Tyler Hicks • Family Pastor • tyler@thevinecc.tv

Tyler Hicks • Family Pastor • tyler@thevinecc.tv

In middle school I had a friend that was struggling to fit in, and it was kind of funny looking back on it. We went school clothes shopping together for that fall semester and since all the football players were "preps" and we were going to play football, we bought all preppy clothes. But when school started, my friend dropped football and he came to school the next day dressed like a skater. He got his ear pierced and redid his hair and had skater shirts and shoes. He would carry his skateboard to his locker, but he never road it. As a “poser,” he couldn’t skate to save his life.

That lasted about a month, and then all of a sudden he showed up to school in skin-tight wranglers, boots and western shirts. He even had a cowboy hat. He thought that the ladies liked cowboys so he became a cowboy overnight. He memorized George Strait songs. It was his year of identity crisis - he did whatever it took to fit in and to get girls.

Now why do I tell you that? Because I believe that so many people today, and so many young people that I have worked, with don’t know who they are or where they belong. And what I’ve realized is there is a reason for that.

From the time that we are really little, every Disney movie, cartoon and pretty much every show, movie and song I can think of have a similar theme: You need to find out who you are.  If you are going to be great and successful, you need to find yourself. You are on this journey of self-discovery. And the way you discover yourself is you look deep inside yourself and try to get in touch with your feelings and thoughts and realize who the real you is.

Here’s the problem with that. If you want to know who you are, if you want to discover yourself, the one place that you should not look to is you. Don’t look inside yourself. Look outside yourself to the one who made you. He made you, he knows what he made you for. You don’t know who you are. You don’t come into this world knowing who you are and what you were made for.

Check out this scene from the Little Mermaid:

Why show you that?

That bird, Scuttle, had no idea what a fork was made for or how to use it but Ariel doesn’t know any better. She lives in the sea! In the same way, the world tells you every day, you’re a dinglehopper. And you don’t know any different because you live in the ocean called the world. You don’t know the God of heaven who made you for heavenly things. The world spends billions and billions of dollars trying to tell you every day who you are and what you are made for and what you should be doing and how you should think about yourself. But at the end of the day, the world has no clue because the world does not know God. The Maker knows what he made and why he made it, no one else. And until you know Jesus, you will never really know yourself and you’ll never know what you’re supposed to live for.

The world will tell you you were made for yourself, to do what you want and be who you want.  The world will tell you you were made for sex, so don’t deny whatever you feel inside, just listen to your feelings. Our world is obsessed with sex so much that we tie our very identity to it and so we have all our LGBT labels and gender identities so that you can now identify with you who you are sexually - as if sex actually identifies who you are. Again, we must remember, God created you. He created you with feelings. He even created sex - and it’s a great gift from God, but sex is NOT God and so sex cannot define you.

Your feelings about yourself don’t define you. Your grades don’t define you. Your achievements don’t define you. Your parents don’t define you. Your friends don’t define you. Your job doesn’t define you. Your bank account doesn’t define you. Your designer jeans don’t define you.
God defines you. You don’t know who you are but God does. He gives you your identity.

Check out what Paul says in Colossians 3:1-2.

[1] If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

We need to repent and say no to who we think we are, who we say or feel that we are, who our friends say we are, who anyone says that we are, and say yes to who God says we are. He says that he made you in His image for Himself, to be a part of His family. You need to die to you and live for Him. And when you do that, the old you is dead - it’s crucified with Christ - and He makes you new. Your identity is now found in Jesus. Just as He was crucified, the old sinful you is crucified. And just as Jesus was raised, the new you is raised to life.

Now that you are made alive in Christ and being renewed in His image, and you know who made you and who you are and what He made you for, what do you do? Check out verse 2.

[2] Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth

Set your mind on the things of God. Think hard about God and godly things. Flex this muscle called your mind with all your might on scripture. The new you must have your mind rewired and reset to think the way God thinks. If you’re going to get to know God, you have to listen to Him, and to listen to Him, you have to read His word. There’s no way around it. Read it. Think about it. Study it. Memorize verses. Let God’s word shape the way that you think about everything. Put God’s word into your mind so much that when you look at things it’s like you’ve put on new glasses and you see everything through the lens of Scripture. You’ll begin to see as God sees. And that is cool.

God uses his word like an instruction manual to reprogram our minds so that we know him for who He is and then we begin to know who we really are. Out of our renewed identity, we begin to live new lives together with our new family - our new brothers and sisters in Christ (the church) - and we begin to show others how much better it is to know and live for Jesus instead of just believing the lies of the world.

And those are really our two options:

1. Believe lies and live for worthless things.
2. Know the truth about God and ourselves (by reading His word) and believe it and live a new life in Jesus that makes an eternal difference in this world.

I’m going with option 2.