Sunday, September 22, 2013
Who Am I?
By: K. C. Tate
“I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery” (Exodus 20:2).
“Who am I?” That’s the question we’re seeking to answer. Admittedly this is my passion, that people know who they truly are. Everything flows from that—your mindset, your choices, your outlook, your mood, and yes, your eternity. A great many go through life believing a lie. They only know the deceiver’s version of who they are. But when you know the truth—God’s version—and you walk in it, you’re set free to live the abundant life He intended for you.
God called Abraham out of Ur. He left behind his native land, family, and his very identity to follow God and the promise of a new land, a new family, and a new identity. In fact, God promised to make an entirely new nation through Abraham—the nation of Israel.
Abraham had a son, Isaac, and Isaac had Jacob (also known as Israel). Jacob had twelve sons, and the entire clan ended up in Egypt due to a famine, where they multiplied in number and then were subjected to slavery for four hundred years. God had told Abraham this would happen, but He also promised that He would bring them out (Genesis 15:13).
Through Moses, God did deliver them from Egypt by a strong hand. But four hundred years was a long time. Generations had lived and died. For those living at the time of the exodus, Egypt was all they had known. Egyptian culture had become ingrained, from the food to the form of worship, which encompassed all manner of gods. God not only had to get them out of Egypt; He needed to get Egypt out of them. What’s more, they were headed to Canaan, another land filled with people whose practices were sinful to God. God told them through Moses, “‘I am the LORD your God. You shall not do what is done in the land of Egypt where you lived, nor are you to do what is done in the land of Canaan where I am bringing you…’” (Leviticus 18:3).
The Israelites needed to know that they weren’t like other people. They’d been set apart unto God. They were different. As God’s people, they had their own identity, their own customs and practices, and their own form of worship—true worship. Much of the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy is about grounding them in their new identity as they prepared to enter the Promised Land, where they were to be a light and an example of holiness and righteousness to the world.
You probably know the story. As a people, they never quite settled into the higher identity to which God had called them. Instead, they kept identifying with the cultures around them, aligning themselves with people who didn’t know the true God, adopting their ways. There were bright lights among them, such as Joshua, who declared, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). But the people as a whole drifted from God. Worse, their spiritual leaders led the way. Instead of speaking God’s words, they spoke their own (Jeremiah 23; Ezekiel 34).
God had promised blessing for obedience, but because of their unfaithfulness, God allowed His people to be conquered and led into captivity (2 Kings 17:24-25).
Is any of this relevant to us? Absolutely! If you’ve been saved, God has brought you out of slavery too—slavery to sin (Romans 6:17-18). But although God has delivered us “out of Egypt,” there’s still a need to get “Egypt” out of us. All we’ve ever known and believed about ourselves and the world has been filtered through the evil one (Ephesians 2:1-2). But just as God taught the Israelites, He teaches us through His Word so that we can renew our minds to the truth of who we are and whose we are. We have been set apart unto God, and the more we walk in our divine identity and in His divine ways, the more we will enjoy God’s blessings…and shine the light of Jesus to a lost world.
Heavenly Father, thank You for delivering me from being a slave to sin. May I no longer walk or think as I used to. Renew my mind, O God. Make me know Your ways, teach me Your paths. I desire to walk in truth, for Your glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.