Do you ever find yourself in a situation where the decisions you’re making or the words coming out of your mouth just simply… aren’t you? You may be sitting as you’re reading this, right in the middle of a drama or controversy and the thoughts racing through your head are irrationally far from the truth… but your emotions make every single idea feel so real.
Have you ever stopped, right in the middle of the crazy and asked yourself.. How did I get here?
I grew up an only child and for some stupid reason making friends in high school was very tough. Clicks, girls, jocks, the whole deal was so overwhelming.
At 16, the party scene was a natural fit. It welcomed me in with open arms and promises of carefree fun, friends, love and acceptance. I had no idea the dangerous trap that lie ahead.
Alcohol soon became a huge battle. I loved the way it made me feel but hated the decisions I would make when drinking it. When I was twenty years old I was in the Army National Guard, going to college full time, selling cutco knives full time… and drinking… full time. It was a nasty spin cycle. In the blink of an eye, everything was spiraling out of control and I was beginning to think of how I could end my life. Then, just like that… God got me.
Through a friend I was introduced to a group of well… let’s just say it: Jesus Freaks. And my life was never the same. We were lit on fire for God and wanted the entire world to know His love. The immense joy and ecstasy of finding Jesus amidst such pain was indescribable. But soon after I was deployed to Iraq and upon returning home, with all the demons of combat, I started drinking again.
I remember one morning after a party feeling the disgusting pains of binge-drinking. Walking to my car I was taken by the unshakable thought… What am I doing here? This isn’t who I am..
In the Bible there was an incredibly brave and mighty prophet named Elijah. He was strong and courageous in the eyes of insurmountable odds. Elijah knew who His God was and his identity was in God defining him. But one day, after years of faithful service to God…Elijah got scared and ran away.
He ran and ran into the wilderness to hide. When God came to Him, He showed up in a still small voice and asked; “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
I find that question so interesting and relative to us today. What are you doing here…
God asked the question because Elijah didn’t belong there. It wasn’t who he was… fear was not his true identity. If it was his identity God would have said, “why did you come here or when are you going to shape up…
No, the question was… what are you doing here…
We all discover ourselves at times making decisions that simply aren’t who we are. They are uncharacteristic.
I was at the Vikings game the other night and got so wrapped up in all the emotion that a curse word slipped out of my mouth. #confession. Now that may seem small but to be honest, as a preacher, words are very important to me. The moment it came out all I could think was… That isn’t me… it didn’t feel right.. That isn’t who I am.
Perhaps you have fallen away from who you truly are, from the person you know God has created you to be. You could be battling alcohol issues, fear, unhealthy relationships, controversy at work, differences with your wife or husband and the decisions you see yourself making are just not who you are. Let me give you some good news: you see it… you recognize your actions are not your true identity… and that means you aren’t blind to who you were created to be.
So make the change. Today is the day to start living who you were destined to be. The world is going to change because of it.
The best is coming for your life,