Identity Crisis Part I
Synopsis of Bible Study 11/30/11
Delivered by Bishop Walker III
We have to be what we are supposed to be in our life, no matter where things may take us. Our identity is not defined by or economic level, our social status, or who we are connected with. It is defined by God who has his hand on our lives.
Who are we in Christ?
What does this look like? We have to remember that sin pushed us from our original God intended image. We call ourselves Christians, because it means Christ like, which means we are supposed to be modeling ourselves after God. When we say we are Christians, we are saying that our identity is like God. In fact, we ought to actually fool the angels when we get to heaven, because we look so much like God.
John 8:3- says the truth shall make us free. We are loved by God, not because of what we have done, but because of who we are. Romans 5:8 reminds us that how we acted within our old actions is now inconsistent with our image today, because now God lives within us. He didn’t cut us off despite what we have done, because he saw what was within us even when we didn’t see it for ourselves.
Why would we tell you that God loves you?
It is because of John 17:23 which says in other words, look at the depth of the love of God between God and me. God loves us like he loves Jesus. After every act we have committed, God still loves us the way he loves Jesus Christ.
John 15:13 tells us that people go through life acting in certain ways, because they don’t feel that people love them. This is a result of their identity being jacked up. Human relationships have failed them so much; their concept of love has become jacked up. As a result, we start looking for love and anyone that has game can love us (or gain our love).
Ephesians 3:17 tells us about how we should be rooted. Rooted and grounded in this scripture means being planted, being stable, or being grounded in the love of God. People that have been rooted are stable. God then becomes the example by which they are to be loved. If we don’t know where we are at or what we have got in God, we are not stable. If we stay still in the love of God, he can show us how we should be loved.
Everything in your flesh hates you being by yourself. God wants us to be alone with him, so that we will know what love really is and have a way to measure real love. If we are not stable, all it takes is somebody to say something nice to us and we will forget what we have. Every day we wake up, God reminds us that we are the head and not the tail and that we are above and not beneath.
If a stable and loved person is approached, game will not work them. This is why Fathers must take their daughters on dates. This will allow them to see an example of how men should treat them. Just like this, the bible says love your wife as Christ loves the church. We must stay grounded, in the love of God, so when it shows up, we know what real love looks like.
Ephesians 3:18-19 reminds us that we are filled with the fullness of God. The love of God fills us and fulfills so we must know that we are complete in God. Ex-There was a Husband who had a meeting one night. On the night of the meeting, his wife has chicken, sweet potatoes, greens, and cornbread prepared for him. Notice that she is taking care of her man. He sits down and eats and when he has finished, she asks if he wants more. The husband tells her no, because he is full. After the meal, he leaves for his meeting. When he passes by Wendy’s or J. Alexander’s, it doesn’t bother him, because he is full. The issue is, when we understand that God fills us in like manner, then we don’t need somebody else to do what he has already done. We are full. We have the fullness of God. God completes us.
You are purchased with a price
1 Cor 6:20 says we were purchased with price. It cost Jesus’ blood to redeem us from the hand of the devourer. God says he couldn’t continue to let us go out like we were doing, he sent his son to pay the debt. It costs something.
Your body and spirit represents your identity. If you glorify God in your spirit and in your body, what comes out of your mouth and how you carry yourself will be of God. We want to always strive to look like God.
We are justified and declared innocent- If you realize that you are justified then you don’t worry about your past. Gal 2:16 talks about being justified. In this scripture, justify means to render innocent. This doesn’t mean you are innocent (referring to our past); it means that we have been made innocent by God justifying us. He makes it just as if we never done it.
Why is justification important? – Satan can terrorize our mind and hold us captive about stuff we have done in our past. All of us have been terrorized by stuff that we did in the past, if we were to be totally honest.
We are entitled to have a clean conscious- Heb 9:14 says that we are urged from all those thoughts and things. Don’t beat yourself up over failures of your past. They have been nailed to the cross. Remember when you tipped out on your spouse? Remember the last time you got drunk and embarrassed yourself? All these things were nailed to the cross. You allowed the opinions of others to bother you. Romans 8:1 reminds us that we can’t live in our past. We won’t be terrorized by our conscious. God has purged the things we’ve done. Ex- When you purge something, it is like a hard reset on your phone. A hard reset means you lose everything. This is what God did. He hard reset our mind. We know we did it, but we know that God has taken it all away.
Your sins are no longer a part of you- Your sins have been removed from your account. John 1:29 says he takes it away. Matt 26:28 says God said he has chosen to forget the failures of our past. Why then haven’t we? Why do we think God is walking around waiting to penalize us of stuff that he has delivered us from. This is like saying that you prayed, God forgave you, then thinking God is about to turn around and get you for what you prayed about. If that was the case, we all would be walking around with leprosy. Heb 10:17 says God forgot about it, so why don’t we.
