Recognizing & Overcoming Spiritual Identity Theft

In the process of finding emotional freedom in the Lord, I have come to understand that one of the most effective tools the enemy uses against us is the twisting of our identity.

If the enemy can manipulate our belief in who God created us to be, he can use that deception to keep us off the true path of life.

Identity Crisis

When I was 7 years old, my home suddenly crumbled, and my parents divorced. I was sent to another state to live with relatives on their farm and abruptly told they would also be adopting me. I went from feeling like a princess to a farmhand in a matter of weeks. For a girl who was used to living a suburban life with the security of her parents, being suddenly thrust into a different family and the hard life of farming caused a meltdown in my identity.

By the age of 26, I was thoroughly confused about who God created me to be. There was a huge disconnect for me because the life I grew up with still didn’t make sense to me. Even though I tried to conform, I continually felt like an outsider.

Love came down and rescued me by way of a precious woman who helped me to pray and untwist what the enemy had done to my identity. In one of our prayer sessions, the Lord gave me a vision of a little girl, about the age of 7, who was a golden princess, but she was covered in pig slop. It was precisely how I felt. If I was a princess, why was I in a pig pen?  I saw the pig slop begin to fall from the golden princess, and I heard the Holy Spirit say, “The mud only sticks if you let it.”

I felt a bright light poke through my foggy world for the first time since I was 7. The Holy Spirit was telling me that I truly was a princess—a daughter of the King and precious to Him. The outward experiences of my broken family and the hard farm life didn’t define my identity. I didn’t have to let the disapproval of other people stick to me. I could simply let it fall away because the only approval that mattered came from the One who created me.

My identity rests in the truth that I am a daughter of the King. No one can take that from me—if I choose not to let them.

Exposing the Enemy’s Strategy

Through my years of mentoring others, I have come to recognize a pattern. The enemy attempts to make us feel powerless by dehumanizing us. Once we feel powerless, he has an open door to distort the truth of who God created us to be. It is a two-step process: first powerlessness, then spiritual manipulation.

This is what happened to Eve in the Garden of Eden. She allowed the serpent’s words to penetrate her heart, causing her to doubt God’s love for her. Eve’s identity was thrown into confusion when she believed the lie that God did not have her best interests at heart. Once she allowed herself to doubt her value to God, the enemy was able to deceive her into eating the fruit.

This is the exact same formula the enemy uses today. He gets us to doubt our true identity; then he manipulates us through people and situations to believe lies that paralyze us from accomplishing God’s will in our lives.

But we can only be manipulated by the enemy if we allow him to steal our identity in Christ.

Remember Who You Are

In 1 Kings 17 and 18, Elijah stood for three years against King Ahab in the midst of a famine. Then he stood against 450 prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel and defeated them. Queen Jezebel was angry that she lost at Mount Carmel and roared at Elijah that she was going to kill him.

Elijah was tired and emotionally spent. He forgot who he was and allowed the words of Jezebel to penetrate his heart. Instead of standing up to her, the attack on his identity caused him to flee and become deeply depressed. If Elijah would have remembered who he truly was, the mud that Jezebel flung at him wouldn’t have stuck.

We see this kind of spiritual manipulation in our more recent history as Adolf Hitler was able to manipulate an entire country. Germany had lost World War I and suffered the consequences of paying reparations, causing deep economic troubles for the country. (1) Mass unemployment and hyperinflation caused the citizens of the country to feel powerless.

This sense of powerlessness in the German people made them feel dehumanized; therefore, they were vulnerable to having their identity twisted. This opened a door for the Nazi Party to spiritually manipulate the minds of the German people. Instead of getting their identity from God, they found a distorted identity in nationalism.

Consider the Nazi flag, bearing the symbol of a twisted cross. What an appropriate picture of how the enemy worked against the true identity of Germany. The devil made them feel powerless, then twisted their thinking through a human mouthpiece that defied the ultimate truth of what Jesus accomplished on the cross.

Thankfully, God is a restorer of souls. He restored Elijah, though it took a little time. He is still restoring Germany, though it has also taken a little time. Above all, God can restore you.

Our Heavenly Father wants us to be planted on a firm foundation as we navigate life. He desires that we really know who He created us to be. He wants to deliver us from our twisted identities, so we may complete our purpose on earth. He wants us to be able to resist the devil and be strong. Let’s make the crooked places in our minds straight as we prepare for the return of the King.

Steps to Wholeness

In order to become whole, we must address areas in our lives where we are confused about who we are and face the lies that have affected our beliefs about our identity in Christ.

  1. Spend time in prayer with Father God, asking for a spirit of truth to reveal any lies you believe about yourself.

  2. As He shows you, renounce the lies out loud (for example, “I renounce the lie that I am not good enough.”). Then ask for the truth (“Father God, what is Your truth about me?”). Quietly listen to the still small voice in your spirit. When you hear the truth, it is important to declare it out loud and write it down. Whenever the enemy tempts you to doubt who you are, you’ll need to use the Father’s truth as a sword against his tactics.

  3. Forgive the people who led you to believe these lies. As they are revealed, ask God to break the tie between these people and yourself.

  4. Ask God to remove any twisted thinking from your mind and to replace it with the mind of Christ. Then ask Him to give you back your true identity.


End Note:

  1. “How did the Nazis gain power?” Web. 4 February 2016.

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Tisha Sledd

Tisha Sledd

Tisha is a 40-something wife, mother, entrepreneur, intercessor, and minister with a heart for God's Kingdom. She is passionate to see transformation happen in the earth by putting Jesus Christ on the throne in every area. After being in ministry for 14 years, she recently launched

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