Summary: The reason for defeated Christians is that we get our identity from the wronng places. When you know who you are in Christ there is nothing that his world can throw your way that you cannot overcome.
How to live a victorious life (Part 1)
I was sitting in my lazy boy the other day trying to remember exactly what it was like to be a teenager and what some of my toughest struggles were. I had to think real hard, not because I am old, but because I just don’t remember things very well. But what I do remember is that I was bombarded with temptation from every angle. There wasn’t a day that went by where I wasn’t tempted to do things that I knew I wasn’t supposed to do.
I have made a list of the things that I was tempted to do for you. Here we go, I was tempted to:
• Cheat on tests.
• Lie to my parents, teachers and other people in authority.
• Sneak out of my parent’s house.
• Drink alcohol
• Do various drugs
• Use certain language to fit in with the “in” crowd.
• Sex: doing things with females that I knew I was not supposed to be doing
• Materialism (Having the “right” clothes etc.)
• Pride (ego: tempted to think more highly of myself than I ought.)
• Gossip: talking about others behind their back
• Take on too much on and becoming overwhelmed
• Worry and stress out about things
• Skip class
And the list goes on and on. Maybe you can identify with some of these. Maybe you deal with temptations that I didn’t mention. The truth is that temptation can be difficult.
For the next couple of weeks, I am going to be talking about how we can be victorious over the temptations in our lives. I am going to try to keep it short each week but I want to take up just enough of your time to communicate each principle to you where you can both understand it and apple it to your life.
So where do we begin?
The first thing that has to be in place before we can be consistently victorious over temptation is that you must:
KNOW WHO YOU ARE
As Christians, the reason that we lose so often when we battle temptation is because we don’t know who we are. The reason that we don’t know who we are is because we are getting our identity from the wrong place.
Everyone originally gets their sense of self, their sense of identity from society. Its part of a process called socialization. We gain our sense of self from the way others view us.
When we get our identity from the way other people view us, we are guaranteed to end up confused as to who we truly are. One person might say that I am smart; another might say that I am stupid. One person might say that I am beautiful; another might say that I am ugly. One person might say that I am funny; another that I am boring. And we get mixed reviews about ourselves from the people that we encounter and we end up being confused, insecure, and unsure of ourselves.
The question, “Who am I?” is a question that everyone asks themselves at some point in their life. It is a question that desperately needs to be answered. Your understanding of who you are determines how you live you life
The truth is: The only one who knows you well enough to teach you who you really are are not your parents, not your friends, but your Creator. The one who made you is the only one that knows you well enough to teach you who you really are.
Unfortunately, you cannot sit down with Him as though he were human and interview him and get him to teach you about who he made you to be, but fortunately for us, he has given us a manual in which we can learn about our identity.
I want to say something that I want you to remember for the rest of your lives:
“Everything that you will ever need to know about life and godly living is found in this book” (Hold up Bible)
For this reason, more bibles are sold per year than any other book on the planet.
But I want to point out that this is no ordinary instruction book for living. Remember in Genesis when it said that God spoke into the nothingness and the nothing became the something that He spoke? Remember, he said, “Let there be light,” and BAMM there was light. Those were some power packed words! That is the word of God! Remember when Lazarus was dead for three days and Jesus came to the tomb and told them to roll away the stone? What did he do? He spoke, “Lazarus, come forth!” and instantly, Lazarus came forth. He spoke life into death and the death became life. Those were some powerful words. That’s the word of God. This is the Word of God (Hold up bible). These are some powerful words. When you begin to get hungry and continually apply your mind with the help of the Holy Spirit to understand the scriptures, you will see God do mighty things in your life.