by T.D. JakesView Bio
God showed me something extraordinary about your identity, but He did it through an unusual source.
I read about a group of orphaned elephants in South Africa, and it so clearly demonstrates the power of knowing your Heavenly Father that I have to share it with you.
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Researchers followed orphaned elephants that had lost their older elephants in the herd to poaching. The surviving younger elephants in the herd became wild and violent, uncharacteristically killing more than 40 rhinoceroses in their game reserve.
Park rangers explained that young elephants learn how to behave as elephants from their fathers. But without any model, they were reckless and lost. Have you ever felt like that--directionless and lost?
The spiritual key I want you to glean from God's creation is this: If you don't know who you are, you won't know how to live. Identity is your foundation.
If someone you know or the hardships of the world or even your enemy the devil has stolen your identity . . . I want to remind you of your rightful place. It's time to take back your identity, and that means you must understand why God is called your Heavenly Father over and over in the Bible.
I'm going to share the truth that your heart and all of Heaven want to hear today. You belong to your Father--you belong in His house!
And because you belong to your Heavenly Father, you are an heir to all the blessings He has stored up for you. Psalm 16:11 says, ". . . at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."
To call God "Father" is to declare a truth you may be unprepared for.
Your earthly father may have been angry. Maybe you grew up with an absent father. Or perhaps your father was a good model for you, but somewhere along the way you departed from those ways, and life dealt harshly with you.
When you have suffered at the hands of an earthly father, the thought of "belonging" can seem strange, but in Christ all things are now more than possible. I'll take it a step further and say this . . . no matter how you feel, you can't stop God from being a good Daddy even if you want to.
The ways that your identity is obscured by the world are a spiritual form of "identity theft." I see it happening in the hearts of men and women I minister to. Many feel that they have no place.
If you've ever felt reckless and lost, struggled to hold a job, been frustrated in relationships, or even disgruntled at church--you've felt the sting of a stolen identity. And if you lose who you are, you cannot live the life God created you to live.
But when you understand your identity
you can discover your destiny!
Let me settle any doubt in your heart. Not only do you belong to God . . .
You are loved with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3)
You are a joint heir with Christ. (Romans 8:17)
You have a guarantee of your inheritance. (Ephesians 1:14)
You have access to the Father by one Spirit. (Ephesians 2:18)
You are a member of the household of God. (Ephesians 2:19)
You are born of God, and the wicked one does not touch you. (1 John 5:18)
Your Father has a place for you in His house!
You are not left wandering the streets, begging for a handout. You are approved, favored, blessed!
In Luke 15 the prodigal son forgets who he is and where he belongs. Hurting and alone, he regains his identity when he remembers that his destiny is tied to his father.
He remembers his identity (a son) but then realizes his need for a place. He says to himself, "I'll return to my father's house!"
There is an important truth to be gained in this epiphany of returning to the Father's house. In the Father's house is everything you've ever needed. When the prodigal returns home, we see a beautiful picture of God in the father, who has been waiting all this time for his son's return.
The return of this displaced, nearly-unrecognizable rebel doesn't start a scandal; it sets off a party! Though hoping to work only as a servant, he is welcomed as a child. The doors to his father's house swing wide open!
I want you to know that you are welcome in your Father's house. When you simply say, "Father, I need you today," you walk into His presence and regain your identity and destiny!