Identity Theft Began in the Garden of Eden

 
Introduction
 
We are bombarded with the headlines almost daily. News reports tell us about the latest assault or breach of security for yet another retail chain, major banking or healthcare institution, or governmental agency, and the loss of sensitive, personal data for millions of people. Firewalls are hacked, passwords are stolen and confidential data and information is downloaded and passed into the hands of criminals. Hackers now have your digital picture or identity (name, address, social security number, employer, bank accounts, and passwords). Suddenly your personal financial details, medical history, employee benefits and services, checking, savings, credit card accounts, and credit rating are at risk.
 
Identity Theft is a Growing Problem 
 
Industry reports indicate that cases of identity theft are on the rise each year. Estimates of the number of victims are in the millions and the economic impact in the billions. Victims and their families report that the impact is more than financial. It is emotional and psychological and often results in hardship, interruption or temporary loss of needed benefits and services, and frequently requires months of intense effort to resolve and restore order.

The First Case of Identity Theft

Both unbelievers and Christians are exposed to these attacks. However, Christians can find comfort in knowing that God’s Word tells us how to protect ourselves from identity theft attacks. Identity theft is a relatively new phenomenon in the modern digital world, but has been going on for thousands of years in the body of Christ. It all started in the Garden of Eden. The first recorded incident of identity theft is reported in Genesis, chapter 3. Satan used the serpent to trick Adam and Eve into believing that God had selfish motives for not allowing them to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Like modern day con artists and hackers, Satan’s actions were motivated by discontent, jealousy, and envy. His tactics were based in lies, pretense, and deception. His goal was simple—to destroy the confidence that Adam and Eve had in their identity as children of the Most High God. He used trickery and deception to attack their personal identity and relationship with God by causing them to doubt God’s love for them, to question His Word and will for their lives, and their rights and privileges as children of God—to have dominion and power over all the earth with unlimited access to God. Because they believed Satan’s lie’s more than God’s promises, they disobeyed God and ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. In this one act of disobedience the fate of mankind was changed forever.

Struggles over Identity

Throughout the Bible, every major figure struggled with the issue of their identity at some time or another. Satan even used the same tactic on Jesus twice when he tried to tempt Him in the wilderness. These attempts were attacks on Jesus’ identity as the “Beloved Son of God” and on His relationship with God. (See Matthew 3:16–17; 4:3–10). Satan will always attack our identity in Christ first; to try and get us to question who and whose we are.

Christians Have Identity Theft Protection

As Christians, as long as we trust in God and in His Word, we have automatic identity theft protection. Let’s examine this. Who are we and who do we belong to? When Jesus shed His blood on the cross for us, believers were redeemed and reconciled to God. By accepting Christ as our Savior, the Word says we:

1.      Are a new creation in Christ (See 2 Corinthians 5:17)
2.      Are children of God, heirs of God, and fellow heirs with Christ, sharing His inheritance;
         have God’s nature, and His love in us (See Romans 8:17; 1 John 4:6-8)
3.      Are not alone; we have the Holy Spirit in us to comfort, teach and guide us, intercede for
         us and strengthen us (See John 14:16-17)
4.      Have God’s fullness and every spiritual blessing of Christ in us (See John 1:16)
5.      Have received from our heavenly Father every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in
         Christ who is in us (See Ephesians 1:3)
6.      Have a spirit of power, love, and a well-balanced and disciplined mind (See 2 Timothy 1:7)
7.      Have the mind, thoughts, and feelings of Christ in us (see 1 Corinthians 2:16)
8.      Have the grace (strength and power) of Christ in us (See 2 Corinthians 12:7-9)
9.      Must renew our mind daily to align with the Word of God which is also the will of God for
         our lives (See Romans 12:2)
10.    Are to rely on, trust in, and be confident in our relationship with God, His Word, His
         promises, and His love for us (See Proverbs 3:5-6)

Summary

Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” On the cross, Jesus said, “It is finished.” He did His part. He restored abundance, wholeness, healing, deliverance, success, prosperity, victory, grace, love, and truth to those who believe in Him and His Word. He brought heaven back to earth. In Christ, we can live the life God intended for us to have. While the world struggles with identity theft, we encourage you to remember that your identity in Christ can never be stolen. You have an identity protection plan that was purchased when Jesus died on the cross, and it is in place for all eternity. The blood of Christ is your protection. His sacrifice ensured that you have victory and the grace to resist every assault of the enemy. With Christ, your identity and password are safe, secure and never need to be reset. What is the password? It‘s simple and easy to remember: JESUS DID IT ALL!

Self Reflection & Application

Keep your identity in Christ safe and secure by believing, receiving, and praising Jesus. Remember that He will keep you in perfect peace when you trust in Him, for in Jesus, we have an everlasting Rock and shield of protection. Since Jesus did it all, our job as believers is to:

1.      BELIEVE God’s Word. By faith, believe the promises of God and what the Word
         says about you. Then—live by faith and your belief in His Word.
2.      RECEIVE the finished works of Christ by making a commitment to renew your mind
         daily with the Word of God.
3.      PRAISE God at all times and in all things give thanks.

 
Gary L. Selman is an accomplished author, executive coach and motivational speaker.  He has spent over thirty five years pursuing his calling, encouraging, mentoring and equipping others to live as citizens of the Kingdom of God and to become compassionate, faithful and disciplined servant leaders.  Gary and his wife Karen are founders of the First Call Advisory Group, which ministers to business owners, corporate executives and entrepreneurs. Gary holds a Master's Degree in Clinical & Community Psychology from Stephen F. Austin University.  He can be reached at gary@yourfirstcall.net
 
 
 

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