Identity Theft

There is much concern, worry, and downright fear about someone being able to steal our identity.

For those of us who do most our financial transactions on-line–from purchasing of consumer goods to managing our assets–identity theft seemingly lurks behind every mouse click. Great measures are taken to make it more difficult for the identity predator to capture his prey.

Long and convoluted passwords are used within firewall protections wrapped within secret encryption devices and codes. In order to make it even more challenging, a different password is used for each account that requires one. Then the passwords are changed every few weeks or even days for each account. This includes not only the financial information accounts, but the social networking accounts and e-mail accounts.

Maybe it works. Maybe it serves. But I haven’t the time for it.

Once again, I find this to be unreasonable and pathetic for the Body of Christ to be involved in this.

My faith is not in the hackers’ ability to crack my encryption attempts. My faith is in the One who keeps me. Therefore my efforts at protection are minimal at best. I do only that which is required by the account that I am using. I’ve had the same password for all my accounts for years. I’ve had the same PIN for accounts that require them for years. In states where it has been possible, my driver’s license number has been my social security number. Simplicity is what works for me. Maybe it doesn’t for you.

My reasoning, though probably not well thought out, goes something like this:

  1. My identity is not how much money I have in my wallet. Neither my money nor my assets define who I am. Therefore, no one can steal my money and take my identity away from me.
  2. My life is hid with Christ in God (Col. 3:3). Therefore, no one can steal my identity–they can only join in with it!
  3. I dwell in the secret place of the Most High (Ps. 91). Therefore, God is my protector, which makes stealing my money even more difficult.
  4. Since God is my protector, I will not fear what man can do to me (Ps. 56:11).
  5. Since I do not fear what man can do to me, I am not concerned about this so-called identity theft.

Identity Theft is a misnomer, and something the devil is using to deceive the people of God.

Every time a child of God uses the term “identity theft,” he/she is giving credence to the lie that our identity is tied up in what we own. We need to pay attention to the words we speak.

The fact that fear is at the root of this whole thing should be enough to persuade the people of God to avoid it. Avoid the discussions, except to interject your statement of faith. Avoid reading about how to protect yourself from identity theft, except for reading the Bible.  Avoid reading about the latest victim’s story, because it only ministers fear.

Some will say that we need to be concerned. I am as concerned as I need to be. But, I am not constantly on the lookout for it.

I recall when we had the news about the “DC Sniper” that people in Missouri were hiding behind their cars while pumping gas. That is not concern. That is FEAR.

The point of all this?

I’m not exactly sure. I just know that I am still bothered by Christians who claim that faith is their message, while fear is their motivation.

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The Reality of Our Circumstances

Lam 3:22-26
22  It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
24 The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
25 The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.
26 It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.   KJV

In the midst of the current world situation, it is good to look at the reality of circumstances and remember a promise of the Lord such as this one.

What is the reality of our circumstances?

Reality must be defined from which perspective one wishes to consider it. In the natural, my current reality is that our income has been slashed in half. Add to that the word of the Lord to our hearts to move to a more costly part of the country, and nothing makes sense. Not only are we in a more costly region, we are in a high-poverty area of that region.

Jobs are scarce and factories are closing. People are frightened.

As I consider the natural from this light, it would be easy for me to become frightened also.

But, there is one aspect of our reality that sometimes gets overlooked as we reach for the panic button: “we are not consumed.”

Why? Because of the Lord’s mercies; because His compassions fail not.

Not only do His compassions not fail, they are new every morning.

That is a different reality, one that I would do well to make my constant view.

But when I look at my situation, it is easy to forget–ie, be unaware of the fact–that I made it through the night. I’m still here! I am not consumed. The world has not beat me. I’m ready to go again.

What is my portion? Is it a paycheck upon which I cannot depend?

NO!

The LORD is my portion!

He is good to me because I wait for Him. I seek Him; to know Him; to be more like Him.

Are you quietly waiting? Or, are your complaints, whinings, and fears screaming too loudly to hear His voice say: It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.(v. 26)

Yes, it is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.

Blogged Bible Study–Peace & Quiet

Jn 14:27
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.      KJV

Have you ever shouted out, “Just give me some peace and quiet!”? We probably all have at one time or another.

Have you ever noticed how those two words are used together, but are usually taken to mean the same thing?

The statement is usually made in the midst of some sort of chaos.

We all desire peace and quiet.

The two are not the same. You can have one without the other.

It is possible to be quiet, but not at peace.

I had a young girl in my last class who was a selective mute. It took me three months to get her just to nod her head in my direction when she came into my classroom. She was quiet, but she was definitely not at peace.

No smile. No words for anyone. Eyes constantly darting around. Fear written all over her young, 11-year-old face.

In another instance, one of the elders in my church a few years back tried to follow my example of going up into the mountains for three days of fasting and prayer. While there he had a nervous breakdown. He discovered he was not able to be alone with his thoughts. It was quiet for him. Too quiet. He had no peace.

It is also possible to have peace in the midst of the most terrible chaos.

Mt 8:24
And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.   KJV

I’ve been in the North Atlantic in the midst of a vicious storm. Sleep was not possible until one simply passed out from sheer exhaustion.

But, Jesus slept.

Jesus said that He will give us peace, but it will not be in the same manner or type that the world gives. The only peace the world knows is the absence of noise, the absence of chaos, the absence of war.

He gives us the peace that “passes understanding” (Phil. 4:7). It is a peace that goes beyond our understanding. It definitely goes beyond the understanding of the world, or the natural man.

We can (and should) be at peace in the most trying circumstances. We are in an hour that is trying men’s souls. This is nothing compared to what shall be; but it is a time to learn how to maintain peace.

“How can you be so peaceful when the world is falling apart all around you?”

Because I know in whom I have believed.

Yes, the world appears to be falling apart all around us in this hour. But, Jesus said to not let your heart be troubled nor let it be afraid.

Why?

Because we are at peace with the world, with ourselves, and with God, because Jesus has given that to us.

Do you know that peace?

If you do not know what it is to have that kind of peace in this kind of turmoil, I encourage to e-mail me or one of the other writers who are discussing this chapter of John’s gospel.