Picture this scene:
He was teaching in one of the meeting places on the Sabbath. There was a woman present, so twisted and bent over with arthritis that she couldn’t even look up. She had been afflicted with this for eighteen years. When Jesus saw her, he called her over. “Woman, you’re free!” He laid hands on her and suddenly she was standing straight and tall, giving glory to God. (Luke 13:10-13)
If we read the rest of that passage, we would see that Jesus caused quite a ruckus for healing this woman on the Sabbath. However, what I want to concentrate on today is not about Jesus healing on the Sabbath, but about a revelation an aspiring author received from this passage of scripture that changed her whole thought process and life. She told her story at a conference I attended a couple of years ago.
It goes like this:
“I knew the Lord had called me to write a book. But, I was so intimidated by the thought of it. If, by chance, I did go ahead and write the book, I could never be bold enough to market it. I could just see myself, walking with my head down, all bent over approaching people and saying, 'I have written a book, but I know you probably don’t want to read it. It’s not good enough for you to read.'”
She then announced to the audience, “My bent over disease was not arthritis, like the lady in Luke, my disease was not knowing my identity in Christ!”
She concluded her talk with: “I decided that I may not be the best author in the world, but I knew I had something to say that would help others. After all, that was written as a part of my purpose when God created me. And so, my new book is now for sale on the back table, as well as on Amazon.”
For a visual picture of Jesus healing her identity crisis, she literally strutted around the room, standing straight and tall, giving glory to God. “I am free!" she proclaimed.
Our own Lynn Donovan described this type of scenario on her zoom meeting recently by saying, “We cannot effectively impact our marriage, family, other relationships, and the world around us for Christ without first understanding two core principles:
Who am I
Who is God?
To understand the picture of who we are, Lynn pointed to Psalm 139:16: Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (NIV)
Lynn continued with, “When we are born, we are born and conceived out of Jesus' love, no matter what is going on with our parents. We are born for a special purpose. All of our purpose and plans were recorded in the scroll of the book of our life before were born. At different seasons of life, we have been designed to bring heaven on earth. But, Satan comes along and says, ‘If I can destroy this person’s identity, they will not achieve their highest and best life and fulfill the destiny and purposes they were supposed to fulfill.' If we allow him to do that, then we become fodder for his Kingdom."
And with that being said, I (Martha) have found is the whole truth, and nothing but the truth!! I have been there, done that! And God has to keep reminding me of this in different seasons of my life, less I become fodder for the devil's Kingdom.
On a side note, did you know that some mental health experts say that an identity crisis can result in depression by one falsely believing they are “worthless” or unloved? (Good Therapy.com)
It is obvious that identity is a big thing in God’s eyes, particularly our identity in Him. As Lynn said, “Knowing who we are and whose we are, are key factors in bringing heaven on earth.”
My friends, are you walking through life bent over, not knowing who you are in Christ? I have, and I will tell you more about my trials and triumphs next week as I have tried to learn and walk through who I am in Christ.
In the meantime, if you would like to, share your experience in becoming aware of who you are in Christ and who God is.
Lynn, I couldn't stop reading this book! It is the best you have written! It's a "self-help-bible-based-do-it-yourself-demon-slaying-victory-winning book" like no other I've ever read. I learned some new prayer points as well as clarification on what exactly does my situation mean. Everyone who reads this will want their bible, notebook and the Holy Spirit sitting next to them as they strategize with the tools you've given! -Barb