Our True Identity
“We are marked as belonging to God by the Holy Spirit.”
~ Ephesians 1:13
Potemkin village was identified as a facade. It was a fake, portable village.
According to wikipedia.com the story goes like this: The major task of Governor Grigory Potemkin was to rebuild the desolate region along the banks of Dnieper River and to bring in Russian settlers.
The Russian Empress Catherine II, along with her court, and several ambassadors made an unprecedented six-month trip to Crimea (New Russia) in 1787. In that same year, a new war was about to happen between Russia and the Ottoman Empire. Her objective for the trip was to impress Russia's allies prior to the upcoming war.
To accomplish the Empress's goal Governor Potemkin set up “mobile villages” on the banks of the Dnieper River far enough away from the riverbank so the facades were not recognized. When the barge with the Empress and ambassadors would sail by the village, Potemkin and his men would dress as peasants and the men would populate the fake village. After the barge left, the fake village would be taken apart and then overnight be rebuilt downstream. The facade was a deception.
Modern historians are at odds on the degree of truth behind the Potemkin village story. However, according to a legend, in 1787 upon the return of the Empress's trip, she passed through Tula. The local Governor Mikhail Krechetnikov “indeed attempted a similar deception” with a facade in order to hide the results of a bad harvest.
Webster's dictionary describes a facade as: “a false or superficial appearance”. Superficial appearances, or false appearances can be deceiving just as they were to the Empress and the ambassadors. When a person lives their life like a movable Potemkin village their superficial appearance will be constantly repositioning and changing according to the situation at hand. They are often disguised as the picture perfect person, however they may be constantly striving to win the approval from the onlookers.
People who become a Christian do not need to live a life of a facade such as the Potemkin village, because God's people take on a new and stable identity in Jesus Christ. II Corinthians 5:17 states: “...Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun!”. They become secure in the knowledge that nothing can separate them from God's love; acceptance; and no condemnation awaits them.
God's people ought to remain constant and unmovable in their spiritual life because His Spirit lives in them, and they are adopted into His family. They are accepted by Him; valuable to Him; and He chose them. He unconditionally loves each one just the way they are. His people are set free in Christ, and they are His light in the world.
Oh what a relief it is! When you belong to the Lord you do not have to keep up the superficial appearance like the example of the portable Potemkin village facade, because you are God's masterpiece!
Lord God, thank You that we find our true identity in Jesus Christ. Help us to remain certain that with God, we are made right. Amen.
~ Ann Brock Ludington