When God made Adam and eve did he give them a self? Individuality? Is there a difference between having a self and being selfish?
One problem that we as human beings have is that we try to take away other persons individuality in order to secure our own individuality, we are not really free, because we believe that in order to be free we need to control the other person. That is the natural human way of thinking. If you say something to me that is bad, who has the problem? Do we usually recognize it to be the case?
What a person says does not interfere with our individuality, it does not interfere with our person- We should never allow what a person perceives of us to be our reality. It is never the same. We need to have a consciousness in ourselves to our identity and who we are, so that regardless of what a person says, they cannot define you. Only God can define you. A person usually interprets you and judges you by what is in their own mind.
Proverbs 23:7 – For as a man thinketh in his heart so is he.
If a person is accusing you and condemning you they are revealing who they are, they are not defining you. If a person sees evil in you and seeks to tell you about what is in you more often than not they are revealing to you their own heart. We need to rise beyond succumbing to a person’s definition of us.
John 8:32 – You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.
What will make you free? Not a persons definition of you. Often we even have negative thoughts about ourselves, we entertain a particular identity so we are really living a lie. It is God alone who can define us. SO if we have negative thought in our minds concerning ourselves, if we entertain those thoughts and if we entertain the thoughts of others relating to our identity we are not believing the truth.
What does God say about us?
God says 1) we are fearfully and wonderfully made.
God says 2) We are his.
When we come to the truth of understanding who we are then we would live in accordance with our identity. For example he told Christ- this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased. Then Christ went into the wilderness. While there what did the devil say? IF… you are the son of God. What was the devil doing? Striking at his Identity. As long as Satan can get us to doubt who we are, he has us. As long as we believe some lie of the enemy with reference to how God views us, he has us.
Sales man has to realize praise or rejection does not effect his identity as a salesman.
Fear of Rejection. False Expectations Appearing Real.
You have certain expectations but they are false because you are trying to penetrate the future. The future is dark and you are going into a maze you don't know, it is a realm of uncertainty that produces fear. But when we know that we are in touch with one who knows the future we have no fear, we can advance towards any goals that we may have. So you are looking at perseverance.
Jesus himself gave an example concerning a woman of perseverance. She was being troubled by her adversaries and she went to unjust judge. The man refused to give her and every day she would go back till he was weary and decided to do the right thing. When we are persevering outside of what may appear. Don't judge by eye sight, judge by mind sight, anything coming against you is really for you. What ever the situation is it is a stepping stone to bring you closer to your ideals. Our ideal is to be selfless. When God permits us to face that nasty voice he has empowered us to submit to him and therefore we have developed and we have grown. So what ever a person does it is completely irrelevant to us. It is what is going on in their mind. What they do cannot effect us unless we allow it to. We therefore would be our own worst enemy.
What defines self worth? An item really shouldn’t know or care about its own worth and does not define its own worth. If there is a piece of corn in the street and a piece of Gold in the street, what has more worth to a bird. Just because the bird does not see the Gold as having worth or usefulness does not make the Gold worthless. Today God is telling you that he sees your worth. If a person comes to you and gives a negative response to what they think your worth is, it simply means that that individual is not worthy enough to give you worth. Only a person who can see the full potential of what you can be is worthy enough to define your worth. Listen to what God has to say about you:
Isa_13:12 I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.
When we understand that Christ died and paid an infinite price for us, when we look in ourselves we will feel worthless in ourselves because of all the nonsense we would have done in our lives and we start to define ourselves by what we had done, but when we look out of ourselves and realize there is nothing that you can do to define your worth, it is what Christ has done, then you can say, despite the fact that your eyes are telling you one thing, then you can say by faith – God says I am not worthless, God says I am price less.
Usually we allow the things we do bad to define us and we get guilty over them, but then when we do good we allow that to raise our ego to think that oh now we are actually worth something.
In reality we shouldn't allow when we do good to define our worth, neither should bad things we do define our worth. The only thing to define our worth is in Jesus Christ. If we allow the good we do to define our worth we are setting up ourselves to have a big crash for when we fall.
When no one cares know that God cares.
Your identity is that you are meaningful
You are worth the whole of Heaven.
You can say that despite the fact that you have sinned.
Falling does not mean you have lost your identity. The bible says that Christ died for us while we were yet sinners, so even when we weren’t good he has already defined our worth. Whether we decide to think it or not does not determine if we are worthy or not.
