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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Leon Fontaine » Leon Fontaine - Self-Identity

Leon Fontaine - Self-Identity

Leon Fontaine - Self-Identity
TOPICS: Self-esteem, Identity

Hey, everybody. Welcome! I'm so glad that you're here with us today because the message I want to share with you today is crucial. If you can figure out and begin to change this one area that we're gonna talk about today. I believe every area of your life will begin to change. You'll see what I mean as we dive into this. You know, the Word teaches us that we have a heart. And that we are body, soul, and spirit but that we have a heart. And that this is a deeper level of thinking and a deeper level of feeling. It's a deeper level of believing. It's not what goes in and out of your head, but it's what seems to have taken root in your heart and Jesus teaches this a lot.

So I want to talk today about where you get your identity from because this is a huge issue. Do you know that when Adam and Eve were in the garden, that the enemy came, and he began to deal immediately with Eve's identity. He said did God really say, questioned God, and then he began to deal with if she was enough. And this a question that haunts women and men still today. He says God knows that if you eat of this, you're gonna be like Him. He was saying she was not enough. And she bit into that and she began to think about that. I'm not enough. I could be more. I should be more. He was attacking her identity. Yet, her identity according to God was that she was made in the likeness and the image of God. There was no way that she wasn't enough, but he literally was tempting her.

And when you look at the temptation of Eve, and what took place in the garden. It's an eye-opening study today. I mean, I'm gonna just laughingly share this. I'm not knocking anything but if someone like a plastic surgeon really wants to get a client who's coming in to see him. All they would have to do if you watch this television shows who say, "You look great. Have you ever thought about getting rid of the lines up here"? And now, she's never thought about those lines in her eyes before. Now, it's all she can think about. It's all she can see is these lines because of this power of suggestion. He says to Eve, God knows you could be like Him. You could be more. So he is suddenly saying you're not enough.

Today, where you get your identity from is crucial because most people focus as to who am I on their giftedness, their looks, their skillsets, the amount of money they make, what their peers think about them. And when you go there for your identity, then your self-worth is attached to that. So how you feel about yourself? And this is what so many people struggle with today. But now take this over into the Christian realm and you'll find that for people to believe God for increase in their family, to believe God for a better marriage, to believe God for better resources, to take their life to a place of more success. The struggle isn't in believing can God do it? The struggle even if you believe it's His will.

When I counsel and work with people, the issue comes down to can you do it? Are you smart enough, gifted enough? Have you pleased God enough? There is just a myriad of questions here. And but the issue still comes up. Are you enough? Are you smart enough? So where's your self-identity? And we've got to make sure that we place it with God because there is a ton of lies. In fact, one of the greatest battles you'll ever fight, and I believe the battles that will continue in your life for the rest of your life. We have one group of Christianity thinks our battles are with the devil. And even prayer, their prayer time becomes more fighting the devil.

Now, they get, I believe in intercessory prayer. In fact, I teach on nine different kinds of prayer. But the intercessory prayer group has got into the place where they're so demon focused as though the devil is stopping the success of their lives, their ministries, their marriages, their homes. The devil's attacking me, and we must intercede and pray. And it's like they are trying to redo what Jesus has done. And so we've got to make sure that we know, that see, this battle that we're fighting. Every time I'm looking to move to a whole new level. Even when it comes to in the giftedness of my life as a pastor. I used to be working with my dad and I was an associate pastor.

I was a youth pastor and then I was an associate pastor. When God called me to be a senior pastor, I literally even though my identity was focused on Jesus and so my self-worth came from Him. Holy Spirit had to lead me into all truth as it says in John. That I am because if God has called me to be a senior pastor because that's a calling. It's not just a rung on a ladder like so many people in North America think. If God hasn't called you, stay out of it. But I knew that God had called me there. And so as I went to be a senior pastor. I had to begin to believe that I was capable. That I was gifted. That I was everything I would need. That I am this.

And then as I began to realize I am a senior pastor. I began to function in that role in a great way. And I began, so churches explode and finances and buildings and lands and cities and all these things. But it wasn't me praying because it was the devil that was stopping anything that was going on. Anytime we would begin to plateau. Anytime I butt my head against the wall. Anytime I felt a ceiling or a boundary that was stopping us from going on, my friends would, I have some friends who thought prayer was the thing to do and they would always be binding the devil, interceding, trying to get the devil out of stopping them from going into the next season to the next level. I had others who would be seeking God and praying and trying to find out what it was God was trying to teach them because God wasn't releasing them to the next level.

