6-Week Series: Against All Odds

Sermons

Summary: Breaking down the barriers of self, and the anguish of curing the soul-sickness of loneliness and disappointment.

It is a wonderful and joyous thing to experience God and the supernatural gifting of His anointing and power. However, the Christian life is more than just feelings, emotions, and experience - it is trusting God in EVERY circumstance – no matter what!

I have always been a ‘car guy.’ I have had a serious interest in them for as long as I can remember. I also worked in the Automobile Industry, as well as working on so many of my vehicles that I have lost count.

Many years ago, when I was a teenager, I had a car that was stolen and stripped of the things I had added to it to make it unique. Periodically, over the years since, I would have a dream about that stolen car and then get really disturbed and upset as if it had just happened.

After having one of those dreams again the umpteenth time, I decided to look into the contents of the dream and discovered dreaming that your car has been stolen indicates that a person is being stripped of their identity as a result of a failed relationship or losing a job, or something that was causing change in their identity.

As I considered the information I learned from my study, I understood what my dream meant, and I realized that each time I had this dream I was feeling like an outsider in my own life who had become trapped and entangled in circumstances that were controlling me rather than me controlling them. I would feel as if my identity had been stolen. Most of the times I felt this way was during huge challenges in my personal and spiritual life.

So, after years of just shrugging off the dreams and the impact they had on me, I decided to do some honest evaluation of myself and try to understand my feelings and emotions so that I could overcome their effect.

After researching this subject, I would define the term “identity theft” as when a person is feeling their life is slowly dissolving away due do circumstances outside of their control, or they are beginning to question who they are and what they stand for, losing their sense of self.

People who are feeling a deep emptiness or a great deal of self-doubt can also feel as if their identity is being stolen. This can lead to conflicts in relationships and unhealthy emotional expressions. For the Christian, this can take place most often when the new nature of God is replacing the old sinful nature.

In today's world, many people are spending a great deal of time trying to figure out just who they are, and then, when they do "discover" who they are, they have a hard time dealing with the reality of what they find! The Bible says that the Holy Spirit begins a new transforming work within a person at the moment there is a commitment to follow Jesus (2 Cor 3:18). It is the application of that work that becomes the real challenge.

So many Christians are content just to get forgiven and go to Heaven when they die! And that’s great, except for the fact that because they are going to Heaven, they often think that they can ignore and avoid dealing with life's many problems in the here and now! When they find themselves challenged by life’s stresses and pressures, they think they can emotionally and psychologically avoid dealing with those problems by just “hoping for the day of the Lord’s appearing.” This makes it really easy to avoid having to confront their present reality.

Identity Crisis

Identity, or psychological identity, is a person’s capacity for self-reflection and awareness. Some people acquire their identity through the tasks they do and the objects they identify themselves with. Others may find their identity in the relationships they have, what they wear, what they own, how they look, where they live, or what kind of car they drive.

Men most often find their identity in the job they have or the work they do. Women find it most often through personal and family relationships. Ultimately, the Christian must identify themselves with Jesus alone and what He has done for them, not in what they have done for Him.

Identity Crisis is a psychological term that describes someone who is in a state of searching for their identity. It can have a significant effect on their self-esteem. A Christian can have an Identity Crisis as they struggle within to worship the Holy Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, while still worshiping the unholy trinity of me, myself and I.

That can cause a spiritual, emotional, and even a physical nervous breakdown. When the Holy Spirit begins His supernatural surgery to remove the old nature, the conflict between it and the new nature found in Jesus intensifies as the Holy Spirit transforms the Christian into the image and likeness of Jesus.

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