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Identity Theft

1 Samuel 9 - 15
By looking at the story of King Saul we can see a perfect example of how your identity can be stolen.

~~ Saul was Israel’s first king and he started off great. He was humble, forgiving and he knew that having peace was better than taking revenge.  He led the Israelites in victory threw many battles. Then one day the Philistines came to fight Israel again.  But this time the Israelites were greatly outnumbered. Many of the Israelites hid in caves nearby but a few of the soldiers did come to fight. 
Now the great prophet Samuel had promised to meet Saul to offer a sacrifice before they attacked. But they waited seven days and Samuel still did not come. Saul began to get worried and He didn't want to fight without asking for God’s help, but he was not allowed to offer a sacrifice. 
When his men began to get restless and leave, Saul decided to go on and offer the sacrifice anyway. As soon as he had finished with the burnt offering, Samuel came. 

He was horrified and demanded, “What have you done?” Saul tried to explain what had happened but Samuel just said “You have done foolishly! You have not kept the commandment of the Lord. Now the Lord will take the kingdom from you.” But For the time being, God allowed Saul to go on being king over Israel. ~~

Sometimes, even after we disobey Gods commands things can seem to go good for a while.  The Bible says that sin has pleasure for a season.  But the Bible also has the principal of sowing and reaping. 
Galatians 6:7-8 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

~~ In 1 Samuel 15 we see that the Lord gave Saul clear instruction to attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belonged to them. So Saul and his army attacked but spared the king and the best of the animals. When Saul met Samuel He said I've completed the Lords instruction.  But Samuel called him out on it and said, “Then why do I hear sheep and cattle?” Saul tried to make an excuse and say they were saving the best animals to sacrifice to the Lord.  But the Lord didn't want the sacrifice he wanted his obedience. And Because Saul rejected the word of the Lord, he was rejected as king.” ~~
Saul allowed his God given identity as king to be stolen from him by his disobedience.
In my past I disobeyed Gods Word and in return I had to endure some really awful things and lost a lot that I can never get back.  It started with what seemed like little things that I knew were wrong but I explained away as not being that bad, anyways I knew God would forgive me.  Yes, He did forgive me but what I was choosing to do led me down a slippery slope that led to a lot of pain and even greater compromises that almost led to my destruction.
I had forgotten my identity in Christ and lost hope….

Saul's God given identity as king was eventually stolen from him by his disobedience.

We need to remember we are heirs to the kingdom.
Romans 8:17 says if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. 

If you are not yet a child of God I want you to pray, repent, confess Jesus as your Lord and receive salvation today!

If we walk around all day with crowns on maybe we will remember- I’m an heir to the kingdom, I was born to worship Him, I was born to give Him pleasure. Then maybe we’ll be more careful about what we subject ourselves to.  We’ll be more careful when we sit down to watch TV or get on the internet or about other things we choose to do.

I want to encourage you not to let what may seem like small compromises- make you live like anything else than the royalty that you are.  As kings and queens you should be letting your light so shine among men!  Your light wasn't meant to be hidden by darkness your light was meant to draw others to what has been given to you!  Salvation! Don't let your God given identity be stolen by the things of this world.

·        I know a lot of us deal with condemnation- let me tell you something- that is not from God.  If you are a child of God- the devil- the accuser of the brother, is accusing you day and night to God saying look, look at what he or she has done.  And God looks and says where- all I see is a big blood spot!  

See the enemy knows he can’t pin anything on you. He can see your crown in the Spirit realm but if he can keep you from seeing it he can keep you in bondage.

·        I've heard the stories about when Abraham Lincoln passed the Emancipation Proclamation that some slave owners didn't want their slaves to find out about it because it would grant their freedom.  So these evil slave owners hid it from them to keep these people in bondage. The devil knows as long as he can keep us Christians deceived about who we are in Christ he can keep us in bondage!

If we walk around with our crowns on, in the rightful authority through Christ that we have we won’t be so quick to get under the devils condemnation.  We can walk with our heads lifted high and say back silly devil don’t you know who I am?  I’m His beloved, my prayers are powerful and I have Heavens attention because I come in righteousness in the name of Jesus!

1 John 1:9 says If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 
 Pray tonight and ask God to help you get rid of any darkness in your life that is trying to steal your identity.  I don't need to know what it is but you and God do.   

Now symbolically throw away whatever is making you live like less than royalty.  

When you’re done throwing out the trash I want you to praise God for this fresh start!  

Anything that’s hiding your light- hiding your true identity- making you live like anything less than the queens and kings you are must be thrown out tonight!  