And I've got friends that are still doing that, who were doing that 20 years ago as we began to talk about all of the limits in our lives. You've got boundaries in your life but God has set no boundaries on your life. Yes, you've got boundaries on your life. But the devil is not powerful enough to set boundaries on your life. So the only person that can set boundaries on the success of your life, in business, finance, career, if you're in the ministry. Every area, healing, health, happiness, joy. If there are boundaries, they are self-imposed boundaries. Now, no one likes to hear that. They kind of go, "No, I want to blame somebody else". But as long as you blame the devil, then you've got to do some kind of extra work that's not really biblical.

f you believe that God is stopping you, now you believe that God, the sovereignty of God. We know that God is all powerful. But now people begin to believe that although God promises He will. In your case, He's gonna hold it back because you've got something better. Or I have just heard a ton of different doctrines. And so as I begin to pastor and as I begin to lead a television network and a Christian private school and churches and other things that we run around the world. Anytime I begin to get into trouble. Anytime I begin to not be able to produce result or to get us to the next level as an organization. I would always look at myself. I go, "Leon, what's going on"? And as I would just meditate in the things of God, Holy Spirit who is my helper and He's your helper. Holy Spirit would begin to guide me. He might guide me toward a certain kind of thinking, and I would begin to study this out.

Sometimes He would guide me, and it would always be to look at where I was believing deeply. And I begin to believe all the time that when things weren't working, and I was going in the direction that God had called me. That I would begin to ask myself, "Do I see myself in that level of success? Do I see myself winning? Or do I see myself struggling"? And so this is gonna help you immensely if you can recognize that the Bible says in the book of Proverbs, as a man thinks in his heart, not in his head, in his heart. As a man thinks in his heart, so he is. Many people are hired for jobs that they are just given. So someone else raise the company up and then you became the CFO, the CMO.

And I think many people in their training can function there for a while. But anytime in life that it is up to you as a follower of Christ to build your marriage, build your family, build your finances, build your career. You need to recognize that how you see yourself, okay? Are you identifying with who you are as to who Christ says you are? Or have you begun to look at your results? Have you looked at the money, the people, the issues in your external world? Everything in the external world, your external world changes when things change in your inner world.

Often, I'll talk to somebody, many times business people, pastors, and leaders around the world of business, churches. And they'll talk to me about a specific problem that they find in raising this company up. This organization will say because it could be anything. And they'll always tell me about what their greatest problem is. And as they talk about it, I would try to move them to, it's not the external problem that is doing that. It is your internal view of you in this season that you are struggling with. And so if you don't deal with that, then you are gonna get plateaued right there. But if you want a life that is never got a boundary, a life that has no ceiling. Then regularly you must do heart work because Holy Spirit who is our helper. He is helping you to have a better marriage, better finances, better church, better organization, better career.

God has called you to succeed at whatever you do. But when Christians begin to struggle or hit these boundaries, they develop all kinds of weird doctrines. That when you believe those things, that becomes your heart's beliefs. That you cannot succeed until God takes you through a lot of really tough times to teach you lessons. Well, experience is not the best teacher, Holy Spirit is. So and then God sovereign. So that, you know, He doesn't want us to succeed or I've heard so many different doctrines. But I'm telling you today what I have discovered in the Word and what has helped in my life and I am nowhere near arrive, is that the greatest battle that I fight is an internal battle. Can I do this? You know, am I afraid of failure? Can I, this next season that requires more, you know, do I see myself there?

You know, when I was a senior pastor, one of the things they asked me to take over was a television station. A 24-hours and playing with people from around the world and stuff. And so as I moved, as I was a senior pastor and still am, I had to become the CEO of this television station. And I found that for the first little while, I couldn't find. I couldn't find my stride and I thought it was things externally, you know. I wasn't staffing this and that. But I began to recognize that I had to see myself as the CEO, a successful CEO of a television station and Holy Spirit as my helper that was His job as well. If I would work with Him, He would lead me into all truth, and He would show me things to come.

