Faith and love guard our hearts.
The hope of salvation guards our minds.
1 Thessalonians 5:8
As we continue on a journey of knowing God more and finding out more of who we are in Him, the enemy, preying on the innocent, thirsting for blood, and hungering to see our downfall, would seek to steal away our very lives. He would see the joy we have found in our new life ebb away into the drudgery of surviving day to day. He makes war on the very core of our beings, attacking us in our must vulnerable places, that which makes us most who we are. If he can’t take our hearts, which belong to the Father, at least, he will try and cripple us, steal our identity, and yield us ineffective for the Kingdom. If we don’t know who we are, how will we know our purpose, all that is available to us?
The story of the prodigal son opened my eyes in a new way to the importance of our identity. When the prodigal son leaves and succumbs to the lures of the enemy, he loses his identity, forgetting who he is. Desperate to return to his father’s house, he will take on the identity of a servant, if only he will be allowed back. What a joy to see the father run and embrace his son, welcome him home, clothing his body with a robe and adorning his fingers with rings, reminding him that he is a son. The father restores the prodigal’s identity. The older son also does not know his identity–he works himself to death to earn a father’s love and doesn’t realize that he already has it. “Everything that I have is yours,” says the father.
How quickly we forget who we are! We are sons and daughters of the King of Kings, His treasured ones. Our identity rests in Him, and rooted in Christ, our identity is unshakable. We will always be His. As such, everything He has is available to us! We walk with power and authority and live in light and hope and joy and love in its absolute fullness. All of this is available to us because we are our Father’s, and He is ours. He runs to clothe us in royal robes and shower us with His love to restore our identity in Him.
“You are mine!” He shouts for the heavens to hear, joy pouring out in the tears running down His face.
“You are mine,” He whispers into the very depths of your soul, wrapping you in the fullness of His love.
“You are mine.”
We are His, and the enemy has no hold on us, no right to steal what the King has made rightfully ours, no authority to tell us that we are anything but what the Father has called us.
And so we put on faith and love as a breastplate to guard our hearts. Faith to always look to the Father, trust that He is who He has said He is and that we are His. Faith to guard our hearts against doubt that would creep in and plant falsehoods instead of truth.
We put on love to keep our hearts full and tender, sensitive to receive the love of the Father and love Him in return with all that we are. We also seek to love those around us fully with the love He has poured out on us. We put on love to guard against fear, for in His true love, there is no fear.
And so we also put on the helmet of the hope of salvation to guard our minds. This hope assures us that, bought with a price, we are His. We are no longer slaves to sin and death but have been freed into a full, true life in Him. There is hope for the present and hope for the future. With our Father, everything is possible, and He seeks not only His glory but also our good. Hope guards against the desperation and hopelessness of a world living in death.
We belong to Him and to His Kingdom, and beloved of the Father, we seek to bring His love, His Kingdom to the earth, shattering lies and restoring identities, breathing life and hope into every heart.
We are His.