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Remember Who You Are

I like a good action flick just like the next guy, and some of my favorite movies over the last few years have centered around Matt Damon playing the role of Jason Bourne.

As a highly trained intelligence agent who has had his memory erased, the central storyline focuses on Bourne as he bravely faces one challenge after another in the pursuit of his identity. Unless and until Bourne tracks down who he is and from where he has come, nothing is settled and dangers lie all around.

I thought about that this morning as I read in Deuteronomy. As God gives leadership to the people of Israel through Moses, repeatedly He calls them back to who they are as His people (Deut. 7:6, 14:2, 26:19 and 28:9). This is bedrock. This is foundational. This is the source of all they are as a people and serves to give direction to the daily choices they face in life. Rather than relying on their own wisdom, savvy or perspective when faced with a challenge, God would have them think first, “I’m one of God’s chosen people, and because of that, this is how I should respond.”

It’s a long way from the wilderness journeys of Israel to where you and l live today, but the same principles hold as true today as they did thousands of years ago (in fact, the apostle Peter directed us as New Testament Christians to remember our identity by quoting Moses in 1 Peter 2:9). I made a quick list of the things all of us need keep a good grip on as they relate to who we are as God’s children through Jesus.

My security flows from my identity — With every day come fresh waves of insecurity. Gotta keep performing. Can’t let others see those flaws. What’s going to happen next? Remembering that I’m God’s child by His gracious choice and not by my performance keeps me grounded and gives me truth to counteract these lies.

My integrity flows from my identity — Temptation is a part of daily life, and for anybody seeking to pursue purity, it can be an exhausting struggle. Knowing that God has chosen me to be one of His holy people gives motivation for me to make daily choices that reflect that reality. 

My direction flows from my identity — God called the people of Israel to remember their identity as they moved into a new land to fulfill God’s purposes of revealing Himself and His glory. In like fashion, remembering my identity as God’s son through Jesus gives direction to my life, reminding me that I’m not here on this earth to pursue one earthly pleasure after another. Rather, I’m here to be an ambassador of Christ, a messenger of God’s love and His gospel.

Jason Bourne couldn’t remember and his life was upside down because of it. Let’s not make that same mistake!

Matt Farlow