And so I began to declare and study the Word and know that for every new season in my life Holy Spirit is preparing me for that. And you need to know, for every new season in your life, Holy Spirit is preparing you for that. When he came at Eve, he didn't attack her physically. He didn't, you know, browbeat her verbally. He planted a message and it was, "Did God say that? And God knows that when you eat of the tree, you are gonna be like Him". And so she began to feel less than she was. Much of our praying today makes us feel less than we are. You know, every time we ask and beg God for things that He has already given, okay? We begin to destroy this faith, this confidence.

Let me give you an example. Now, many of you who are believers who are watching today, if you continually sought God and said, "God, please save me. Please come into my heart". And you beg Him to do that every day, every week, every month of your life. Well, doing that means you don't believe He's there. And every time you ask Him, your unbelief gets deeper and more entrenched because you get emotionally involved. God, I need You. Please forgive me. Come into my heart as though He's not there.

Now, take the rest of God's promises because in Peter, he teaches us, He's given us all things that pertain to life and godliness. And so many Christians today, their prayer time is this begging and bugging and pleading with God as though God is a reluctant God. But God's not a reluctant God. God is not into poverty. God is not into sickness. God in not into low self-worth. He's not into depression. Jesus said in John 10:10, I am come that you might have life, and that you might have it more abundantly. That means superior in quality and innumerable in quantity. God needs you to succeed for His end time plan to work. How do you think God's gonna reach the world?

Well, the Bible says it's the goodness of God that leads a man to repentance. How is He going to show this people His goodness? They don't even know Him. So they're gonna see it by looking at God's people. Look at God's family. And I say look at believers, they should see the joy in their salvation. A peace even when storms are flying around them. They ought to see an ability for God's power to help them in their marriages, in raising kids, in succeeding in their career, in the financial world. They ought to look at the followers of Christ and go, "I want what they've got". Because it's the goodness of God in your life that causes the world to look and to go, "I want what you have".

In the Old Testament, all of God's leaders weren't just good at what they did. But the world looked on with envy. King David was known throughout the countries as a phenomenal leader in an incredible country. Solomon known around the world. Leaders came in the then known world just to see him and to sit at his feet. And today the church has bought into a teaching that you're though, your whole life will be about hardships and rough times because that's what where you're going to learn. And so we look at for example the apostle Paul. And all they can focus on is Paul's struggles, his beatings, all the things that came against him. Okay, true. There was stuff coming against Paul. But now ask yourself a question. What was the call on Paul's life? The call on Paul's life was to take this revelation of what Jesus did on the cross to the throne to the then known world and see the church of Jesus spread to the whole then known world and he did it.

If you study Paul's life, whole countries came to know Christ by that I mean every single person wasn't born again. But revival hit so that the whole cities were changed and whole countries were reached. So Paul did something amazing. We don't look at all of his successes. We just look at his beatings and some of the things that he dealt with. He was shipwrecked. But today, you know, just for me to be pastor and to teach our church. I mean, how many people lie about me, blog about me. You know, say things. I'm glad it's nowhere near as bad as Paul who was beaten, whipped, and even killed. But whatever the persecution is, you just learn to get up and walk through it. You'll learn to say, "No, the power of God is on my life and people aren't gonna stop me".

It's like king David. I can run through a troop and leap over a wall. Halleluiah! You've got to see yourself that way in your career, in your family, in your home. That God is upon you and success is something He gives us. Isn't it interesting? That when God created Adam and Eve. Adam didn't wake up in the slums of earth. Eve when she was fashioned, and her consciousness came to life. She found herself not with an awful husband who was ugly and mad and angry and abusive and a junkie back alley somewhere on earth. God put them in the garden of Eden. And He gave her a man who was not only great-looking to look at, but he had an amazing marvelous personality and love for her.

And Eve wasn't made as a grumpy, angry, you know, ugly-looking person physically, emotionally. No, no, no. This was a beautiful woman, beautiful emotionally treated Adam with such great love. Beautiful to look at in a garden that was gorgeous to look at, beautiful in that all their needs. If God is going to place His two first kids in the garden of Eden, not in the desert of Eden. Then Holy Spirit as our helper when we are believers, Holy Spirit as our helper. He's not just gonna help you to be religious. He's literally not gonna just help you to know God. That's the most important thing. But He will help you in every area of your life. Your marriage, your depression, your illness, your career, getting ahead.

