The Challenge of Having an Old Identity

by Rick

(Read Matthew 16:13-16)

 

This morning continue our overarching series, “Grace that is Simply Amazing” by continuing with our mini-series entitled, “Grace Based Success (Prosperity)”.  We have been studying the life of the Apostle Peter and our study brought us to Matthew chapter 16.  We’ve looked at this passage for weeks.  Let’s go back to it today:

 

The Bible says, “When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”  They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”  “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”  Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”  People knew Jesus a the son of a man, but Jesus’ true identity was connected to Him being the Son of God.  It’s the same way with us.  

 

People may know us as simply the son of our parents, but our true identity is connected to us being sons of God.  The problem is that once we start walking in our true identity, in our divine purpose, in our holy calling, there will always be people who can’t past the person we used to be.  It happened to Jesus.  The people of His hometown had a hard time seeing Him as anything other than Mary’s boy and Joseph’s son.  So they could not receive from Him.  They could not honor the anointing on His life, so they missed out.  Jesus was not moved by their disapproval.  He kept moving forward.  They missed out because they could not honor Him.  The Bible says, “Jesus could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them.  He was amazed at their unbelief.” (Mark 6:5,6).  The Bible does not say Jesus did not want to perform many miracles.  It says He “could not”.  There was something Jesus could not do, and that was minister to people who could not get past His old identity.

 

So what does this mean to you today?  A few things.

 

  1.  Jesus waited 30 years before He started a three-year-ministry.  There were people who knew Jesus during the 30 years who could not accept Him during the three.  When Jesus started living as the person He was called to be, many in His hometown could not get past the person He used to be.  Unfortunately, it is often the same with us.

 

  1.  Before you were Born-Again you spent years walking the earth, developing relationships, and forming an identity.  When you were Born-Again God’s Spirit took up residence inside you and He began to reveal/unveil your true identity.  The more you embrace your true identity, the more you release the old one.  The problem is, there are still many people who know you by your old identity and those people often have a hard time seeing you as anyone else.  Just understand it, explain what God has done in your life, and hope they accept you for who you are now.  But if they don’t, pray for them and keep pressing forward.  Don’t allow their opinion to keep you in your past.

 

  1.  Jesus could have lived His life as the Son of God from Day One.  But I am glad He didn’t.  The fact that Jesus spent 30 years living as a common man before He started living as the Son of God gives us a picture of the challenges associated with embracing our divine assignment.  When we encounter friends and family who can’t get past the person we used to be, we can find comfort in knowing that Jesus faced the same challenge.  If it happened to Him, it will surely happen to us.

 

  1.  We all have  a past.  Just don’t let who you used to be to keep you from walking in whom God called you to be.

 

  1.  God knows your past.  The good news is that He does not consult your past when talking to you about your future.

 

  1.  Embrace your new identity.  Walk as a new person in Christ Jesus.  If there are some who can’t accept you for whom God has called you to be, so be it.  Don’t allow their hang-up to become your stumbling block.

 

Closing Confession:   Father, I thank You for teaching me about Your grace and my requirement to live by faith.  I walked this earth for years before I came to know who You called me to be.  In many ways I was living under false pretenses.  I now know who I am.  I now embrace my true identity.  However, there are people on this planet who knew me when I lived as my old self.  Some of them will embrace my new reality, but some may not.  Whether they accept me or not, I accept me.  I accept the person You called me to be.  I embrace the grace to walk in divine purpose.  I use my faith to access Your grace to be and to do You what You sent me here to do and to be.  And as I walk in my purpose, Your grace freely flows and I experience supernatural success.  Because I am doing what I was born to do and I won’t allow the opinions or attitudes of others to stop me.  I declare this by faith.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.
This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper.

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