By: Feston Konzani
“In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.”
By Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
Everyone everywhere regardless of background, origin and orientation has an identity. This may be in a form of a name or what they do. People are identified and will continue to be identified using official documentation without which no one can truly be verified as to who he/she really is.
Travelling across countries or conducting any official business require an identity verification.
But what is in the identity? It tells the other person everything they need to know about you and prove the claims made by you to be true or not.
However, there is a greater identity which matters more than everything else anyone can ever have and it is our true identity not only before men but before God. It is our identity which is only in Christ Jesus. It is the identity that has His blood written all over it and it makes us who we really are before God and before men.
You will never know yourself until you know who you are in Christ and by knowing who or what EL0HIM is TO US WE WILL KN0W WHO WE truly ARE.
There is a lot of confusion in the world today because of the identity crisis. Others are trying to define themselves by what they do, their job, status in the society, their financial standing or a family name. The lack of a proper way of identifying oneself has resulted in numerous ways and attempts of trying to prove to oneself and others who one thinks he is to be portrayed.
God gave man his true identity and it came at no cost until man sold it at a price. Created in the image and likeness of God himself, it sufficed that he had the authority and power over all of the creation. Identity gives you power, it gives you dominion and ability to do certain things that no one else can do. If you are a citizen of a country, you are entitled to all the rights and freedoms as granted to you by the constitution of that country.
This gives you the power to exercise authority, unlike someone who is not legally a citizen of such a country. You can do certain things that an illegal immigrant cannot do.
Man’s God-given identity allowed him to exercise power and authority over matters and affairs that otherwise he would not normally have done. The greatest loss for man was losing such an identity. The enemy saw to it that if he lost his identity, he will also lose his position of power and authority.
When we hear of identity theft nowadays, it’s not a new phenomenon. The first case of identity theft took place in the Garden of Eden. We see the same repeated when Esau had his birthright (identity) stolen by his younger brother Jacob. But we see even something greater that took place in the story which is that something so valuable was sold at such a minimal price.
If God did not intervene in His own time to change the situation, there would have been no Jesus in whom we now have a true identity restored. It takes God’s intervention for a complete restoration and a full discovery of oneself. Bethel (The House of God) was a turning point for Jacob. Genesis 28:10-19 (Hebraic Roots Bible)
10 And Jacob went out from BeerSheba and went toward Haran.
11 And he came on a place and stayed the night there, for the sun had gone. And he took stones of the place and placed them at his head; and he lay down in that place.
12 And he dreamed. And, behold, a staircase was placed on the earth, its top reaching to the heavens. And, behold, the messengers of Elohim were going up and going down on it!
13 And, behold, YAHWEH stood above it and said, I am YAHWEH the Elohim of your father Abraham, and the Elohim of Isaac; the land on which you are lying, I will give it to you and to your seed.
14 And your seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and you shall spread to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you and in your Seed. (see Gen 12:3, Ro 4:13)
15 And, behold, I will be with you and will guard you in every place in which you may go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not forsake you until I have surely done that which I have spoken to you.
16 And Jacob awakened from his sleep, and said, Surely YAHWEH is in this place, and I did not know.
17 And he was afraid, and said, How fearful is this place! This is nothing except the house of Elohim, and this is the door to Heaven.
18 And Jacob started up early in the morning and took the stone which he had placed at his head, and he placed it as a pillar; and he poured oil on the top of it.
19 And he called the name of that place, Beit-El. And yet the name of the city was at first Luz.
Jacob had to rest because the sun was going down and undoubtedly, he had travelled throughout the day. Exhausted and probably hungry, the sun going down and darkness falling over the face of the earth, it was time to rest. Who has not been here? When everything seems to be looking so dark and you are simply exhausted that you feel you can’t keep on going. You think of taking a rest but the only thing you have to lay your head on is a hard surface. This was not a comfortable sleep.
It was then that heaven opened up to him and he saw the staircase of heaven but that is not the most important thing rather it is what was
spoken to him that is very significant. Verses 13-15 contain a declaration that would forever change his view of himself and everything around him. When God speaks, He means what He says and he says what He means. It is written that as the rain comes down from heaven and returns not but waters the earth so is his word. It shall never return to Him void without accomplishing the purpose for which it was sent.
Another significant place in Jacob’s story is Peni’El (The Face of Elohim). Having been at Beit-El (The Hose of Elohim) and heard the declaration made over his life, it was now time to see God face to face. Here once again after a struggle, he was asked a question that too many of us may seem so simple and straightforward. “What is your NAME?” Earlier in the story, he was asked the same question and his answer was that he was Esau but this time, something has changed in him. It was time to face reality because as it is written: “The entrance of His word brings light”. He heard the word at Beit-El (The House of Elohim) and it brought light in him so much so that this time around, he had to tell the truth about himself when asked. He could not continue to lie to himself and everyone else. Genesis 32:24-31 (Hebraic Roots Bible)
24 And Jacob was left alone. And a Man wrestled with him until the rising of the dawn.
25 And He saw that He had not prevailed against him. And He touched on his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip socket was unhinged as he wrestled with Him.
26 And He said, Send Me away, for the dawn has ascended. And he said, I will not let You go unless You bless me.
27 And He said to him, What is your name? And he said, Jacob.
28 And He said, Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with Elohim and with men, and have prevailed.
29 And Jacob asked and said, Please reveal Your name. And He said, Why is it that you ask about My name? And He blessed him there. (Hos 12:4-5)
30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peni’El because I saw Elohim face to face, and my life is delivered.
31 And the sun rose on him as he passed over Peniel, and he was limping on his thigh.
Oh, what beauty in the narrative! At Beit-El (The House of Elohim) it was getting darker but at Peniel (The Face Of Elohim) the sun rose. When you have just heard Him speak and have seen His face, your entire identity cannot but change.
This is made more so when Jesus came to redeem mankind as it is written “And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us. And we beheld His glory, glory as of an only-begotten one from the Father, full of grace and of truth.” John 1:14 (Hebraic Roots Bible)
He became and continues to be our advocate and we are seated together with Him in heavenly places as it is written
“4 But Elohim, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our sins, He made us alive together with Messiah by whose grace we are saved; 6 and raised us up together and seated us together in heaven through Messiah Yahshua, 7 that in the ages to come, He might demonstrate, the exceeding great riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Messiah Yahshua.” Ephesians 2:4-7 (Hebraic Roots Bible)
In him and Him alone is where our true identity truly lies. We are no longer what the world tells or says about us. We have our identity in Him and because He is – we are. He is not because we are rather we are because He is.
Would to Him alone be Glory in the Highest as we continue to fully discover who we truly are until such a day when this mortal body shall be transformed into immortality. He who began the good work in us shall bring it to the end. May, Glory, Power, Dominion, Laudations be unto Him forever and ever –Amen.