When the world comes against you and backstabs you and blogs about you and lies about you. You can just be secure and know this. That if your identity is focused on God, that He loves you and He loves you incredibly. Then this amazing sense of self-worth rises up and you're longer trying to prove yourself with money with success. I watch these men and women who are just blasting for success in their careers and in their companies at the cost of their wife and their kids and their grandkids and their friends around them. And they will spend their entire life to achieve something corporately, to achieve something with their giftedness. And then when they get there, they look behind at the entire journey and at the season when their kids were small.

Well, that was crucial to get this company to the next level. They didn't see much of their kids. When the kids were finally teens, now they were taking the success and they want to buy cabins for their family. But really didn't spend much time with them. We have been lied to as believers. Jesus said my yoke is easy and my burden is light. This is showing us is that when the true beliefs of your heart about yourself and about God, that you are a winner. You are a success. God has called you to win. We've got to get this into our kids. We've got to get this into our young men and women. That God is on your side because as they begin to go through life and hard times come. They begin to revert away from the favor of God.

You need an education. Renew your mind, absolutely. Get skills and add them to your gifts, of course. But always seek the kingdom of God first. His righteousness, His way of doing things. This is all about identity. It's time to get back into God's Word and begin to look at who do you see the greatest battle you're gonna fight? It's not you and the devil. It's not you and God. It's gonna between your real identity and your perceived identity. And Holy Spirit's job is to help you focus on God and have an identity that will be there for every season, every level of success and every area of life. He's there to help you. Spend time in God's Word and allow Holy Spirit to lead you into truth and get up and succeed. Get healed. Walk with joy. Walk in the best that God has for you. The problem is not externally. Your problem is internally. God bless you. I pray this has touched your life in a special way.

Hey, everyone! It is so good to have you with me today. I love teaching God's Word in a Spirit Contemporary way. In other words, I love the Word. I love Holy Spirit. And but then we need to be contemporary. Speak and teach and function in a way that is contemporary. No compromise but people can relate to it. Today, I've got something that's gonna change wherever you are right now. Are you struggling to breakthrough a boundary? Is there something in your life that has plateaued? Your marriage, your business, your career, your health, your person. Is there some place where you can't get results? And you're praying against the devil. You're seeking God, intercessory prayer. I want you to listen to this message and I can give you a key to unlocking literally every season that is ahead of you. Every area of success in your life is gonna come down to this, that I'm gonna talk about today.

All right, when we look at God's Word, it's interesting to me how that your self-identity determines your self-worth. You see, the greatest need in a human being, every human being is a sense of self-worth, a sense of significance. Freud was wrong, you know, when he said years ago the greatest need in a human being is for sex and he's wrong. Now, we know this sex drive is a huge drive and it's a gift from God to married couples, you know, who know Him. So, but he was wrong. The greatest need in a human being's life is for sense of self-worth.

Now, let me show you where most people struggled because if your identity is focused on God and what He thinks about you and His value for you. Then your self-worth will be high, and you will be stable in life. If your self-identity comes from your performance, then you are giving your peers, you're giving the people around you, money's the measurement, and your self-worth is never secure. Because if your self-identity is focused on your looks, someone's always gonna be better looking. And you're always gonna be looking to others to notice how good-looking you are, and gravity happens to everybody. If it's in your career. Well, as your career comes and goes and you're gonna have to fight to stay ahead of everybody else because someone's better than you. It actually affects your self-worth. And so our level of joy and our level of peace and personal fulfillment never rises above our sense of self-worth.

Let me say that again. Your peace, your joy, you know, your sense of fulfillment, feeling significant and excited about life with God and Holy Spirit. It's never gonna rise above your sense of self-worth. Now, this is really important because insecure people in their self-worth will do anything to get a sense of self-worth. I mean, they'll walk away from marriages, friendships, careers, church, even God and the things of God because if they don't feel this amazing sense of self-worth, value, significance. These words all point at the same thing. Then they are working their life, their whole life trying in anyway possible to get this self-worth to feel good about themselves. It's the greatest need we've got.

Let me give you a scary verse when it comes to this. In James 3:16, it says, "For where envy and self-seeking exist, there is confusion and every evil work". You can be born-again, spirit-filled, serving God for 40 years and things going well. And if you move your self-identity what you focus on for it off of God's value and love for you. And you put it on your job, what people think about you, how much money, how successful, etcetera, anywhere else. You will begin to get confused. Today, if you could just say, I've heard people tell me this all the time. I'm so confuse and, or they'll be like, "My life is just so confused. It's so complex". And I love what, you know, this gentleman said who did a lot of television shows for kids, Roger. He said, "Life with God is deep and simple. What the world gives us is shallow and complex".

