If any of you have ever been the victim of an identity theft, you know what a challenge it is to reclaim and restore what has been compromised.
I should know because it’s happened to me twice in 20 years. After all, those who have good standing make the best fraud targets…right? As with any crime, one becomes guarded, often paranoid at guarding personal information. I do what I can to preserve and protect my name and good credit.
In my case, the first fraudulent activity occurred after purchasing a vehicle from the car dealership where I worked. Who knows how my personal information was stolen. It could have been a disgruntled title clerk or a bank employee who processed my loan package, but someone had access to my accurate driver’s license information and credit history to create a counterfeit identification. She has used it through the years for department store purchases and even established telephone and utility services in urban areas where I have never lived.
Each time, I have been the one to file police reports, make countless phone calls to companies, credit collection agencies, sign my name in front of notaries and write the appropriate fraud alert statements for the various credit bureau reporting agencies. These letters have to be written after every address or name change to prove who I am. It’s a real pain in the behind to undo the damage when an invisible enemy has infiltrated your life without your knowing it.
So, what’s in a name? Think about the names you have been given during your lifetime that may have defined who you are. I choose not to repeat or print in this forum some of the “scarlet letter” names that have somewhat defined my identity in life. And it doesn’t really matter if you call me Kathe, Kate, Kath-a-reeeen (emphasis on the E’s,) Katrina, Mom or Sis, Grams or GaGa, I am still me.
I remember when one of my grandsons was born. I asked how my kids chose his name only to hear that it was chosen from the Top 10 most unpopular baby names. His was number 7 but when I researched the meaning of his name, I was so blessed to read, “Gift from God.” He is.
I did some research about my name and discovered that the root word, “katharos” means pure. My parents named me, “Pure.” This Greek word is the same root word used for “catheter.” Now, ask yourself, what does a catheter do?” Its purpose is to remove toxins, poisons, impurities from the body when kidney and bladder functions are impaired.
Jesus said in His Sermon on the Mount in Matt 5:8, “Blessed are the (katharos) pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Only a repentant heart can truly worship a holy God, and in our praise and worship, we are refreshed, renewed and made whole.
I must always remember that times of refreshing can only come after times of repentance. Acts 3:19 AMP confirms this, “So repent (change your mind and purpose); turn around and return [to God] so that your sins may be erased, (blotted out, wiped clean), that times of refreshing (of recovering from the effects of heat, of reviving with fresh air) may come from the presence of the Lord.” Repentance is a spiritual "catheter!"
I can attest that nothing compares to the rest and contentment I enjoy in communion with the Lord, and that kind of joy and intimacy just isn’t possible when sin is masquerading in my soul. I realized that I had abandoned purity in my life, the very identity my human parents gave me when they named me, “Pure”.
It was more than being a strong, self-willed child, more than a teenage rebellion, and more than a mid-life crisis. It was sin. At the very core of my spiritual adultery lurked a spirit of dissatisfaction which led me to search for significance and fulfillment in relationships. I pursued a counterfeit contentment by following after the world’s idea of personal happiness when all along, God’s desire for me was holiness.
Oh, how I TRIED in vain to be holy and to do holy deeds. My biggest failure was failing to successfully live a deeply satisfying life in Christ. It is His Holiness in me that purifies my life and His Holy Spirit that empowers me daily to lay down all the past regrets, shame and guilt for believing an invisible enemy.
And you can be sure if you are a follower of Christ and obedient to the call of God in your life, you will be assaulted by the invisible enemy. Here is the biggest lesson I’ve learned about this. Satan is the ultimate identity thief. It is his method of operation to steal, kill and destroy. This is why it is so important to know who you are in Christ. Once we truly know WHO we are, WHOSE we are, this Truth cannot be stolen away, unless of course, you are deceived to believe a lie.
Any lie will do, but the lie will always create some form of doubt, fear and unbelief about God, Who He says He is or whether He will do what He promises. The invisible enemy has been cleverly counterfeiting “pretty trees and appealing fruit” since the Garden of Eden. I remind myself often that what Jesus accomplished in the Garden of Gethsemane is far greater than what Adam and Eve did in Eden.
Today, this is what I know. I am in Christ and His Spirit is fully alive in me. I am His and He is my Maker, Bridegroom, Husband, and my King, my Everything. What sweet names do I hear when Jesus initiates His call to drink from the well of Living Water? …my beloved, beauty, bride, daughter, companion, heiress, vessel, messenger, vineyard, and overcomer.
I am a pure handmaiden standing holy before His throne of Grace, blameless and without a single fault.
Now, THAT’S a gift from God!
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