We are told of the woman who had the issue of blood. She had a disease. So with that disease she was viewed a particular way in her society. It was like if she had leprosy. She would have been divorced. She would not have been allowed to enter the temple for it would be like if she would defile the temple. She would not have been able to go into crowds for she was seen as one cursed by god seeing she was one carrying this issue of blood. She went to doctors over and over and they could not help her so they are seeing her as stricken by the finger of God. And therefore that was her identity of herself based upon what society viewed her and she heard about Jesus. And in hearing about Jesus she had to forget the view that society had concerning her, she had to put it away. She had to put away even her own lack of self worth and understand that “ if I may touch the helm (grab) of his garment (the string that drops down) then I can be made whole” she looked beyond the society’s definition of her and had faith in the one who was able to save her from her situation. She came through, she did not say anything to anyone, she had a purpose, she had a Goal, she had an objective, and she refused to tell it to anyone. Why? They would have sought to discourage her. “ No you can’t do that!” so often times what we need to do, when God gives us something to do – Keep it to ourselves. Sometimes we cant even share it with persons closest to us sometimes because we can be discouraged and she went through that crowd, and this was her faith: “ all I need to do is touch the hem of his garment.” Now these people were very superstitious; for example the man at pool thought if you went into the specific pool at a certain time you would be made whole. So they had this superstition that if they did something then they would receive a benefit and with that mindset she thought this man can heal me if I can touch his garment I will be made whole.
She came through the crowd, did not tell any person anything. They have a perception of her, she has a perception of herself, she can’t boldly come out, and she went and she grabbed ahold of his garment. And when she did that she felt in her a change. She was not acting on what we would call pure faith, she was acting on superstition and though she was acting on superstition Christ honored her faith but he did not allow her to go away. He now wanted to bring her to a place where he could now direct her faith. He says who touched me? The disciples asked, lord so many people are here so how can you ask who touched me? He said no that person has given me a special touch because virtue has gone out of me. When the woman came to recognize that she could not be concealed she came and says, “ it is me” and she explains her entire story. Christ then directed her faith: “ it is your faith that has made you whole”. It has nothing to do with superstition. So he gave her that which she was asking for despite the fact that her faith was not placed the right place. God can work with people where they are at. We often believe that people have to be as knowledgeable as we are and be in the same place that we are before God can really work for them. God worked with some wise men who were astrologers who believed in messages from the stars to bring them to Jesus Christ. That is how God deals with us.
After Christ had told her that her faith had made her whole he then did something that she needed because she still felt like an outcast. Though it is that she was healed the thoughts in her mind were still there relative to how society looked at her and Christ had to counteract that. He mentioned one word. Daughter...Daughter thy faith has made thee whole. He gave her identity. He says, regardless of what other people think about you, you are my daughter. Now therefore we need to understand how Christ works. The message of Christ. When people are coming against us, when people are talking badly against us… we know that they are in bondage because we are the ones that are free. They are the ones with the problem. As long as you know who you are they cannot alter your mind regarding your identity. They would say the worst things. One person said they will treat you with universal execration , like the scum of the world… that is no problem. They are the ones that have the problem, because as a man thinketh in his heart… so is he.
Philipians 4:8 – what ever things are true, what so ever things are honest, what so ever things are good, what so ever things are pure, what so ever things are lovely. What so ever things are of a good report. If they be any virtue, or if they be any praise, think on these things. Because as a man thinketh in his heart… so is he.
Sometimes when a man cannot have control he gets angry because men are programmed with this way of thinking – that they are the head of the home from this point of view- they are the ones to dominate the woman, but god did not say that. From God’s point of view man is the head of the home that he is the chief one to demonstrate what service is all about because we are to love our wives as Christ loved the church.
Christ was about to go to Jerusalem about to be slain, and in the upper room it is said “ because he knew where he came from and where he was going, he girth himself with a towel and he stooped and washed the disciples feet. It is only when we know our identity, who has a true self worth, that they realize they are not defined by any menial task. So if you think you cannot stoop to some level of doing some task, then you are uncertain of your own identity. So Christ because he knew who he was, he knew where he came from and knew where he was going, he washed their feet. When he came to peter peter said lord you cannot wash my feet. Why? Because in his mind he had it twisted around, he thought in his mind as leader he should not humble himself to wash the feet of others, He should be having his feet washed. That was the same problem that john the baptist had because etched within the psyche of individuals even if they are powerful men of God is this idea that they cannot stoop to a menial task. The important thing is that we understand who we are as Christ understood who he was. Once you understand your identity you will not be shaken, but if you allow any person to warp your mind relative to who you are then you are easily taken away. That is what the devil will do. He does it through our closest friends, and even our family. When Christ was going to go to Jerusalem to be crucified he told the disciples what his path was. What did peter say? NO- he was taking the cross away from the path of Jesus Christ for the salvation of man. He was saying no you are too worthy, you are too honored to do this. He did not realize that the honor of Christ was demonstrated in him giving his life. So Jesus rebuked him, he says- looking past him he saw who was really talking and says “get thee behind me Satan” for it was Satan who was telling him you do not have to go that path. That is not the path of a great man. Greatness therefore is not found in shunning menial tasks. Greatness is therefore found in being able to humble yourself so that God will be able to exalt you. Only by understanding this can we avoid being capsized by the enemy, so that when he comes with his torrent of words or his suggestion that “ you are above this man, you don't have to do that.” You can say, get behind me Satan.
