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Identity - Week 3

Identity Series - Men's Ministry
/ Part
3
/
May 11, 2022
/ Groups:
Mens

Who am I?

Foundations

Identity - Week 3

Only when you stand on the true foundation of God’s love can you feel peace, no matter what circumstances surround you. This is your true Identity.

-Dr. Rob Reimer in Soul Care-

I want to begin this week by giving credit where credit is due. Most of what we will be covering this week comes from the book Soul Care by Dr. Rob Reimer. In this book Dr Reimer covers 7 transformational principles for a healthy soul. It speaks to so much more than what we are covering here. I encourage you to read it!

Let's begin by reading Matthew 7:24-27

Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.

Foundations

About 10 years ago, my wife and I had the opportunity to help design and eventually watch the building of the house of our dreams. Every week, we would load up the kids and go out to the land we purchased to see what progress had been made. I remember the first week watching as tractors of all shapes and sizes prepared the ground for where the house would be built. We could actually feel the vibrations in the dirt where we were standing. In the next few weeks, we would see the footings poured and then the concrete walls were in place. Even though there was no house yet, each week they were, first, preparing the foundation. I remember the kids impatiently asking, “when are we going to see a house Dad?” I asked them to be patient and explained to them how important that foundation was as it was what our house would forever stand on. If the foundation wasn’t prepared ahead of time and was therefore faulty, the whole house would be in jeopardy.

While the foundation of our home was solid, our personal foundations were far from it. Jen and I were not believers at the time and even though we had been married for over 10 years, our marriage, kids, finances and everything in between were in jeopardy. We didn’t know Jesus and we didn’t have any idea what we believed, who we were, or what we were created for. Obviously, we had some severe cracks in our foundations.

I think a lot of us come to the place of salvation in Jesus and then expect everything to immediately change. While our spirits are awakened, purified, purged, renewed, born again, and transformed, our souls can still be a train wreck. There are still lies we believe about ourselves that we have heard most of our lives and those lies are a faulty foundation under our feet. These lies can affect our value and we can become dependent on something other than the love thatGod has for us. We are now going to unpack the 3 main lies that we tend to believe.

The Performance Lie

The first lie is that the issue of our value is dependent upon our performance. If you have believed this lie as I have, don’t worry, you're not alone. After all, it's the way most of usAmerican men have been raised. It’s been pumped into our brains since kickball on the playground in kindergarten. We are pushed to perform from an early age and we have a tendency to label ourselves by that performance, good or bad. I was not an athletic kid, but my twin brother was. I was often measured by how well I performed in comparison to how well my brother did. Those early beliefs led me to believe that I needed to outperform everyone around me in order to be loved. If I didn’t, I was unworthy of love and acceptance. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

This performance mindset can easily turn into religious performance as well. If we do good things, we will be accepted and if we don’t we feel shamed, judged and condemned. So we serve more, give more and try to behave more just so we will feel valued.

Colossians 3:23-24 states this: "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." The good news is the issue of our value is not determined by our performance. God doesn't love us anymore when we get it perfectly right and he doesn't love us any less when we fall flat on our face.

The People Pleasing Lie

The second lie that we tend to believe is that the issue of our value is dependent on whether certain people love or like us. Some people need everyone to like them and feel pressure to please them all. Others just want to make sure the right handful of people love them.

If you believe the lie that you need people's approval to feel good about yourself, then you will feel anxiety when people are upset with you. You will get defensive and hurt by criticism, even constructive and loving correction will be difficult. Then you fall into the people pleasing trap. Do you say “yes” to things you don’t have the space for or don’t want to do? That probably comes from wanting people to like you. This lie is a shaky foundation that leads to a defensive, resentful and judgemental soul.

“Be careful not to do your acts of righteousness before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your father in heaven.” This passage in Matthew 6 speaks to doing to be recognized and loved by others. When our pursuit is to please people, we are no longer pursuing God.

The issue of your value is not dependent upon whether people love you or like you. Your value comes from God and He loves you no matter what. You do not have to try to please Him. He’s already pleased with you. Nothing you can say or do will make him love you any more or any less. As you build a foundation of God’s love under your feet, you will find freedom from people pleasing and resentment.

The Lie of Control

The third lie is that the issue of your value is dependent upon whether you are in control. People who believe this lie tend to try to control other people and others want to control outcomes.

Those we try to control can feel manipulated, shamed, judged, condemned and sometimes bullied. While we may have good intentions, controlling others applies unwanted and unneeded pressure on those we love most. The more you try to control those closest to you, the less love you actually portray to them and the more it will drive a wedge in your relationship.

We tend to try to control the outcome of the things we care about most. Often, the more we try to control outcomes, the more out of control they get. I've always wanted to have a great marriage with my wife, but before I knew Jesus, I was the man of the house and therefore, I was in charge. However, the more I tried to control our marriage, the worse it got. After coming to know the Lord, my wife and I had a discussion and we both agreed that neither of us are capable of being in control of our marriage, but Jesus is. We handed the keys over to Him and we are now living the best years of our marriage yet! However, my marriage to my wife, good or bad, does not determine my value. Because the issue of my value is not determined by whether or not we are in control.

Luke 11:46 says, “You experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.

The True Foundation

The issue of our true value was settled once and for all at the cross. Dr. Rob Reimer, in his book, Soul Care, states it this way; “On the cross, the Father said to you and me, you are of infinite worth to me. I declare you to be worthy of my Son's blood.” If God was willing to sacrifice his one and only son for us, how can our value ever be diminished. Nothing can come between the love that God has for you in Christ Jesus. In Romans 8:38-39, Paul states: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Jesus Christ is our firm foundation! Upon this foundation you can find peace, love, acceptance, security, significance and all you will ever need in life. He is what we must build every aspect of our lives upon. Only when you stand on the firm foundation of Jesus will your soul be healthy and free. The issue of our value was settled at the cross. Repeat that with me and make it the slogan of your identity: the issue of my value was settled at the cross. Every time you question your performance, repeat that slogan. Every time someone criticizes you, repeat that slogan. Every time you feel the need to control a person or situation, repeat that slogan and return to your true foundation.

Questions:

1. How does the performance lie affect your life?

2. What makes you defensive and resentful? When people disagree with you, do you blowup, shut down, or hear them out?

3. What do you try to control (not steward) in your life? What would it look like to allow Godto take control in this area of your life?

Activation:

Which of the 40 scriptures that we are repeating each week are you beginning to understand more fully. As you spend some time in silence with the Lord this week, let Him speak to you through these scriptures. Lay them out in front of you and ask the Lord which of these He wants to bless you with this week. Spend 10-20 minutes just sitting and listening for the Lord’s response. Write down what you experience and hear and bring it with you this next week.

Identity - Week 3