Knowing who I am

Words by Colonel Jostein Nielsen.

When we were installed as territorial leaders in Eastern Europe territory in January 2018, I said the following in my sermon: “If I do not know who I am and why I am here, I am a danger for the mission of The Salvation Army!” 

You cannot go into a spiritual battle without knowing who you are and why you are in the battle. That is why the Bible contains so much teaching about the identity in Christ and the mission we are called to be a part of. 

This matter is Paul’s main focus in the letter to the Ephesians. He starts with describing our identity in Christ and continues to teach about what this means in practice for the mission. Finally, he writes about how this equips us for being able to stand in the spiritual battle. Watchman Nee has taken the essence of Ephesians and presented it as three important step in spiritual development. His book is “Sit, Walk, Stand!” and ‘sitting’ has all to do with the identity = our status in Christ:

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.
Eph 2:6 (1)

Some years ago, a man who was possessed with evil came so close to me that his nose touched my nose. There had been no conversation between us, yet he swore and cursed me and said I was a man of the devil. Because I know who I am in Christ, I could calmly speak to the evil spirit and said: “You know who I am. You know that I am in Christ and that there is nothing you can do to me!” 

The man screamed and waved his arms so that my glasses were thrown to the pavement, and then the man ran off. I was unhurt and even my glasses were OK. It was not a pleasant experience, however, it was good to see that even though the evil spirits are ‘liars’ like their ‘father’ (2), they know what is true when you confront them with truth. When we know who we are in Christ, we can do what James encourages us to do: 
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
James 4:7
‘Manna’ for today:
Jesus is the truth and he is stronger than the ‘father of lies’ (2)
(1) If you read Eph 1:1-14, please notice how many times Paul writes “in Christ”, “in Him” …. 
(2) When he (the devil) lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 
John 8:44