Summary: We live in a time where we feel that we must carry some sort of label. People run to Dr. Phil not for help but Identity. They want a label a term to help identify who they are and why they are who they are.
(11) And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: (12) So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them. (13) Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. (14) And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. (15) And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?
I. Who is defining you? The devil asks a very valid question that truly resonates with the church today, “Who are you?” Sadly this question is still being asked today, but what is most alarming is we as church folk, blood bought, children of the Redeemed, are looking into our mirrors asking who am I. We live in a time where we feel that we must carry some sort of label. People run to Dr. Phil not for help but Identity. They want a label a term to help identify who they are and why they are who they are.
A. Let’s just try a little social experiment here, how many of you have a smart phone? Raise your hand and keep it up. Now I am going to ask you a series of questions, I need you to be honest now, if at the end of my questions they do not apply to you I want you to put down your hand.
*) Do you check your phone regularly for some form of notifications (FB,twitter,email,etc..) even when you don’t get a notification tone.
*) Do you keep your phone with you at all times or in close proximity?
*) Do you sleep with your phone?
*) Do you feel your phone vibrating or ring when it doesn’t?
1. If you answered yes to any of these questions keep your hands up and everyone else put yours down…To all of you with your hands up congratulations you suffer from a psychological attachment to your phone and have what Psychologists call “NOMOPHOBIA” and for those that feel the phone vibrating when it’s not you have “PHANTOM RINGING SYNDROME”.
2. Researchers say the reason why people check their phones so much is because of dopamine (the hormone of”happiness”). So every time we see a notification, e- mail, or hear the phone ringing, the dopamine level is rising because we believe something new and interesting is happening. The problem is that we can’t know in advance what will happen or what that notification will be about so the feeling to keep checking occurs; your phone is like a mini slot machine, which either can make you feel good or bad.
B. You have now been labeled and identified by something you never knew existed. One of Satan’s favorite tricks is to tell us that we’re something when we’re not, and then make us unsatisfied with who we think we are. When we fall into that trap, we spend all our time trying to self help our way to understanding.
1. America sells more self-help books than any other nation in the world because Americans are constantly trying to change themselves into something they think other people will like and accept. "If I could lose a few pounds..." "If I drove a different car..." "Maybe I should have that plastic surgery." "If I could live in a different house, marry a different spouse, get a better job..." Ga 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. I don’t know about you but I want to be like Enoch and Please God.
2. People are so desperate for identity that they would rather be known as a disorder or condition than to never be known at all. There has become an epidemic of Identity crisis; many have become persons unknown in the church. How often have you asked yourself, "Who am I?"Perhaps I should ask you a different question; how many times has your answer to "Who am I?” changed over your lifetime? Before you can have confidence, before you can be a victorious, committed man or woman of God living the abundant life; you have to settle the question of identity.
3. If we had the ability or capability to make our lives perfect, then Jesus could have stayed in heaven with the Father, the Cross wouldn’t have been necessary. But it was necessary because we don’t know who we are, let alone what we’re supposed to become or how to attain that.