Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guaranteed of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. – Ephesians 1:3-14 ESV
God and Satan have many similar activities. Both want you to choose sides, both want to gain your allegiance, both want you to glorify them, both want you to seek after them- both want to change your identify! The devil wants to change your identity, to remove it from you so that you are lost, so that you are empty, and you do not know who you are. When you DO NOT know who you are, then you will do things that affect your identity. When you know WHO YOU ARE, then WHAT to do, is much simpler! Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17) When we are born, we get a name, and identity. A way for someone to identify us, that is why we say our IDENTITY. If we get BORN AGAIN, then we get a NEW IDENTITY, like when we are adopted, we get a new last name, and sometimes a NEW FIRST NAME! Jesus and Nicodemus had this discussion one night. Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again[b] he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” (John 3:3-4) God wants to change your identity and give you the identity of a child of God. A King’s daughter is called a princess and a King’s son is called a Prince. If I were to tell you that you were a PRINCE or a PRINCESS, your identity would be different!
Leader, But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. (John 1:12) “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5) See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. (1 John 3:1-3) We were born once into flesh, and then when we are called to be BORN AGAIN, God renames us. He did this to Peter, to Abram, to Sarai, to Jacob, to many others and to ALL who overcome! He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.’ (Revelation 2:17)
Conduit, we are living in times similar to when the Israelites were taken into captivity by the Babylonians. The world will attempt to change us, but we need to REMEMBER, we are sent out INTO the WORLD, but we are not to be OF THE WORLD. In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, the chief of his court officials, to bring in some Israelites from the royal family and the nobility— Among these young men were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. The chief official gave them new names: To Daniel he gave the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego. (Daniel 1:1,3,6-7) Here are their God given names and what they mean: Daniel-God is my judge, Hannaniah- Beloved of the Lord, Mishael- who is as God, Azariah- The Lord is my help. These names, given by the parents of these boys, signified the depth of their Spirituality. The devil now wants them to serve the WORLD\Babylon and renamed them, so they would REPRESENT something of Babylon instead of God. Their new names all paid tribute to Babylonian Gods, in an attempt to take them out of the service of YAHWEH and into the service of the gods of this world. What about you? It is decision time. This last election showed that the church has become like the world. Many in the church act no different than those in the world. Yet, God told us that we are to be different, to think different, to not conform to the ways of this world- to act different and yes, to vote differently! God and Satan both want to change our identity. Only God wants to give us a better one- the IDENTITY OF CHRIST! Instead, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh. I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; justice was my robe and turban. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Romans 13:14, Job 29:14, Galatians 3:23 and 5:16, Ephesians 4:24)