It is vital that we know who we are in Christ if we must avoid satanic and demonic harassments. I mean knowing who you are in Christ and having a relationship with him that backs up your claim. The encounter of the seven seven sons of Sceva in the book of Acts chapter 19 and verses13 through16 illustrates this point. Let’s read, “Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.  And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.  And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?  And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.” The sons of Sceva suffered the humiliation and beating of their lives primarily because they could not answer the question, “who are you?”
Unlike apostle Paul who had a relationship with Jesus and had become known by all the devils in that territory, the sons of Sceva only had lip service to the name with which they intend to cast out the devil. Many have wondered why their prayer lives are unfruitful, why the name of Jesus has not worked for them as it should? The answer is in our relationship or more precisely on the qualify of fellowship we have with God. Take a close look at the preceding verses to the scripture we just read; “And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.  But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.  And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.  And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:  So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.” Apostle Paul spent years identifying himself with Christ preaching the kingdom of God, and God in response performed special miracle through him. The sons of Sceva loved the demonstration of power displayed through the hands of Apostle Paul, but they did not know how to identify themselves, and worse still, they had no relationship with Jesus.
Who are you? Whose are you? Are you just anybody? Are just a member of your church? For those of us that are truly born again the starting point for you to truly identify who you truly are is knowing what the Bible says about you. For instance, John 1:12-13 say, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” It is your responsibility to see yourself in these verses. You are empower to operate as a son/daughter of God. You are born of God. That is you have the DNA of God. Faith is believing and acting on God’s word. The church of God will never be the same when we come to realize who we are.
In the book of Revelation chapter 1 and verse 6, the Bible says, “And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” We are kings and priests? Yes we are. Believing every other thing the Bible teaches, but not believing what it says about you is sin if you ask me. We must condition our minds to believe what God says we are. You cannot reign as king if you don’t know that you are a king. Here is another one; “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.” 1 John 4:17 KJV. As he is in glory, so are we in this world. We are the body of Christ. If the head is seated in glory, the body should too. Romans chapter 5 and verse 17 puts it this way, “For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.” We are destined to reign by Jesus Christ period.
Now it important to remember that our relationship with God, or more precisely, the quality of fellowship we have with him is what authenticates our identity. It is pertinent to say here that although relationship is required for there to be genuine fellowship, relationship is not fellowship. The husband has a relationship with the wife, because they are legally married. But the benefits of that relationship can only be truly accessed when there is fellowship in that marriage. Fellowship is sharing, it is intimacy, it is caring for one another, it is love. The deeper our fellowship with God, the more more power, favor, and authority we would experience and exercise. In the days of prophet Elijah, the children of God had a relationship with God but their fellowship with him was gone. Baal worship was trending as it were and their heavens were shut. There was a great famine in the land. Elijah understood that the problem was in the broken fellowship between God and his people. He had to rebuild the altar of God that had been abandoned by God own people. 1 Kings chapter 18 and verses 30 through 32 reads, “And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down.  And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the Lord came, saying, Israel shall be thy name:  And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord : and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed.” The broken altar represents the lost fellowship. When the husband and the wife cease to fellowship, that relationship is as good as dead. So let stop bragging we are born again when we have stopped having fellowship with him. Remember, fellowship is sharing, it is intimacy, it is caring for one another, it is love.
Another scriptural illustration of the value of identity is the encounter between David and Goliath. Here the children of Israel were in good standing with God except for their king whom God had rejected at that time. For four days Goliath taunted and intimidated the children of Israel as much as he wanted. They were all scared of Goliath when David arrived at the scene. David, who knew who he was and whose he was considered the taunts of Goliath offensive and unacceptable. Listen to what he said, “And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” 1 Samuel 17:26 KJV. David identified who he was, unlike his brothers and the rest of the army of Israel. He knew that they were peculiar. He remembered what God had told them in the book of Deuteronomy chapter 20 and verses 1 through 4; “When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the Lord thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.  And it shall be, when ye are come nigh unto the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people,  And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them;  For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.” He also remembered what God said about them in Exodus chapter 19 and verses 4 through 6; “Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.  Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:  And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation…”.
Even if others forget who they are in the face of challenges, trials and temptations, like David, you must stand your ground. How can you forget that God has said you are peculiar above all people for the whole earth is mine. How can you forget that the Lord of host is on your side to give you victory. Let me reiterate that when we forget or don’t know who we are satanic harassment becomes inevitable.
