Summary: Discusses how seeking fulfillment in human relationships can rob us of our identity in who God created us to be and talks about how we can have our identity restored and protected.
Is your Identity at Risk of being…
Robbed by Relationships
We risk Identity Theft when we…
…Seek fulfillment through Human relationships
We recover and protect ourselves from Identity theft when we…
…Enter a relationship with Jesus Christ
…Forgive those in relationships who have hurt us
…Grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ
This morning we are beginning a new series on Identity theft.
Have you seen those Citibank commercials that advertize a service they have to recover from Identity theft?
Here is one of them.
Citibank Commercial Video
I love those commercials. But even though they are humorous, they speak about a serious problem.
Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America according to the National Association of Crime Prevention (http://www.ncpc.org)
What is identity theft?
Identity theft is when someone steals and controls your personal information and uses it to benefit themselves at your expense.
This often happens without you even knowing it.
And while Identity theft may be something that has come to the forefront in the last 5 years or so because of the financial problems that have been caused by it, I would argue that identity theft is not something new at all.
I would argue that Satan has been seeking to steal and control your identity for his benefit at your expense.
Satan did not want Adam and Eve to experience the fullness of who God created them to be so he seeks to steal their identity and leave them to live an identity that brings nothing but disappointment and heartache.
He is seeking to do the same thing with each one of us. He is seeking to steal our true identity and leave us with an identity that is damaged and broken and continually leaves us unfulfilled and searching for an identity that will fulfill us.
Over the next 4 weeks we are going to look at a number of different ways that our identities are at risk, and what we can do to recover our identity and protect ourselves from having our identities stolen again. The themes of each topic is based upon a book by Mike Breaux, a former teaching pastor at Willow Creek and current teaching pastor at Heartland Community Church in Rockford, IL.
To begin, this morning we are asking,
Is your identity is at risk of being Robbed by Relationships?
Robbed by relationships? Aren’t we supposed to be in relationships?
Didn’t God design us to be in relationship with others?
How are we getting robbed by relationships then?
Yes, God did design us to be in relationship with other people. The problem is that we so often try and find our identity in our relationship with other people and when we do that, we open ourselves up to damaging our true identity in who God created us to be in Him.
This morning we are going to look at a man who sought to discover who he was outside of who he was as a child of God and one of the ways He sought that was through his many relationships and found that they left him with nothing but an emptiness, it all turned out to be meaningless.
Turn with me to Ecclesiastes 2:1, 4-11 (472)
Solomon was the writer of Ecclesiastes. He was a very rich and wise king, but he pursued meaning in life apart from who he was as a child of God.
Let’s see what he says about what he found as he pursued meaning and pleasure outside of who he was as a child of God.
Ecclesiastes 2:1, 4-11
2:1 I thought in my heart, "Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good." … 4 I undertook great projects: I built houses … 5 I made gardens and parks and … 6 I made reservoirs … 7 I bought male and female slaves … 8 I amassed silver and gold for myself, … I acquired men and women singers, and a harem as well-the delights of the heart of man. … 10 I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor. 11 Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.
Solomon pursued it all and was left empty.
Well, maybe you are thinking he just did not find that right person, that special someone.
In 1 Kings it tells us that Solomon “had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines” and that his wives led him astray and “his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been” (1 Kings 11:3-4)