We have peace with God- When we are in proper relationship with God, we have peace. Rom 5:1 says it doesn’t matter if others have peace about it, as long as we got peace with God. While you are talking about me, I am sleeping at night. We realize that we are not that same person anymore.
We are clothed with the righteousness of Jesus- Rom 3:2 & 25 suggest the idea that we have been made right by God. There is not one cell in your natural flesh that wants to do right. Every day when we wake up, our flesh wants to go left. The only thing that keeps us from going left is our relationship with Jesus and the Holy Ghost within us.
When you are spiritual, you know when you are leaning left. Some of us lean so far left, we end up worshipping and ministering while leaning left. You need to understand that when you are out of alignment, it is hard to go straight. Ex- If everything in your car is in proper alignment, your tires are properly inflated, and your tires have been rotated, then you could take your hand off the steering wheel and the car would still go straight for a while. After hitting a few bumps and pot holes, we will find that our car will pull to the left instead of going straight. What has happened is that the bumps and pot holes have knocked our car out of alignment. It is important to note that you can’t change your alignment while driving. In order to get our car realigned, it has to be jacked up, wheels rotated, and tires inflate to its proper levels. In like manner, we try to work, serve, and minster while we are out of alignment. Sometimes we have to pause, get jacked up, and rotate our spiritual tires in order to keep from going left! In order to be effective, we have to be spiritually in line
Our identity is we know there is no good thing in us. We know that every day, God wakes us up and has to make us righteous. Because of flesh, we are not geared to do everything right.
You are made new in Christ. 1 Cor 5:17- You have been restructured. You can’t tell what has been there before. Ex- As Mt Zion the church, we didn’t remodel our Antioch location, we gutted it. There were mirrors and poles located inside of our now Antioch location which used to be Club. We didn’t want any memory of the old place lingering around, so we restructured it (instead of remodeling it). To look at it now, you have no idea what used to happen there (at the Antioch location) before it was a church. Just like this, you have been recreated and not remodeled. We have been made new. We often get upset when people say we are acting new, but really we ought to be glad, because we ought to act brand. If we have been made brand new, why shouldn’t we act brand new.
Bishop explains that he has been wrestling with something theologically. It has to do with identity and being a new creation. Bishop explains he was in the store in New York and saw this young boy. His Mom was buying him some jeans. To Bishop the pair of Jeans the boy was trying on looked good. The young boy asks for a larger size. Once he got up to a pair that was saggy, he was finally satisfied. Now in assessing this, it was evident what was going on. This is a generation that is attracted to that which does not fit. It is much deeper than jeans itself though. That which fits is considered corny and out of date. This generation does not like structure. This generation wants to be out of the box.
You can’t even discipline this generation. For example, Bishop remembers that when he was young, whether you had to go to the bathroom or not, you had to sit there until the church was over. Just think about the images that are put out now days. As a result, this generation is attracted to things that are out of the norm and that doesn’t fit. Bishop admits that he does the skinny jeans (one of today’s fads), but explains that if you have to point your toes like a ballerina to put them on, then something is wrong. This just doesn’t fit. Another thing is you go to church and gain all this word, yet your show up with somebody on your arm that really doesn’t fit.
Bishop challenges us to think about this: Here is a brother in church with a job and a degree, but in a modern day woman’s eyes, he is corny. They don’t realize that you can possibly mold a corny dude with a job more than you can the unemployed brother with the sag and the swag. The sad thing is, the brother who is trying to live right can’t even get a date. Bishop further explains that he admits to enjoying going back home to his class reunions. He says he was that corny brother, but look at him now. This generation likes stuff that doesn’t fit. This generation possess identities based on images that are put out by the world that are opposite of God and his planned identity for you. We have to realize who we are and how God made us.
We are seated with Christ in a position of authority. Eph 2:6-When Christ got up from the grave, he brought us up too. It doesn’t matter what background you came from, when you got saved, Jesus raised us up with him. You have the opportunity to be who you want to be, because he will take care of you. Every day you wake up, you have the confidence to know who you are. We don’t need anyone’s validation. You just want to hear God say, hello thou good and faithful servant… well done!
When you leave from reading this writing, you are going to hear from some image. For some, you will say you want to be like that person. We impress upon you to let your identify be shaped by “I am that I am.” We will be who we will be. Bishop reminds us that he is Joseph Walker, the son of a glass cleaner and teacher of a Special Ed class. Bishop explains that he didn’t realize that he was brought up poor until he was grown. He explains that he thought everyone grew up like he did.
At one point he realized that his identity had to be shaped by God not what was around him. He explains that he is an engaged person. Whatever God does in your life, God wants to know if he can trust you to be what he called you to be. Even if you walk with kings, don’t let people define you. Bishop says even though he is a Pastor of over 26000 people, he knows where he came from and if it hadn’t been for Gods hand on his life, things would have turned out different. He ends by encouraging us to know that the same God that did it for him can do it for you.