Ester's Story

A long time ago in a land far away..... Ester was a little orphan girl. Her older cousin Mordecai stepped forward and took her into his home to raise her as his own child. He was Jewish and he taught her to fear God, and God blessed her with charm and beauty that surpassed all of the other women.

One day the king was looking for a bride and when he saw Esther he loved her more than all the other women so he chose her to become the next Queen. (Esther 2:17). So Ester went from nobody to Queen just like that!

Now Haman was second in command right under the king. And all that power went straight to his head. The king commanded that all the people of the land bow before Haman just as they would bow to him, but Mordecai- Esters cousin, refused. Haman's anger toward Mordecai and all the other Jews grew. So Haman devised a plan that would get rid of all of them. With the king's approval, a decree was written and his plan was set into motion.

When Mordecai learned of Haman's wicked plot he became so sad. He sent Ester a copy of the king's decree and told her what she must do. He instructed her to go before the king and ask him to write a new decree that would spare their people's lives.

This presented Ester with a very difficult task. She lived the good life in the royal palace. As queen, she had servants, the finest clothing, and anything else she wanted.  She knew that if she went before the king without being called, she could very well lose her life!
Perhaps she allowed her fears to get the best of her at this point. Just as trials are not easy for us, this was not a "walk in the park" for Esther. She was scared she would lose what she had and terrified that she would be killed because she had been keeping that she was a Jew a secret. The "what ifs" were affecting her just as they do us.

She finally decided to go to the king, which was against the law; and she said if I die, I die! (Esther 4:16). She pushed down her fears and put her life on the line to help others. For Esther there was only one way out, and that was to submit to God's will! When we face trials, it is very hard for us to see past what is affecting us. God's perspective is always the whole picture so we must trust in His will for us.

Ester invited the King and Haman to a banquet and she said to him, “If I have found favor with you and if it pleases you, grant me my life and spare my people because we have been sold by Haman to be killed.” The king was furious with Haman and immediately grated her request writing a new decree and had Haman killed.
Just as Ester was bold in her obedience causing the king to write a new decree that would change her life, we can be bold in our obedience to God causing a change in our lives as well.

Our lives are like an unopened present.  We have received a gift but we don’t know exactly what is inside until we open it.  As each of us walk with God by faith day by day, obeying His Word He begins to prepare us for what is inside and unwrap that gift for us.

Whether we know what gift God has given us or not, we are to live a faithful and obedient life that pleases God. Just as Ester did.


Radical Jesus

I want to tell you about the most radical person that has ever lived!  Jesus, He did things that were completely unheard of in His day!

·         He questioned the rulers of the Jewish faith when no one dared to question what they said or did!
·         Jesus rebuked the scribes and Pharisees. These men were legal experts.
Scribes wrote up documents- like contracts for marriage, loans, the sale of land, or the buying of houses.  Pharisees tried to keep their traditions in place. 
·         Jesus performed miracles on the Sabbath. 

John 5: 1-11 The Healing at the Pool

Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda[a] and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. [4] [b] One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10 and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.”
11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ”
12 So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?”
13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.
14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.

·         His disciples (the men who followed Him) did not fast and even ate without washing their hands.  While the Pharisees did not eat until they had poured water over their cupped hands because it was required by their traditional law. So what Jesus did was considered offensive & wrong. Jesus wasn't worried about washing their hands because He was their cleanser & could heal them from any sickness or disease.
·         He threw people out of the temple for selling things in Gods house. 

Matthew 21: 12 &13 Jesus at the Temple

12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’[a] but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’

Jesus wasn't just being radical for the sake of being different or drawing attention to Him. He wanted people to stop following traditions & instead be led by their love for God. Traditions are good but can distract us from what God wants us to do.
We are to be radicals like Jesus but that does not mean we are to be ridiculous, rebellious or uncontrolled.

Jesus also gave several examples of how we are to do this by submitting to those in authority, and keeping the peace whenever possible.
  • ·         Jesus was a radical; but he was also fully committed to doing God’s will.  He was a servant to his followers, as well as a leader. 
  • ·         We are taught by Jesus to submit to those in authority, namely our parents, church leaders, and the government.  We are to obey man’s law except when it conflicts with God’s law.

I want to encourage you to reevaluate what your life is being led by & make whatever changes are necessary to be led by your love for God even more.  That’s the path to being a true radical follower of Christ.   

Let me give you some ideas of ways to increase your radical following of Jesus:
1.      Spend time in prayer daily & ask Jesus to help make you more like Him.
2.      Read the Bible so that you know how Jesus was & don’t do anything that doesn't agree with what it says.
3.      Share Jesus with others in a bold and radical way.