And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” 21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” 22 So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”
Do you ever get spiritual amnesia? It happens to me all the time. I know who I am, but I forget at the most inopportune times. I get tempted by something, or I get angry, or I get lazy, and I forget who I am.
A few years ago, while trying to encourage me, my husband taught me a way to remember who I am. (He’s been gifted to teach, so it’s no wonder God would use him in that way.)
I was feeling overwhelmed. I was depressed. I felt unworthy. And my husband took me to Ephesians Chapter One and began to read it to me. However, instead of reading “we” or “us”, he inserted my name. It sounded something like this:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed Daisy in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places…”Ephesians 1:3 (with my name inserted)
As he read, I began to weep. I’d completely forgotten who I was. I’d gotten Spiritual Amnesia. God’s grace hit me like a ton of bricks at that point. His Word has a way of doing that, doesn’t He? And as I was reminded of who I was, my heart began to change.
I moved away from my own ideas of failure and defeat back to the Daughter of the King (with the full rights of Sonship that had already been given to me) and returned to my seat in the Heavenly places where God has seated me.
I know that can feel like a crazy concept, but hear me on this. Who we are isn’t based on how we feel, or what other people think, or even what we think. Who we are is what God has made us to be.
John the Baptist knew who he was. When confronted about who he was by the great teachers of the Law, the religious scholars and elite wise men of the temple, John answered plainly and without fear.
He said: “I’m not the Christ. I am not Elijah. I am not the Prophet prophesied about in Deuteronomy 18 (which was Jesus).” This, of course, frustrated the Men of the Law. They wanted answers.
John knew who he was. And he proclaimed it to them confidently, without fanfare, without fear, without doubt. He proclaimed proudly, “I’m the guy Isaiah prophesied about. Yep. That’s me. I’m the voice crying out in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord!”
John knew who he was. He was a man proclaiming the coming Messiah. With bold humility, John announced who he was:
24 (Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.) 25 They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” 26 John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, 27 even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.”
John didn’t back down with fear or doubt even faced with accusation. John proclaimed the coming Messiah with courage and boldness and a warning to pay attention.
Like John the Baptist, we need to remember who we are and proclaim the Messiah boldly and with confidence. We need to proclaim it over ourselves and also to the world.
In the end it cost John his life. Are we willing to go to death for the One Who Died for us? If we trust and know who we are, then you better believe we will!
So snap out of that Spiritual Amnesia and remember who you are!
in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can man do to me?