If you feel confused about your relationship, your identity, what is your purpose in life, where are you going, what have you achieved, who am I. This mid-life crisis and now there's people in their early 30s. It's hitting them because they are measuring their value on their external achievements. They're measuring their value as to what their peers feel the amount of their money. How high they climb the corporate ladder? Are they a success in those areas? Now, when you get your identity on your achievements, whatever they are. You begin to be envious because envy causes selfish ambition.

Now, why would you have selfish ambition? Because you just don't feel good enough about yourself. Others are doing more. They've passed you and people don't notice you like you want them to. All of these things are in the area of envy and envy is so powerful that it will cause you to become ambitious all about yourself. You, you, you. Me, me, me. Because until you begins to establish greater things externally. Your looks, the money that you make, the car that you drive, people know you, success, etcetera. You literally are gonna do anything. In fact, I'll tell you right now. All of us are leaders and we are to, have to be great leaders and lead ourselves, our families, our marriages, into everything that God has for us. But if you begin to get envious, it means you begin to move your focus off of God and His love for you.

Ever notice a child when they're young, they're not worried about money or what everybody thinks about them at the young ages. They just know their daddy loves them, their mommy loves them. Grandpa and grandma love them, their uncles and aunts love them. And yeeha! Life is good. It's not until they get going later in life that they begin to be compared. At school they're compared, their marks are compared. Teachers, I will treat people differently often as to how smart they are, how good they do on exams. I've heard experts say that I've interviewed on television. That it is only one of seven different intelligences that school literally is teaching our kids. And so those who aren't good at memorizing and spitting out the right information on test. That they feel, you know, and may begin to look at themselves in their performance.

Now, performance is important. But I have found that your performance can do exceedingly well when you are secure in self-worth. And so focus on Jesus how much He values you. And so, how valuable are you? What did He pay for you? He sent His Son to die for you. And Christians today are so locked into I get my value. I get my significance from what the world thinks about me. The Bible has a verse that says that the fear of men is a snare. Now, it's interesting because this is talking about boundaries. You know, if you watch a horrible snare capture a rabbit by the foot. And I've seen snares people who have snared, you know, out in there snaring trying to snare animals.

And, well, I remember seeing a rabbit one time snared and it only gave it about a two-foot or three-foot circle because the wire was going tight on its leg and it was running in circles. There was blood in the grass and all the grass and bushes were beaten down as it was trying to get away from the snare. But you could take a chalk and draw a circle of about two and a half feet where that wire held him at bay. And it's saying that to be afraid of people, to be fearful of what they think, to be driving yourself to make them think high of you because that's where you get your self-worth from. It snares you and it holds you from going to the places that God has called you to. So where, what do you focus on for your identity? Is it on God valuing you? Or is it on what people think around you?

It's interesting to me that Jesus was tempted in the area of His identity. Satan came and three times he said to Jesus do something and you say you are the Son of God. You are about to prove You are the Son of God. And he was trying to move Jesus from a complete sense of identity. Jesus knew who He was. He was focused on God. God says this is My beloved Son on whom I am well pleased. But Satan begin to try to get Him to move His identity off of God on to the miracles. Turn this stone into bread. And Jesus wouldn't do it.

Now, is there a problem with doing that? No. But when you're being tempted to do it, to prove who you are. You are now, you've got your identity off of God and the security of God loves me. God says who God says I am. Now, my self-worth is high, my significance. My sense of knowing who I am is so full of love. I don't need to prove to anybody. When you start proving to people who you are, and it gets important to you. You'll become envious. You'll step on other people's fingers up the corporate ladder. You won't allow those around you to rise up because your self-worth needs to continue. So your identity is focused on people. Your ability to produce results and everybody noticing you. Wow, what a quick trip to depression.

And remember I said earlier that your level of joy and peace and personal fulfillment will never rise above our sense of self-worth. Leon, that's just for those who don't know Christ. No, I'm sorry. I coach and train pastors around the world in multiple denominations. And one of the things that I have found that they need to be taught is to get their significance, to get their self-worth, to get their value from the relationship with God, not from the size of their church, who knows them, how many people they've got on social media. There's so much today that causes people to move into this area of performing to be noticed. Satan takes Jesus again and he tells Him, jump off this temple because the Bible says the angels will catch you in their hands and protect you. And if You are the Son of God, people will see this. Jesus is being tempted again to prove who He was externally.

