Proverbs 12:19 The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.
Artists work with different paints and mediums to reveal the mysteries of light. They try to obscure darkness with light and contrast, hoping they create a masterpiece, or works of art that seduce our hearts and minds to express hidden emotion and unknown feelings. This is one of the things God is trying to do with man on earth; obscure darkness with His light so that we can walk in the light. 1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
Adam and Eve were put in the garden to work it and to be artists expressing their hearts and living a good life with a loving God. Gen. 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. God was the creator of this garden but man was given free artistic license to display, expand and enjoy the garden. Then the devil came along and started telling these creative beings who they are and what they want, and we have been looking for an identity ever since. Gen. 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
Satan has been stealing people's identity through boldface lying from time and memorial. Remember, the lying devil is also a thief. John 10:10a The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. The enemy of our soul is trying to keep us in the dark as to who we are in Christ and what we have in His name. John 10:10b I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Why does the devil work full-time trying to destroy our identity? We are unique and supreme beings made in the image of the most high, powerful and mighty God that ever was and will be. The devil is frightened of each one of us to a point of absolute eternal despair.
The embarrassments, shame, self-hatred and disgust we often feel is the devil's attempt to get us to digest this sickening liqueur, but all this detritus will be pointed at him come judgment day. Rev. 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. What a day that will be to see the Lord bring true justice and punishment upon the one who actually deserves it. Then God will wash away every tear we have ever shed in shame and the joy of the Lord will be our portion.
Identity in ministry can become a form of idolatry. A few years ago I was wrestling with all the labels that had been put on me throughout my time as a Christian and minister. The Christian community said I was a teacher, pastor, minister, helper, father in the house of God, board member, elder, counselor, leader and on and on it went. I like to think I am just a renaissance man. However, I had become disillusioned with a lot of what was going on in the church.
Rather than curse the darkness and lose my identity to some alternative lie the devil was offering me, I did something drastic. No, I did not leave the church. God has planted me in the church to be a blessing to His body. What I did was begin to pray in earnest. I know, what a concept for a Christian to believe in. Phil. 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
I was in my office looking at the walls with plaques given to me in gratitude for teaching Bible college and being in Christian service. There were dusty framed parchments that said I was an ordained minister in Australia and Canada. I got up and took every plaque and set of praying hands down and threw them into the rubbish. I took every diploma, pastor's papers, college marks and records and shredded them all.
I gathered every essay and paper I had ever written from Bible college to Bible college teacher and threw them into the recycling bin. I chucked out every sermon on cassette I had ever preached and the notes that went with these sermons were destroyed. I took all my Christian library textbooks, encyclopedias, dictionaries and commentaries that I had not gleaned anything from in the previous year and gave them to a pastor down the street.
I went through my filing cabinets looking for anything remotely ministry-related that I had been a part of and filled the recycling bin to the brim with my so-called identity. Once done I could not find any proof in my office or home that said I had ever been to bible college or had been a pastor, Bible college teacher or minister. It was identity-silent and peaceful.
After my last trip to the rubbish-bin I came back to my office and like a gymnast after a routine I stood with my feet together, my posture straight and my hands in the air. I looked to heaven and I said. "Now heavenly Father, who do you say I am?" I smiled at the answer and rested in preparation for the next teaching from heaven and for the next test in life. Phil 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Satan has been lying about our Godly identity. We need to let God give it back to us with a full measure of His love.
PS. I am not advocating that you all run out and destroy all your diplomas. This was something I had to do to get my identification in Christ realigned and find peace in a time of an identity-crisis. It worked for me. Blessings.