It is also important to note that David also identified who the enemy was. He called Goliath “uncircumcised Philistine” meaning Goliath has no covenant relationship with God. We should as well understand that the devil we are dealing with today is a defeated foe. He has been striped of all his powers. All he has left is tricks and lies. There is a greater power in you than there is out there. Believe it when the Bible says it; “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4 KJV. If we can consciously focus on God and what His word say about us in time of crisis, rather than focus on the problem we will be fine. While others focused on the size of Goliath, his experience and the weapons in his hands, David focused on his God. See what he said, “Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.” 1 Samuel 17:45 KJV. Goliath was no doubt a formidable enemy. He had been a warrior from his youth. But David chose to focus on the Lord of the host of heaven. The truth is whatever you focus on tends to become bigger in your our mind. So when you give undue attention to a problem you begin to lose faith in you ability to solve it. God is on your side. Focus on God.
The third scriptural illustration we want to consider on the value of identity is in the book of Luke chapter 15 and verses 14 through 17; “And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.  And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.  And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.  And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!” First of all the severity of this young man’s predicament can be better understood when we consider the fact that this story was originally told to Jews. And we must understand that swines are abominable to the Jews. Jews don’t usually have anything to do with swines. They don’t eat, own or sell them. Therefore, it was unimaginable for a Jew to share meal with swines. The shame and reproach this young man experienced can only be imagined. The question then is why did he get to this level of suffering and humiliation? The answer is not because he ran out of money or the famine that came. The answer is in plain sight in this very scripture. He suffered that shame and humiliation primarily because he forgot who he was. Thus the Bible says, “And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger”. It is pertinent that we note here that this young man’s predicament did not end because the famine came to an end. The famine was still in full force when he came to himself. The famine was still raging and nobody gave to him, yet when he came to himself, when it downed on him who he truly was, the tide turned immediately to his favor. Do you know who you are? Do you know that your father is the owner of the heavens and the earth and all that is in them? Do you know that you are the son/daughter of the almighty God, the most high God? Do you truly know that your father is the way maker. He makes ways in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Have you come to know God for yourself.
The consciousness of who we are in Christ has a way of affecting the way we carry ourself; it affects the way we behave even when nobody is watching. When you don’t know your identity, like the prodigal son, you live life carelessly; you dress carelessly, eat carelessly and watch carelessly. And because bad news and bad habits tend to travel and trend faster, Christians in this age of social media are watching and hearing more of the things that are inimical to their faith than the things they need to watch and hear. Are you consciously choosing what you hear or watch? Lack of personal discipline is an indication of lost identity. When the prodigal son spent his resources with riotous living, he was only demonstrating the fact that he doesn’t truly know who he was. “And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.” Luke 15:13 KJV. Do the things you watch and listen to when no one is watching glorify God? When you know who you are, even when nobody is watching you will do the right thing.
The other reason the prodigal son suffered lack and humiliation was because he lost contact with his father. When we distance ourselves from God, we automatically expose ourselves to the evil one. We must stay where God can see us. Do not forsake the fellowship of brethren.
The goal of this write up is to correct a troubling scripture in Ecclesiastes 10:5,7 that say, “There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceedeth from the ruler:  I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth.” Why are servants riding on horses while princes are trekking? What can we do to correct this evil? Why are many Christians suffering shame and humiliation when the ungodly seem to be fairing well? Some of the solutions to this problem have been already been discussed but let’s look at the items the father put on his son when he came back, as a way of bring closure to this problem. Luke 15:20-22 KJV “And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.  And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.  But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:”
The robe symbolizes kingship. Remember, he has made us kings and priests. As priests, and kings we need righteousness to stay on our horses. The Bible says, “Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness; and let thy saints shout for joy.” Psalm 132:9 KJV. The book of Psalm 45 and verses 6 and 7 says it even better, “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.  Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” Holiness is what keeps you on your horse. Sin will dethrone you. Flee from sin if necessary. God loves you, but it is your responsibility to stay on your horse.
The ring symbolizes authority-The ability to take charge. God is in control, but he has given you charge just as he gave Adam charge in the beginning. But prayer is required for us to stay in charge. It takes prayer to be in charge. In Mark chapter 11 and verses 23 and 24 Jesus said, “For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.  Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” The significance of prayer in our exercise of authority cannot be overemphasized. Look at what Jesus said in Matthew chapter 18 and verse 18; “Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” In other words, whatever you allow will stay, and whatever you disallow will go. God loves you and has given you charge. It is your responsibility to take charge in prayer, not God’s. Take back your horse in prayer. Take back your life.
The third and last thing that was put on this young man by his father was shoes. Your feet, and by extension your shoes represent you destiny. Your feet represent the speed of your destiny. It takes speed, divine speed to fulfill the destiny of God upon our lives. The secret of unhindered and accelerated progress is in Isaiah chapter 40 and verse 31, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” When we add fasting to our prayer lives, accelerated progress becomes a reality in our lives. Then we can pursue, overtake and recover all and even more than what the devil stole. The ball is in your court. God loves you, but he will not fast for you. Even when he gives you the grace, you have to apply yourself in it. As you make up your mind to add fasting to your prayer life, I decree that whatever is slowing you down will lose its grip on you in Jesus name.
Pastor Ebi Thourn