Skip McDonald

Living on purpose~


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The Case of Identity Theft

The enemy comes to steal your identity.  The church of Jesus Christ faces numerous problems due to identity theft. Jesus died to secure His bride, (His body, His people, and His church). We don’t go to church, we are the church. Until we identify what has happened and is happening to the body of Christ, we may forfeit the mission entrusted to us.

Sometimes I feel like an undercover agent for the body of Christ, keenly aware of what’s happening around me and to the church. I know that if I slack on protecting my identity, the enemy will have me just where he wants me-scared and ineffective for the kingdom of God. I am reminded of my Auntie Florrie’s words when she was facing difficulty, “The joy of the Lord is my strength (Neh. 8:10). If I allow anyone to steal my joy, they steal my strength, and I can’t allow that to happen.” Remaining armed in this age of deception guards against identity theft.

Christian identity theft looks something like this: spiritual malnourishment, sin, un-forgiveness, approval addiction, pride, fear, gripped by past failures, apathy, procrastination, ungodly relationships, doubt, anger, resentment, bitterness, immaturity, impurity, depression, anxiety and living under lies rather than walking in the truth-just to name a few!

The first step in regaining Christian identity is acknowledging its exodus. Unfortunately, sometimes we are lulled to sleep so that we don’t see what is really happening to us. Before we know it, our lives may be in shambles, looking more like the world than the Christ. Can the world tell the difference?  I sense that people around us are wondering what the church of Jesus Christ is really suppose to look like. Based on what they see and hear, they may wonder, ‘is this the real deal?’

There’s nothing quite like the sight of Christ’s followers wandering around not knowing who they are and why they are here. Lost identity breeds darkness; we may find ourselves groping in darkness rather than walking in the light of Jesus. He came to deliver us out of darkness not to hang out in it!  He came to give us life and that life more abundantly (John 10:10).

Regaining our Christian identity enables us to shed His love and light abroad wherever we are.  People won’t have to question who we are. They will know we are kingdom subjects with an allegiance to one King, one Lord and one Master. Today, ask yourself if your Christian identity has been stolen? If so, will you allow the Holy Spirit to rescue your identity? Will you then walk in His power showing forth the light and love of Jesus in our dark and dying world? May you know His peace which surpasses all understanding. May His peace guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).


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The Fight!

A few years ago I received an accusatory email from someone I hadn’t spoken to in almost a year.  As I responded, my heart raced and my fingers trembled.  I later realized this was a bodily response to an internal battle.

A battle raged within my soul as the flesh fought for first place in my response.  Thankfully, the Holy Spirit emerged as Victor as I yielded to Him.

I’m not sure I have ever been so keenly aware of my flesh fighting that hard for victory.  After completing the email and sharing with confidants, I started to calm down.

Upon later reflection, I was reminded once again that we do not struggle with flesh and blood.  Our struggle is against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)  Now, that’s a mouthful.  This surely puts the struggle in perspective.

Christians cannot be possessed by demons, but the enemy can surely influence us.  I pray I will never become a puppet in the enemy’s hand against someone else.  Knowing this increases my desire to walk by the Spirit and not after the flesh.  The flesh is so destructive.  I don’t want to entertain, my enemy, Christ’s enemy in any way.  Sigh…

I often say and it is true, left to myself, I will dishonor my Lord times over.  I don’t want to do this.  Whether by life or by death, I want Jesus uplifted.

Every believer faces this soul fight whether we recognize it or not.  You are not going crazy.  You’re in a battle!  Know that.  We don’t have to be afraid of the enemy, respectful yes, but not afraid.  But, we must remain mindful of him and how he always seeks to wreak havoc in our souls and in the lives of others.

What are you facing today that’s leaving you feeling baffled and defeated?  Tilt your head just a little bit and you may see an enemy behind the struggle.  The armor of God is for real.  So thankful I had suited up when I received that email.

May you go forth strong in the strength of his might.  (Ephesians 6:10)


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The Face in the Mirror

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the truest of them all?  The mirror- window to the soul, reflecting, echoing and emulating, who? What?  We glance or gaze in the mirror hoping it will tell us that we look ok, that it’s safe to reveal ourselves in public.  How often do we look into the real mirror, the mirror of truth which never lies?  Out of His goodness, God gave us the powerful Word of truth that saves us.  As we humbly accept that word of truth in our lives, the mirror becomes a friend to our souls.

So instead of just looking into the mirror for outward appearance, try looking at your inner disposition.  If we are not careful, the world, flesh and the devil distracts us from pursuing character witness, thereby clouding the life of Christ.  The world is longing to see and experience the Christ within every believer.  After looking in the mirror of God’s truth, remembering and acting upon what we’ve read, people will encounter the risen Christ through us.  In James 1:16-18, he lists the Word of truth as one of God’s good and perfect gifts unto salvation.  We are then able to share this great salvation with those around us.  We are a sampling of the kind of people God calls unto Himself.

The enemy majors in character assassination intent on destroying our effectiveness for the kingdom of God.  The word of truth not only convicts, but heals and enables.  As we continuously gaze into the word of truth, we avoid deception and Hebrews 4:12 rings true in our lives:  “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart (NASB).”  In this, we allow the word access into the very fiber of who we are.  Then, the mirror image will less likely flee from our minds.  We will remember who we are.

In James 1:22, we are admonished to obey the Word and not merely listen to it.  When we obey God, our faces reflect the truth of what we saw in the mirror of His Word.  When we walk away, we won’t forget, we will meditate and act upon the truth as we go.  For in Him, we live and move and have our being.  (Acts 17:28)  As we are blessed, we can bless others.  May your mirror reflect the one who is truest of all.