A Thirty Day Devotional adapted from the NEW book: Identity: The Distinctiveness of You – Day 15
Jesus has overcome the world and I am an overcomer. John 16:33
I am partaker of the divine nature of God. II Peter 1:4
One of the biggest tests of our identity is the test of approval from others. We long for positive attention to justify our very existence. But what if it could be different, far different?
Jesus had just been baptized in the Jordan river, filled with the Spirit of God and spoken over by His heavenly Father, calling Him His beloved Son. Jesus knew who His Father was, therefore: knowing who He Himself was. (See John 5:17-48) Almost immediately following this heavenly affirmation comes a repeated test of His identity.
From the Jordan river Jesus is led by the Spirit to the desert, where He will be tested and tempted for forty days by the devil. The first words out of the devil’s mouth were, “If you are the Son of God…” This phrase is repeated several times. We might paraphrase this line of questioning by saying, “So, you think you know who you are, let’s see about that…” or, “If your identity is in the One you say it is, then…”
We now see how important those words were that Jesus’ Father spoke over Him while in the Jordan river during His baptism. He now faced the biggest test of His miraculous abilities, His very life and His very purpose for coming to earth. Jesus passed the tests and in the end told the devil, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: “Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” (See Matthew 4:1-11.)
Jesus would not worship the devil and neither would He be tempted to worship Himself. Can we pass these tests of identity when the evil one lies to us with a similar phrase like, “Who do you think you are?” or “So, you’re claiming your identity in Christ, we’ll see about that.” Tests are just that—a test. They are not necessarily life or death, but if we do not know who we are and our identity is not solidly found within the Father’s love for us, then we most likely will not pass the test of identity.
When we do pass the test of identity we can be assured there will be another test forthcoming. The devil is relentless when it comes to attacking us in this manner. Why? If he can get us to doubt our identity in God’s love and approval, then he can also get us to doubt our salvation, our relationship with God or whether or not we are loved by God.
Peter wrote it this way, “But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into wonderful light.” (I Peter 2:10 NLT)
When you look into the mirror, what do you see? Do you see the one who is not swayed or is not constantly looking for the approval of men, like Jesus? Do you see the one who can pass the tests of identity? If you are just not quite there yet, then let me share with you four revelations that are needed to pass those tests.
As you face tests in life that connect to your identity, rest assured as a son of God, you can pass those tests and overcome the world through His divine nature living within you.
Question for reflection:
Have you considered your need for the approval of certain others and how that affects your security and your identity?
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