Fellowship with Christ in his sufferings is a most weighty trust and highest honor.
When you hear the thoughts : “You can’t do that” even if it is coming from yourself you will need to rebuke the thought and say: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”, So Satan will try to use ourselves as our biggest enemy to inhibit us from being able to achieve what God would want us to achieve, that is in his kingdom.
Mat 5- Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled
psalm 42:1 - As the dear panteth after the water brook so my soul pantheth after you oh God
We all have a desire to be filled with God, but unfortunately we don’t identify what our thirst is.
Sometimes we are outside working hard and we are thirsty and we are going to ask for some lemonade, and we drink more and we are still tirsty. What does the body really want? Fresh clear water
Jeremiah 2: 13 – For my people have committed two evils, they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters and have hewed them selves cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.
This is the case of many people who are in the church, they seek to satisfy that hunger by going to church. They find a way of forgetting God which passes as a way of remembering him. They try to satisfy that thirst by missionary work. They try to satisfy that thirst by being committed to some cause of God. To the health message. We try to satisfy that thirst by the many things that we think that we can do. When God is saying you can only satisfy that thirst by drinking of me. Therefore he is saying – I am the fountain of living waters. Do not be committed to the work of God. Be committed to God. Alot of people are committed to the work, to the mission, to the church, and they are failing to realize their true potential because they are not committed to God. God wants to work through them to do something others cannot do. We are all here as individuals. We have individual skills and talents. God has invested us with a lot as individuals and there is a lot that you can do that I cant. Because of such what people try to do is coral us and put us in a box and wants us to think according to what is in the box, they then seek to stifle what God has given to us, and we allow it to happen, so we remain in a corner and become sullen and upset and we become angry because we are not fulfilling what we believe what God has called us to fulfill, because we are allowing people to take it away from us. So the important thing is that God fulfills our desires, he is the one. Your identity then is not in the wrong that you do nor in the Good that you have done...your Identity is found in God’s proclamation of you. When you receive that proclamation from God then you would act accordingly. If you don’t accept that proclamation of God towards you then you are going to receive the proclamation of another about you and therefore you are going to live accordingly. Children come up hearing they are good for nothing. They are told they are not going to make anything of their life. All sort of seeds are being planted in their minds and therefore they are losing their true identity that christ died for them. They are worthy not because of that they can do, but because of what Christ has done.
So this is what people need to understand. He whom christ has set free is free indeed. And when christ died on that cross, he set humanity free. We have to believe that and though we may sin we have to accept we have been set free. Every time we sin it is a demonstration that we donot believe that we have been set free. Every time we sin it is some pocket of doubt in our mind concerning the freedom that you have in christ. When you get up in the morning recognize that God has committed himself you you,, and verberlize it. So you can say. I are free, I are forgiven, I am not condemned, I am loved. Your slip does not change God’s mind towards you. When you slip it means you have forgotten it. All you need to do is look back at the reality, I am free, I am forgiven, I am not condemned, I am loved.
The children of israel were rebelious and going into bondage, and while they were going into bondage God gave them a message. While they were actually Going into bondage in Jeremiah 29 God gave them a message. Tell them that the thoughts I think of them are thoughts of peace and not of evil so that I can make certain that their end will be one that will be flourishing.
You are not looking past your circumstance, stepping out of yourself to recognise who God really is. Always remember that you are puny, and little you cannot change God’s mind. Do you think you are so powerful that you can change the Mind of an Omnipotent God? Concerning you? He says I am Yahwah I change not. Jesus christ is the same yesterday today and forever, there is no variableness nor shadow of turning. You cannot change God’s mind towards you… the problem is we think that we can. And we think that He cannot look upon us favorably because of our sin and that drives us more and more away from him. So it is now reflecting upon how he views us. Not reflecting upon what you have done but reflecting upon how he views us regardless of what we have done. That changes us. It is the Goodness of God that brings us to repentance. Romans 2:4
I have sinned, I have walked away from him and yet… I am free, I am forgiven, I am not condemned...I am loved. That changes the chemistry of your thinking. As a man thinketh in his heart so is he. God wants us to think his thoughts. If he says – My thoughts towards you they are peace, he wants you to have the very same thoughts that he has towards you regardless of the circumstance. All it takes is for you to remember.
