Thank God, we don’t have to stay defeated, controlled, embarrassed, and traumatized. There is a destiny inside all of us, and Jesus is working to bring it out through His healing graces. We can see these healing graces most prominently in the story of the Prodigal son, another man who lost his identity and was living a defeated, embarrassed, traumatized life.
Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.
“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.” ’
“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still 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 to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
“But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry” (Luke 15:11-32).
The prodigal son sinned and left his father’s house. He was swallowed up in the culture of his time and lost sight of the fact he was a loved son. He was well cared for at home, but in the world, he was eating pigs food. So he went home, bound and determined to live as a slave, his newly adopted identity. What he encountered was far better. He came into contact with four healing graces his father used to restore his true identity. These four graces are available to all of us. They are God’s antidote to the distorted identity of the Israelites and the sons of Sceva and anyone else who has lost their way.
Grace No. 1: the Best Robe.
Our Father begins to repair our identity by putting the best robe on him. Isaiah says God has “clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels” (Is. 61:10). Jesus took on our sin, He was made to be sin, so we could be righteous. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21).
Righteousness is not something we earn or deserve. It’s a gift. We are robed with the righteousness of Jesus, our Kingdom identity. Everything that God has for us hinges on the revelation of the Kingdom identity. It is the key that unlocks our Kingdom destiny. We need to spend more time in the Bible, gazing into the mirror of His word, seeing who we really are. As we do, we will begin to walk in the victory Jesus has already won.
The church of Jesus Christ should never accept defeat in any area of life. The Bible says that we are always to triumph.
“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place” (2 Corinthians 2:14).
“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:73).
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
Grace No. 2: a Ring.
The ring was not a decoration. It was the symbol of family authority. With it, a son had the power to do things in his father’s name. Our identity unlocks our potential in God’s kingdom. God will talk to us about who we are so He can release what we are to do. When we know who we are, we see what we can do. God is present to help us recover the will to fight. Jesus is more than our friend, counselor, and helper. He is first and foremost, our Lord. We serve Him because He gave His life for us. Through Jesus, we can reclaim the desire, drive, and will to fight the devil. Through Jesus, we can get back control of our lives and walk in the spiritual authority He died to give us.
We will look at Grace No. 3 and No. 4 tomorrow…