Summary: Identity crisis can lead a person to self-pity, self-abasement, suicide or even to copy or compare himself with others.
THE IDENTITY QUESTION
TEXT: EXODUS 3: 11 - “And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?”
Illustration: A furious Father in a moment of rage and anger called his four-year-old son(Jude) a goat because the boy misbehaved. This happened repeatedly for about six months. Then, one morning a visitor knocked on their door and was welcomed by the young Jude.
“Hello my boy, what’s your name?” asked the visitor.
“My name is Goat” answered Jude.
“No, no, no, your name is not goat”, protested the visitor. Just then Jude’s father came into the living room.
“Daddy I just told Uncle that my name is Goat but he wouldn’t believe me”, Jude said to his father with a glee.
“Shut up! How can you say that your name is goat?” queried his father.
“But father isn’t that the name you call me in this house?” Jude replied…
Now I hope you know I made up that brief story as our sermon starter for today? Many people today are being plagued by the Question of Identity. There is a huge brain-washing going on in the world that people are beginning to question who they are!
Moses asked “who am I?” Identity crisis can lead a person to self-pity, self-abasement suicide or even lead him to compare himself with others. Moses was destined by God to be a Deliverer and a Law Giver but due to the pressures around him he began to question even the call of God in his life. Does that describe anybody here? Moses was created to stand before Pharaoh and yet he was asking “who am I?”
“And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, WHO WAS CALLED BARREN” – Luke 1: 36. (Emphasis added).
Hear me; your enemies – the devil and all his agents – would like to define and describe you by your problems. Here, they CALLED Elizabeth BARREN! Every where she went, they pointed at her and said ‘Oh look at the barren lady!” The point is that God never for once called her barren! The scripture was only reporting what people around her called her. But God called her the MOTHER of John the Baptist! God would never call you a failure!He has a new and better name for you.
ABRAHAM & SARAH
"As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. NEITHER SHALL THY NAME ANY MORE BE CALLED ABRAM, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee." Genesis 17: 4-5 (Emphasis added).
"And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, THOU SHALT NOT CALL HER NAME SARAI, BUT SARAH SHALL HER NAME BE" Genesis 17: 15 (Emphasis added).
Your generation may call you different names other than what the Almighty God has called you. They did that to Abraham and his wife Sarah. They called the man ‘Abram’ and his wife – ‘Sarai’. However, the godly couple refused to bow to the pressure of identity crisis. They chose rather to go with God’s plan for their lives and that paid off.
Friends, the choice is all yours: you can either go by what enemies, circumstances and pressures of life is calling you presently or you can choose to believe God’s report about your life as stated in the Holy Scriptures.
"And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites. And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, THOU MIGHTY MAN OF VALOUR". Judges 6: 11-12 (Emphasis added).
Gideon had bowed to the pressure from the camp of the Midianites. He now lives in fear as seen by the fact that he went into hiding just to thresh wheat. It took the hand of God to rescue Mr. Gideon from his fear as well as his identity crisis. This was a fearful man yet because God had embarked on a journey to restore his confidence and dignity; He called him a mighty man of valour and encouraged him to “… GO IN THIS THY MIGHT …” Judges 6: 14 (Emphasis added).
"For there stood by me this night the angel of God, WHOSE I AM, and whom I serve" Acts 27: 23 (Emphasis added).
The great apostle Paul would never bow to Identity Crisis – no, not even when his life was in apparent danger. He had settled this Identity Question way back before the storm began. He was called or seen as a common prisoner – that accounts for why his insightful and intuitive counsel was disregarded.