Who am I?

Posted: January 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

The world has always told me that I am what I own. That somehow I can project a certain image based on the things that I own. Culture tells me that if I dress a certain way or act a certain way I can become who I want to be…. or at least who others want me to be. Maybe if I just accomplish this, earn this degree, live in this neighborhood, get this job, get this girl…… then I will become who i’ve always envisioned myself becoming. We look at people and make a decision about who they are based on their ethnicity, their appearance or their socioeconomic status. But how can you be defined by something that in a sense has nothing to do with you? Did we choose our race? Our heritage? Our parents income or educational background? Our physical appearance? The circumstances of my life? The struggles and hardships I have experiences in life? How can those things define who I am? Yet I spent the first 22 years of my life chasing after everyone of those things trying to find out who I was.

Who I thought I was

I spent my entire childhood wishing I was someone else. Wishing I lived in a different neighborhood, a different house, wearing different clothes, with a different kind of car in the driveway, ultimately hating everything about what I thought defined who I was. I spent many years of my childhood with headphones on trying to block out everything going on around me. All I ever wanted to do was ride my bike and play baseball because those were the things I was good at. I was validated on the ball field. Matt you are such a good ball player, Matt you hit the ball so hard, Matt we need you to come through. I lived for those moments.

Throughout high school I so badly wished I could change the circumstances of my life. I hated everything about my life. The circumstances of my life made me despise who I was. To cover up all the things I hated about my life I became a habitual liar. I created an entire new identity based on who I wanted to be and who others said I should be. It was all lies. One, after another, on top of another. If you asked me who I was, I would have told you the most elaborate made up story that you ever heard. I would have told you that I was happy and loved my life…. only because I had lied for so many years that I had convinced myself that the lies were true. The reality is that I was trapped in the lies, wishing i could become the person I talked about, laying in bed at night wondering if life would ever get better.
From age 13 all the way into my early 20′s I lived a life of secrecy. I did everything I could to make my life appear as though I had it all together. That I had an awesome life. My life was consumed with drinking, partying and women. I would put on a front that I had it all together. I moved out on my own when I was 17 and always threw big party’s. When I would go out I made sure everyone seen that I was spending lots of money. I Spent thousands of dollars trying to build the coolest off road truck. The sad part is that I only did it to make people think that I had it all together, that I had become someone and try to make people wish they were me. The result was 15k in credit card debt, almost having my truck repossessed, no job and no place to live. I had hit rock bottom. Then I met Jesus and He changed everything!

Who God says I am
God makes some profound promises to us in the scriptures.

We have been justified (Romans 5:1)
We are sons and daughters of God (John 1:12)
We are free from condemnation (Romans 8:1-2)
We are complete in Christ (Colossians 2:9-10)
We cannot be separated from the love of God (Romans 8:28)
We have been chosen by God and adopted as his children(Ephesians 1:3-8)
We have been bought with a price and belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
We have been redeemed and forgiven of all of our sins (Colossians 1:13-14)

These promises blow my mind! I have been justified before God because I have faith in Jesus! Thats means I am blameless in the sight of God regardless of what i’ve done in the past or what I do in the future! I am Gods beloved son because I believe in Jesus! Because of my faith in Jesus I am no longer condemned! That means that even though I am sinful by nature and rebel against God on a daily basis it doesn’t change how He feels about me! Because of Christ I have all that I need and lack nothing! Jesus loves me unconditionally and nothing will ever change that! God chose me before the foundation of the world even though he knew I was going to be a liar, a cheater, a blasphemer and rebel against Him! My life has been purchased by God when He sent His son Jesus to pay for all of my sins! I have been redeemed and Jesus no longer holds my sins against me!
This is the best new any person could ever hear. This means I can no longer view myself based on the circumstances of my life and the things I have done. My identity os solely found in Jesus, what He has done for me and how He views me. I am no longer the poor kid who wished he had a different life, I am the kid who has lived a life of abundance. I am no longer the guy who had to make up stories about his life to make it sound more interesting, I am the guy who thanks God for every moment he allows me to enjoy. I am a son of the most high God. I have been given the righteousness of Jesus who never sinned. When this life is over I will spent eternity in heaven worshiping God.

What does all this mean
At church this last Sunday I was reminded of how Jesus has changed my identity….or to put it a better way showed me my true identity. I am not an ex binge drinker, I am not a guy who used to be a womanizer and I am not the guy who needs sympathy because of my childhood. I no longer find my identity in my sufferings, my short comings, my achievements or my hard work. The circumstances of my life and the things i’ve done may tell you about me but they do not define me. I once was lost and now I have been found. I am a sinner saved by God’s grace. Jesus paid the price for my sins He no longer holds then against me and he relinquished his right to hold them against me because he forgave me. Jesus has forgiven me of my past sins, current sins and the sins I will commit in the future. I wish I could tell you that I will never sin again but that would be a lie. What I can tell you is that by God’s grace my hate for sin increases everyday.

I wanted to end this with a few quotes from Pastor Mark Driscoll’s sermon last week that left me convicted and encouraged. Take the time to dig into each one of them and I pray that you will find the hope and Jesus promises us.

– “If you don’t know who you are, you won’t know what to do”
– “Your identity effects your destiny”
– “You don’t have to search, choose or work for your identity. Jesus already took care of that for you, all you have to do is have faith and believe Him”
– “Our identity is not earned it is received”
– “You are not more valuable or less valuable than anyone else. We all bear the image of God”

Heres the link to the sermon: http://marshill.com/media/who-do-you-think-you-are/i-am-____ 

 

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