Scripture Reading: Luke 8:26-39
What comes to mind when you hear the words “identity theft?” Do you reach for your credit card or wonder if your computer password wasn’t strong enough? Believe it or not, identity theft has been happening for a very long time. The man in this story was, not the first, but definitely a very serious victim of identity theft. In this passage we learn that “for a long time he had worn no clothes, and he had not lived in a house but among the tombs.” (Vs. 27) Two things that make us human: wearing clothes and living in a house, had been taken from him. Rather than living among people, this man would “be driven by the demon into the desert.” (Vs. 29) Tragically, when Jesus asks this man his name, it is not the man who responds, but the demon with the name “Legion.” Even this man’s voice and name had been stolen.
Where there is the influence of the enemy in our life, whether it be through unrepentant sin, a constant fear, etc. there is a loss of identity. Rather than seeking counsel, accountability, and freedom, we allow ourselves to be driven to isolation. We slowly give up on the things that make us human, the things that we used to love doing. We are afraid of other people and what they might think, so we do not let them in. Most importantly, we do not let Jesus in. It is only through His grace and forgiveness that we can be truly healed and have our identity restored.
Have you ever wondered why Jesus did not allow the man to come with Him? Wouldn’t you think that being at Jesus’ side would be the best way for this man to have remained free? Jesus, in His grace, sent this man back to the people who he had run from. People who knew about his mess. Jesus sent him to tell the truth of what God had done for him. Jesus put an end to this man’s isolation once and for all. By telling the man to go back to those people, He was encouraging him to take back his identity. He desires the same for you. We were not meant to live life alone. If you feel your identity has been stolen, the first step is to seek Jesus and then to let someone into your isolation.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, ESV)
- Are there areas of your life where you feel driven to isolation?
- What does it mean for you to let Jesus into those areas?
- Is there a trusted friend who you can share your struggles with and take your first step out of isolation and into freedom?
*Devotional contributed by Faith De Zort