When Lazarus was in the tomb, he was there for 4 days, and martha and mary had certain problems going on in her mind in relation to God. If you were here- that means that you did not care enough that you would have been here, so they were blaming, their faith was very low. Christ did not take on what they were saying- he understood that in grief sometimes we can falter and he saught to bring them up in their faith relationship. He says, Do you believe that your brother will rise again? She stopped and she said, “Yes at the last day.” Where was her faith- on an event. Still she was not where He wanted her to be. What did he say? I am the resurrection and the life. The resurrection is not an event. The resurrection is a person. It is when you focus on me that all your situations and problems will be solved. He says take away the stone. Did he have the power to take away the stone? Did he have the power to take away the stone from the cave? Yes but he did not do it because he is nurturing our faith. He wants to be in cooperation with us as he nurtures the faith, therefore when he says take away the stone they protested- lord he is there for 4 days, he stinks. We like to keep our stench covered. True? We like to keep the stench in some darkened cave but Christ says it has to be exposed though his command stop covering your stench. Acknowledge, accept yes it is stench but you don’t have to cover it. So when you remove that stone you then would enable him to go into the darkened chambers of your mind and cleanse you – put life where there was death. You see that? So he himself is not going to cause you to think in a certain way. He will give you that which will help you to start thinking for as a an thinks so is he- so he is going to give us enough resources that we can become resourceful. That is we can start using what he has given. He has given us the word. He says, “Take the stone away, regardless or not if I am exposed that is nothing. Yeah? My being exposed is irrelevant. He says take away the stone. So Marry and Martha came to a point in understanding that they could not depend on what they were thinking anymore, they could only depend on the power of christ. Their worth was judged by him and not by their circumstance. As the jews said it would have looked like this: “ He claimed that he was walking around healing others but they were not worthy enough. That is no true. He says he wants to bring something greater. So when we are going through our difficulties, when we are going through our circumstances people are going to be looking at us and pointing at us and they are going to be saying, “ She says that she is a child of God, look at the muck that I am seeing,” but the reality is that when your muck is being revealed christ is about to work, he is about to bring the dead to life. He is the resurrection and the life. We need to refocus. Not on the dead not on the muck, not on the unsavory things about our selves, we need to focus on Jesus. He defines us.
Psalm 119:165- Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.
When we think about what God thinks about us we cannot help but be at peace regardless of what ever turmoil is going on around us because it does not define us . When you think of God’s peace you will become at peace.
What is our Identity?
Being a child of God, I am free, forgiven, I am not condemned, I am loved. Regardless of what ever you have done that does not change God’s mind towards you. It is when you reflect then on how he views you that your heart is made one with him again. Don’t try to reform yourself.
Do though keep in mind. Though we are free, forgiven, not condemned and loved it does not mean that we do not bear the consequences of actions. Because those consequences of actions also let us know what happens when we walk away from him. So that is part of the education. Just because we bear consequences does not mean that he has stopped loving us. Sometimes it is like having the kart before the horse in our Christianity. This is what we have been hearing for a long time – Love God and he will love you. Obey God and he will bless you, do this and this is what he is going to do for you. That is not the truth of Christianity. We have to accept that christ has already set us free. We are already set free in christ. We are already forgiven in christ. When you go and do something wrong you don’t go ask God to forgive you, you come and recognize that you have already been forgiven. Because God does not wait until you have sinned and then you come and repent to forgive you, it is at that time that you receive the forgiveness that he has already given. So you do me something that is wrong and I say, you know… you are forgiven and I treat you as though you are forgiven but you don’t want anything to do with me. Your attitude towards me does not change the fact that I have already forgiven you. It does not restore the relationship because when you see that love and you respond to that love, then it brings a restoration of the relationship. So your asking for forgiveness does not mean that God will then forgive you. It means that your mind is now in a place where you can accept God’s forgiveness and respond to him. And that is how we act in our marriages, we believe that if a spouse does something to us that is wrong, in order for us to forgive them what must they do? Apologize, that is usually for the flesh. Mercy is a peculiar manifestation of love, mercy that very word. Remember - It is easy for us all to be the victim, it is harder to say "father forgive them for they know not what they do".
I implore of you, accept your new identity in Christ. Claim it with open arms, and be transformed from glory to glory by his matchless love. May God richly bless you as you hold on to him. Amen.