“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2Corinthians 3:18
One of my favorite stories about the power of identity is a story that comes from the pages of history. Helen of Troy often used to go out on campaigns of conquest with the ships of her mighty fleet. One day, while the fleet was in the port to take on provisions, Queen Helen somehow became separated from the other members of her party. Through a series of terrible mishaps she lost all memory of who she was or where she had come from. In her confused state, she became easy prey for the evil elements on the waterfront, and soon she had been put to work as a prostitute in a filthy hovel. This powerful woman, who possessed the authority to command an entire navy to conquer nations, had absolutely no memory of her former great position of wealth and power! She looked at her current condition of degradation and despair, and took her personality cues from that.
The captain of the ship on which Helen of Troy had been traveling took a party of men and searched the city for the great queen. He finally discovered Helen in her squalid surroundings. The captain could scarcely believe his own eyes!
“Your Majesty,” he gasped in astonishment. The queen stared back with blank disinterest. The face of the man whom she used to command did nothing to jar her back to reality.
Recognizing that Helen had utterly lost her sense of identity, the captain spoke to her clearly and firmly: “You are the Queen, Helen of Troy!”
On hearing those words which defined the true nature of who she was, Helen of Troy’s eyes cleared, and she rose to her feet. In spite of her incredibly foul surroundings, she stood tall and erect, every line of her body bearing witness to her royal posture. She stretched out her arm for the captain to take, and said calmly, “Let us go, Captain.”
Before the captain had identified her position as a royal, regal queen, Helen’s eyes had been focused on her current condition. She lived a defeated life because that was what her conditions told her she was.
Most of us have, by God’s grace, been spared the kind of horrifying degradation that Helen of Troy fell into. But I see a strong parallel in our spiritual lives as Christians and Helen’s shocking fall from her royal life. Far too many of us focus on our spiritual condition, rather than our spiritual position. It is our position as believers in Jesus Christ that I wish to focus on throughout this program.