Sometimes my sense of humor gets the best of me. Once when I was checking in for a convention, I was informed that the sponsors would hold a drawing in each of the main sessions. During the last session, they would draw a name for the grand prize.
Handing me a slip of paper, the registrar asked me to print my name and drop it into the drum in the center of the table. I never win anything, and I knew my chances at a conference this large might be one in 1,000 at best. In an attempt at humor, I wrote down the name “Chuck Roast.”
Each conference session began with the master of ceremonies pulling out several names and awarding the prizes. In the last session, all the people were on the edge of their seats as it came time for the final drawing. I don’t remember what the grand prize was, but it was something special.
The emcee reached into the drum, grabbed a handful of names and began shaking them out until only one remained. Using his best announcer voice and with the drum roll building, he announced “ . . . and the grand prize winner is . . . CHUCK ROAST!”
Dead silence followed as everyone looked around waiting for the winner’s reaction. Of course, no Chuck Roast came forward. The emcee kept announcing, “The winner is Chuck Roast.” About the third time he repeated it, the crowd began to get in on the joke and laughter broke out. Then the emcee himself caught on and said, “Well, Chuck Roast, whoever you are, you just lost a beautiful, wonderful gift. Let’s draw another name.”
I sat there feeling empty. I won, but I didn’t. That day, I lost something that could have delighted me . . . all because I took on another identity. And I’ve discovered I’m not the only one who goes around trying to be someone else.
When I think about those who don’t understand their identities, I remember the story of Samson. An angel of the Lord visited his mother and told her she would conceive a special child. She was to drink no strong drink or eat anything unclean because her child would be a Nazirite, set aside by God for a special purpose.
As the story unfolds, do we find Samson walking out his identity as a God-chosen man? Of course not. Instead, he becomes known for hanging out with the prostitutes, especially one named Delilah. When Delilah tries to find out what gives him his supernatural strength, he takes holy things and turns them into jokes. Spending time in the wrong place with the wrong people doing the wrong thing becomes Samson’s ultimate downfall.
When I read this story, I want to grab Samson by the collar, look him in the eye and ask him, “Don’t you know who you are? Even before your birth, God chose you. Your mother did everything the angel requested. Samson, it was your destiny to judge Israel, to be God’s hands and voice on this Earth, but you tried to make yourself something God never intended. Why would a man with such a high calling hang out in all the wrong places?”
Instead of walking out his true identity, Samson tried to be someone else—and missed all the good things God had planned. He lived to regret it when the Philistines poked his eyes out. Samson ended up in prison, pushing a grinding wheel. But one day, God accomplished His purpose through Samson when He empowered him to pull the house down upon the Philistines.
What happened to Samson is what Satan wants to do to us. He wants to steal our identities and have us find them in empty, vain pursuits like the clothes we wear, the groups we hang out with and the cars we drive. But my true identity is in Christ. I am a Child of the King, bought by His holy blood. I’m a person of worth and value, and He calls me his favorite child.
All this reminds me of that old song:
“I’m a child of the King, A child of the King:
With Jesus my Savior, I’m a child of the King.
I once was an outcast, a stranger on Earth,
A sinner by choice, an alien by birth,
But I’ve been adopted, my name’s written down,
An heir to a mansion, a robe and a crown:
With Jesus my Savior, I’m a child of the King.” (“A Child of the King,” Harriet Buell, 1877)
Jesus wants you to find freedom in your identity with Him. The enemy wants you to feel like a piece of meat. Make sure you live as a child of the King and not . . . chuck roast.
Walker Moore is president of Awe Star Ministries in Tulsa, P.O. Box 470265, Tulsa 74147, email, firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone 800/AWESTAR (293-7827).