ANAHEIM, Calif. — Satan “loves” to cast doubt on a Christian's identity in Christ because he knows it’s the “core of everything we do,” filmmakers Alex and Stephen Kendrick said ahead of the release of their new film "Overcomer."
“Satan loves to convince people that they’re the opposite of what Ephesians 1, 2 and 3 say they are,” Alex Kendrick told The Christian Post during a sit-down interview with CP last week. “He’ll say, ‘Oh, well, you’re not actually loved that much; you’re not really blessed. You’re a failure. You don’t have the ability to do what it takes.’ And Scripture says, 'No, you have the Holy Spirit inside of you, and you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.’”
Kendrick noted that when Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, he began by saying, “If you are the Son of God” (Matthew 4:3).
“Satan was attacking Jesus’ identity,” he said. “The devil knows that our identity is the core of everything we do. All the way to the cross, Jesus was constantly attacked on the basis of His identity. But before Jesus healed anyone or performed miracles, He heard His father say to Him, ‘This is my son in whom I’m well pleased.’ Because Jesus knew who He was, He could hang on the cross, rejected by everyone else, but confident in knowing He was loved by the Father.”
Scripture reveals that all Christians — regardless of age, sex, or race — are going to be falsely accused, mocked, and tempted to question their identity in Christ, Kendrick said, adding: “Satan tempts us just like he tempted Jesus. Our identity is going to be tested. We should respond with, 'Lord, let me remember who You say I am. Let me remember what Your Word says about who I am. I can't respond based on how I feel, because right now I want to do something evil or wrong.'”
“Put on that helmet of salvation, lift that shield of faith of, and declare, ‘I'm not trusting what the devil is saying to me,’” he added, citing Ephesians 6:10.
“Overcomer,” which is now showing in theaters nationwide, stars Alex Kendrick, Priscilla Shirer, and Shari Rigby. The sports-themed film tells the story of coach John Harrison, whose life changes overnight when his high school basketball team and state championship dreams are crushed following an economic downturn in the community.
After hundreds of families leave their town, Harrison questions how he and his family will face an uncertain future. Harrison reluctantly agrees to coach cross-country runners, and soon he and his wife, Amy, meet Hannah, an aspiring athlete who is also searching for her identity. Inspired by the words and prayers of a new friend, Harrison starts to train Hannah for the biggest race of her young life.
The sixth film from the Kendrick brothers, who are also behind “War Room,” "Facing the Giants," and “Fireproof,” “Overcomer” encourages moviegoers to ask themselves, “Where do I place my identity?”
"As a Christian, I should find my primary identity in the Lord and as a child of God," Stephen Kendrick said. "Once that's established, that's my bedrock foundation and everything else is built on that. So if something in my life changes, my foundation is still the same.”
“We believe that the fullest, most complete version of ourselves is when we are found in Christ,” he added. “He created us. He knows us. He knows what we struggle with. He knows our inner thoughts. He knows the skills that He gave us.”
LifeWay is publishing multiple resources for adults and children to accompany the movie, including a Bible study kit, books geared toward adults, teenage boys and young men, teenage girls and young women, and middle schoolers.
Establishing one’s identity in Christ takes intentionality, Stephen Kendrick said, adding: “We’re all born not knowing who we are. Yes, we’re made in the image of God and we have infinite value in that, but we’re broken by sin and separated from God because of that. When we believe the Gospel, we understand we’re adopted, chosen, blessed, accepted, and forgiven.”
He encouraged those struggling to find their identity in Christ to go through Ephesians 1–3 and highlight every phrase describing a child of God.
“What we believe about God is the number one most important thing, but what we believe about ourselves is connected to that,” Alex Kendrick emphasized. “If we believe and discover that God is a loving Father who blesses us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ and that He is a forgiving God, then I can rest in who I am in Christ because I've given my heart to Jesus.”
The Kendrick brothers told CP they hope viewers walk out of the theater not only entertained but encouraged to ask themselves: “What do I put my identity in? Is it in the Creator who made me? Or in things that will fade?"
“Our desire is to draw people to either establish a relationship with the Lord or to go deeper in their relationship with the Lord,” Stephen Kendrick said. “Because once you truly know who you are, it settles a lot of things. If just one person leaves with a newfound sense of who they are in Christ, this film will be a success in our eyes.”