts deteriorate to that of a prostitute. See the progression?

"It {wisdom} will save you from the adulteress, from the wayward wife with all her words which flatter, who has left the partner of her youth." Proverbs 2:16

"Why will my son be ravished by an adulteress? Why embrace the bosom of a foreign woman?" Proverbs 5:20

"They became prostitutes in Egypt, engaging in prostitution from their youth. In that land their breasts were fondled and their virgin bosom caressed." Ezekiel 23:3

The Hebrew word for virgin when referring to Israel means pure, unblemished. Another interesting note. The English words ravish, rape and rob come from the same root word meaning to carry off. Rapture is in the same family. In french rape' means the refuse of grapes after the extraction of the juice in wine making. The oppressive rule of the Egyptians in the bible is described with the Hebrew word radah. This word means to tread as in a wine press. Can you tell I love word etymology? Really though where am I going with all this?

God created man good and in His image. It was a combination of the ravishing of the devil and personal choice to lead him away from God. The relentless attack of the enemy can lead a sinful person into bondage. The point being no one started out that way. No one is born a prostitute. Prostitutes or porn stars are usually people that have been abused, lost their identity and lead a broken life. The same was true of the Israelites when they turned from God. This grieved the heart of God to see the crown of his creation, man, to act so wickedly. Meaning they were not functioning in the way they were created; for good purpose and relationship with God.

In the Hebrew there really is no word for wicked or evil. Anytime you see either one of those words in the bible they are a translation of the Hebrew word 'ra. 'Ra simply means bad. It is my understanding that the ancient Hebrews didn't think in terms of good and evil but more along the lines of functional and dysfunctional. Good is functioning properly; how you were created. What does dysfunctional mean? Impaired or abnormal function. Can you see the difference? Sin and bondage to sin is not because you are evil. It is because you are broken. This breaks the heart of God who crated you whole.

"Let my eyes overflow with tears night and day without ceasing. For my virgin daughter-my people-have suffered a grievous wound, a crushing blow." Jeremiah 14:17

Click here for Part Two of this blog.

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