Thursday, May 19, 2005

1 Peter 5:6-9 – Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. (ESV)

We have a new phenomenon in our vicinity: identity theft. Thieves can raid our bins left out for the refuse collectors to remove. They scavenge for paperwork that might give away details of personal accounts.

With the details, they can set up mobile phone or credit accounts on the Internet and purchase products with one's account details as collateral until the money or credit is all used up.

Similarly, we know that the devil is prowling around ready to catch us when we fall, or become proud, wilful, or reckless. Maybe it is because we have not been cautious enough with the gifts we have been given to use. In any case, I believe that given half a chance, he wants to steal our potential as Christians.

Even Christians? Yes, specifically Christians, because they are at a premium as spiritual prey. The devil would like to use us as weapons to bring harm to other church members: a word or two here or there to undermine; or, plain and simple, just pervert us and quench our spirit enough to bring sorrow to our Saviour. Then we are rendered useless, sidelined into worldly preoccupations, just like the five foolish virgins that were unprepared when it mattered (Matthew 25:2). At worst, we might cause real harm and destruction to others around us, like Judas.

So, if before we bring anything into public view, we test our thoughts and attitudes against the Bible, we might just stop our identity from being misused!

If we do get it wrong, we need to be honest and go to our Saviour, and ask His forgiveness. Maybe someone else might need to be involved in the process too? Anyway, He will in return, by grace, restore to us a new kingdom identity that He has kept safe in heaven.

Prayer: Lord, repair our broken-down defences and return to us our true identity, kept safe in You. Grant us the confidence to use the weapons of spiritual warfare You have prepared for us to be able to stand up for Jesus once more today. Then may we dismiss with a shout of declaration and praise the evil that preys around our streets seeking to trick and rob us. Amen.

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Rod Marshall <>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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