IMGP7624For no one can lay any foundation other than what is being laid, which is Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 3:11)

“Waisake, stand up,” I said to the six-foot-six Fijian inmate. “You have been a fighter of men, but I anoint you as a warrior for God. From now on, you battle demons and evil instead of people.”

As I made a cross with coconut oil on Waisake’s forehead, tears dripped onto his orange prison smock.

Waisake was serving time for first degree assault. Fellow prisoners feared his Herculean fists, but when he gave his heart to Jesus, a new Waisake emerged. Through counseling, the Holy Spirit set him free from the abuse he’d received as a child. The moment I put oil on his head, God changed his identity from brawler to lover. Powerful, friendly Waisake became a favorite of inmates and guards alike.

Like Waisake, my identity defines me. How I and others see me influences my actions. So what am I? A brawler, a lover, a fanatic, a pacifist? There are a great many human labels and we each wear several.

My identity has changed a few times. It shifted when I left the business world to become a pastor. On the mission field, I faced conflict with ministry staff three different times. It left me with questions. What am I—a businessman, a pastor, a missionary?

Every steppingstone of identity eventually sinks. The only unmoving foundation is the love of Jesus Christ. Since he purchased my place in God’s family, that’s my identity—a child of God, and brother of Jesus. 

Life’s changes may cause the universe to crumble on every side, but for me and Waisake, our weight is on the immovable stone.

Prayer: Jesus, you are my identity.