The LORD said, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1b
I’m going through an identity crisis. Most of my adult life I’ve identified myself as a teacher. Now that I’ve retired from that, I am a full-time writer. But as I age, I see changes in my abilities. My typing, never good, has more errors than ever—extra letters and numbers creep in where they don’t belong. Senior moments of forgetfulness happen when I least expect or want them. If I reach the point where I can’t teach or write, what will be my identity?
When Jesus was tempted, He had an identity crisis. Let me quickly clarify two words: temptation and crises. Temptation itself is not a sin. The word used in Luke may be translated “tempted” or “tested.” To fulfill the law for us, Jesus had to be tested as we are. He had to be able to break the law, able to sin. The word crisis means “a crucial point or situation in the course of anything; a turning point.* Jesus had just been baptized by John and was about to begin His ministry—definitely a crucial situation, a turning point in His life.
The devil selected the most enticing things with which to tempt Jesus. First, he headed right for His identity: “If you are the Son of God. . .” he said twice. Prove who you are. But Jesus didn’t have to prove His identity to the devil or anyone. Jesus knew who he was. He had temporarily laid aside some of His attributes when He became a man, but He never changed His identity. He was the Son of God.
The devil often attacks our identity, especially when our situation changes, at turning points in our lives. God assures His people that we need not fear, for He has redeemed us and called us personally (Isaiah 43:1b). He knows who we are even when our occupations or circumstances change.
Have you ever faced an identity crisis? Are you secure in knowing the Father knows His own, that He has redeemed you and called you by name?
Read Isaiah 43. What are the privileges and the responsibilities of belonging to God?
Read John 10:27-30 and John 17:6-13. In what ways do these words comfort and encourage you?
What do the following verses reveal about your identity in Christ? Matthew 5:13-14; John 1:12-13; John 15:5,15-16; Romans 8:16-17;1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Corinthians12:27; 2 Corinthians 5:17-19; Galatians 4:6-7; Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 3:20; 1 Peter 2:5, 9-10; 1 John 3:1-2
Bonus: Who Am I in Christ? Identity Quiz
Nancy J. Baker
*The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1981.