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Identity Is Set, Conditions Are Not

presiderblogDo you remember the story of Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River? As Jesus comes out of the water, the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove rests upon Him. Then comes the proclamation of the Father, “This is my beloved Son!” Immediately after this profound moment, Christ is not led into the spotlight to be put on display as God’s Son. Instead – just like John the Baptist – the Spirit leads Him into the wilderness. There, after an extended period of Jesus fasting, Satan poses to Jesus a question that is in direct antagonism with what God just stated. Remember that God’s last words concerning Jesus were “This is my Beloved Son.” Satan’s first words are, “if you are the Son…” The Devil incorrectly points to Christ’s condition as the basis of His identity. I read the story this way: Satan asks, “If you are God’s Son, why are you hungry?” This question is offered to us in many forms at many times and goes something like this, “If you are who God said you are why are you in the condition you are in?” If God said you are blessed, why are you broke? If God said you are healed, then why do you feel so sick? As we are considering our answers, the temptation is to satisfy the hunger of identity with something other than what God has said in His Word about us or about our circumstances. Back in the wilderness, Jesus gives Satan the answer, “It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” Matthew 4:4. The very answer that Jesus gave is the key that unlocks our door of hope when we find ourselves in the wilderness. Jesus was hungry, but His IDENTITY was not based on His hunger, lack, or present condition. He said to Satan without ever addressing His own hunger, “I live according to God’s Word and believe what He says about me regardless of where I am or what I am doing.” In short, Jesus said, “I trust my Father. I am who He says I am.” Much Love, Because He Is – I Am Presider