I don’t usually procrastinate when it comes to taxes, but this year I knew I owed money to the State of New Jersey, so yesterday morning I finished up my 2014 taxes through an online tax program and prepared to file my return. To my surprise, when I pressed the e-file button, I got an error message that said, “Your federal return has been rejected because the IRS has already received a return with this Social Security number”. Thinking this must have been a mistake, I used the feature of the online program that allowed me to look at the status of my return. My surprise turned to horror as I read the words, “Your return was filed and accepted by the IRS on April 7, 2015 and your refund has been paid to you via pre-paid debit card.”
After a multi-hour wait on the help line with the tax software company I learned that I indeed had been a victim of identity theft. Not only had I been a victim but millions of people across the country had been victims as well. Thus began the process of learning about all the hoops you have to jump through to recover after your identity has been stolen and figuring out how to straighten out this mess.
As I was working through this situation, my mind turned to what we have been studying at our Pulse Group at Alive Again. Right now the focus of our attention is to have our minds transformed by the truth of “who I am in Christ”. It’s all about our identity and this focus has birthed a mini spiritual revival in my heart. Here is a list of a few of the many statements the Word of God makes about my identity in Christ.
The Word of God Says in Jesus Christ…
- I am God’s child (John 1:12)
- I have been justified (Romans 5:1)
- I am Christ’s friend (John 15:15)
- I belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:20)
- I am assured all things work together for good (Romans 8:28)
- I have been established, anointed and sealed by God (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)
- I am confident that God will perfect the work He has begun in me (Philippians 1:6)
- I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7)
- I am blessed in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3)
- God’s power works through me (Ephesians 3:7)
- I can be humble, gentle, patient and lovingly tolerant of others (Ephesians 4:2)
- I am not alone (Hebrews 13:5)
- I am not in want (Philippians 4:19)
- I possess the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16)
- I am victorious (I John 5:4)
- My heart and mind is protected with God’s peace (Philippians 4:7)
- I am chosen and dearly loved (Colossians 3:12)
- I am more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37)
- I am overcoming (I John 4:4)
- I am protected (John 10:28)
One of the wonderful blessings of new life in Christ is that when we are born again, Christ gives us a new identity that is not rooted in our past sin or failures or in words of hurt and criticism that have been spoken against us, but that is rooted in Christ. As we are transformed in our mind by grabbing hold of this new identity we are set free to worship and glorify God and to do mighty things in His name.
The Bible says that “the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy”. Our enemy, the devil, is that thief and one of the things he wants to steal is our identity. The devil is an identity thief. I want to urge you today to learn all you can about who you are in Christ. Grab hold of who God says you are, be transformed by it, and because the enemy cannot steal what God is causing you to become. In Christ we can never be a victim of spiritual identity theft.