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Monday, April 20, 2015

Replaced Identity

"…God has taken my old name and replaced it with His." So says William Reynolds in the movie, Beyond The Mask. As he tells his young love, Charlotte, of his recent conversion, he assures her that the mask has been removed. He will now live a life worthy of the new identity God has given him. He does not belong any more to himself. He belongs wholly to God alone. 
 This is the state of every person who has ever come to know God. When he or she comes to a point of acknowledging their own folly and their own inability to live the perfect, sinless life they perhaps aspire to, God, in his mercy, points them to the cross and says, "I will take your old name - that you who lives in constant fear, that you who doubts, that you who cannot forgive, that you who cannot trust, that you who cannot properly love, that you who feels shamed and haunted by your past, that you who thinks there is no hope, that you who wants to give up and die - I will remove that 'name' and replace it with My own. Because I chose to go to the cross for that old you, you will now have the opportunity to live the life you never could by the redemptive work I will do inside of your heart and soul. No longer do you have to hide the old you; no longer does the mask need to be your friend. That false identity has been removed for a heavenly one that restores you to your intended purpose: to glorify Me and enjoy Me forever!" 
 Even though this miraculous transformation has occurred in my life, I still forget sometimes that I belong to God and not to myself. My old 'name' tries to call me back into a dark past, to tell me that it was better when life was under my own rule and direction. And yet, louder than that voice calls One whom I have come to know and love even more: "You belong to Me! I have loved you with an everlasting love! You are mine!" In that instant, I realize that the present and the future are better, because of my Redeemer, than any false hope my previous identity tried to offer me. And so, at times, when my sight grows dim and the doubts arise, I pray, 
"When I lose my way, and I forget my name,
Remind me who I am."