February 23, 2022
Thank you for praying each Wednesday for our prodigals and for revival. Prayer is the birthright of every child of God!
Living out our identity is the essence of the Christian faith.
Neil T. Anderson once said, “The major strategy of Satan is to distort the character of God and the truth of who we are. He can’t change God and he can’t do anything to change our identity and position in Christ. If, however, he can get us to believe a lie, we will live as though our identity in Christ isn’t true.”
God wants each of us to be living from the fullness of His identity. The next name in the Hebrews 11 list of heroes of the faith is Rahab, and she did this very thing!
“By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies” (Hebrews 11:31). The full story can be found in Joshua chapter 2.
We are not told the back story on this woman’s life, but one can only imagine. She lived in the city of Jericho, and maybe she got in with the wrong group as a teenager, and her life spiraled out of control. Possibly her husband had left her or had died, and she had no means to support herself and her family. We are not told. What we do know is that just about every time her name is used in Scripture it is identified with her sinful lifestyle. Everyone who has ever read about her in the Bible knows she was a prostitute.
That was her past. That was her life. That was her identity.
It all changed when she came in contact with the LORD God! He gave her a new identity. An identity that became visible through her faith in Him.
Rahab was a woman of true faith!
True faith is responding to what you know of God. Long before anyone in Israel knew anything about this Gentile woman, Rahab from Jericho, she had dealings with God. She didn’t know much about Him, but she had heard some of the reports of His great works of power, and her heart melted in fear (Joshua 2:8-11). In fact, all the inhabitants of Jericho were in a state of fear, but it was only Rahab who responded in faith when the spies came.
True faith will always have an opportunity to prove itself. Rahab believed God when she received the news of how God was blessing His people, but it wasn’t until many years later that her faith was put to the test and proved to be real.
We are not told if or how her faith may have been active prior to the visit of the spies, but when they came she undeniably sided with God. When the spies came to Jericho to search it out, it says, “They went and came into the house of a prostitute whose name was Rahab and lodged there” (Joshua 2:1).
How did the spies end up in her home anyway? It wasn’t by chance. It was evident that Rahab was waiting. Rahab was anticipating their arrival and quietly, strategically invited them to her house. By giving them a friendly welcome and assisting them in their purpose, she was putting her life on the line. She was taking sides with God and His people. She was acting in faith.
You may not know when it will come, but your faith will also be put to the test. You will come up against the world’s values and be required to make a choice. Rahab is the great example of a woman who stood alone with God and, despite the odds, did the right thing.
True faith is living in the new identity that comes from God. We may identify this woman as Rahab the prostitute, but from the day she believed God, she was known by Him as Rahab the righteous.
In James we read that Abraham was declared righteous by God, and directly following, it says, “And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?” (James 2:25).
This is so good! Rahab was declared righteous by God. So regardless of past identity, she lived in the good of her standing before God. Her actions provided proof that she was a righteous woman.
There may be many ways in which you are identified by the people around you. Some categories may be very shameful and degrading, due to your past lifestyle, but if you are a child of God, you have been declared righteous by Him.
Allow the wonder of this truth to wash every hurtful label off and live in the fulness of what God has made you. This is living in the new identity that comes alone from God.
Love in Christ,
Bryan and Rachel