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Identity Restored

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. John 10:10 (NLT)

The past few lessons we talked about how we view and struggle with our image in the mirror. We have these notions ingrained in our minds, most of which are negative: ugly, fat, short, worthless, etc. It doesn’t matter how old or young you are—everybody deals with at least some of them. They may stem from our childhood, an unhealthy relationship, or through little events that have taken place along life’s journey.But honestly, it all began long before we were born—in the Garden of Eden. As Adam and Eve basked in God’s glory, the enemy slithered into the Garden with his plan to kill, steal and destroy beautiful images. How did Satan get such a stronghold on Eve? He didn’t come with a sword or knife for his attack. No; he simply brought lies. And before Adam and Eve knew it, they went from running around the garden naked and unashamed to covering up and hiding.

But honestly, it all began long before we were born—in the Garden of Eden. As Adam and Eve basked in God’s glory, the enemy slithered into the Garden with his plan to kill, steal and destroy beautiful images. How did Satan get such a stronghold on Eve? He didn’t come with a sword or knife for his attack. No; he simply brought lies. And before Adam and Eve knew it, they went from running around the garden naked and unashamed to covering up and hiding.

The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.” (Gen 3:1-3)

Satan knew what God had instructed Adam and Eve to do (and what not to do!) in the Garden. It’s pretty clear he was simply trying to confuse Eve. He began sowing doubt in Eve’s heart with a simple manipulation of the truth! He may have also been trying to see how well she knew and believed God’s truth. So, he tested her and quickly discovered that she was not standing firm on the word of God. Suddenly her focus and trust fell on the intruder that had slithered into the Garden, rather than on God’s words.

In Genesis 1:27 we read that man was created in God’s image and in His likeness which means that Eve was already like God. Oh, how quickly she forgot. Interesting how unbelief set in with Eve to the point that she didn’t even trust God anymore—the one she walked and talked with every single day. Satan twisted her thinking so much that she forgot she was a child of the King; she rejected the truth and believed the lies.

That was the birth of identity theft, right there in the Garden of Eden.

identity theftOnce the enemy succeeded in stealing Eve’s identity, it opened her up to believe any future lies. Satan has been doing that ever since. Why? Because it works. Satan may not be very creative, but he can be very effective.

In many respects, we are modern day Eves—leaving an open door for Satan to attack our true identity. We forget that we are daughters of the King. We forget our Heavenly Father loves us.

Instead, we hear:
“Really, did God say you were created in His image?”
“Really, does God say you are His wonderfully made?”
“Really, did God say that you are healed?”

The way we fight Satan’s lies, temptations and suggestions is with the Truth. We need to be able to recognize the lies of the enemy. Satan can be so clever and powerful that we cannot successfully resist his influence without God’s help. Therefore, the key to resisting the serpent in the garden of our minds is to sincerely and consistently draw near and remain close to God.

BIG Idea: Take back what the enemy has stolen from you—Your IDENTITY in Christ.

Discussion:

What lies does the enemy speak to you? Do you look at your reflection and hear all the negative things shouting back at you or do you hear God’s love?

Our true identity is in Christ. We were bought with a price, yet we often forget we are daughters of the King and abuse ourselves through words and emotions. What are at least two things we can do to change our stinkin’ thinkin’ about ourselves and bask in what our true mirror, the Word, says about us?

We have heard it all our Christian life; there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. But we still feel unworthy and condemned on a regular basis. We can see from Eve’s experience that this is a tactic of the enemy to get you to feel bad about yourself and keep you from achieving all that God has for you. How do we stop from reverting back to our stolen identities and regain our TRUE identity in Christ?

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