Now, it's no problem. Jesus was protected. Jesus actually did miracles of provision for food. But He's not doing it to prove who He is. He's not doing this to have people look at Him and... No. He stayed with His identity focus on God. This is who I am and so God says I am. And then as He does miracles, the miracles don't establish in His own life who He is. And we know that miracles helped Jesus to begin to get people's attention. But even once He's got their attention, you can think, "Well, see, people will know He was Jesus when they saw the miracles".

Listen, for three and a half years He did miracles. And the same people who watched Him do miracles, let Him be crucified and everybody run. There was no one left around Jesus. They all abandoned Him. The 500, the 70, the disciples, and the 12 disciples. I mean, all of this people they just abandoned Him. Why? Because although they believed in the miracles and stuff. There wasn't this sense of, you know, Jesus, the Son of God. And inside of them they still began to look at the things around them. Remember, insecure people will sacrifice everything in life to get a sense of self-worth.

I spoke with a young businessman who was just succeeding, driving. And the success always had if he's gonna go to the next level, he needed more time. He needed to travel more. And I'm not opposed to working hard or even traveling. Let me ask you a question. Is it really worth to get the position of VP of something in the organization? And the corner office, nicer cars, a cabin at the lake but you rarely go there anyway. So this, your wife is ageing and your kids are growing up and your missing your 20s and your 30s.

And I just watching the other day a guy had wrote a note out on social media because he had lost one of his children. And he said for years he had never spent one weekend with his family. And he just begged people, please go play with your kids because he'd lost one. And now he realized that all the money, all the corporations that he owned couldn't compare to a loving wife and kids at home. Go throw a football. Go waterskiing on the weekends. If you're not careful, you will sacrifice your marriage, you family, your friendships, your health. You know, by the time you can afford to have steak whenever you want it. Your stomach is so eaten up. All you can do is yogurt or goat's milk.

By the time you finally get the cabins and the places and the cruises you can go on, your kids don't want to go with you because they've got their own friendship circles. Or they've married somebody, and they've realized there's not much hanging out with mom or dad or whichever one it is that is so driven to prove them self. And really, it's all about you finding yourself.

I remember another gentleman when I worked with at the hospital when I was younger as a paramedic. He walked away from his family and everything, bought a sailboat and just literally sailed away. And it was shocking to all of us because he was a wonderful man. And one time in a conversation, the last time I saw him. This man said to me, "Leon, I don't know who I am. I've got to find myself. I'm no good to my wife, my kids, or anyone till I do that". I've never heard from him since. I don't know what's happened. I just know that everywhere he goes, there he is. And you don't find yourself by being alone and looking around the planet and naval gazing.

You must determine now to take your identity and focus it on Jesus and His value for you and His love for you. And then that is where your self-worth will rise up secure. Your literally, your health can go up and down. Your looks can go up or down or begin to deteriorate as you age. And it won't affect your joy, your peace, your ability to have great relationships. You know, you can have the greatest company going for a while and then it can be number five and you don't care. It's succeeding and I'm happy for everyone else that succeeds. But if your self-worth is not in there, then you are gonna sacrifice things in your life. Your health will deteriorate. You'll die young. Or if you don't die, you'll spend the last 20 years of your life unable to really live because your health is so damaged of the things that you did trying to secure this self-worth. I want to challenge you today. I don't care if you're a grandpa or a grandma. I don't care where...

Get back. Last story I think, I'll share might help you. A man walked up to the front of our church one time, and shook my hand after the service and said, "That was an amazing message. It really touched me. Now, I'm an agnostic. I'm an atheist". He used both words. He said, "And so I don't believe but your message really touched me". So as he turned and walked off. I just said something I say all the time. Say, "Hey, I love you, man. Have a great week". And he exploded with anger because he thought I was an authentic real guy. But he said, "Don't you tell me you love me. You don't know me".

And he thought that was me being really, you know, to be, I was spinning. I was just putting on a front. I wasn't authentic like he thought. I wasn't transparent like he thought. And I said, "God, help me to explain it to this guy". And just like that this thought came into my mind. Stop. I said, "You can love people who you don't know". Now, the word love in the Bible, one of the best words I know to help explain it is the word value. You know, you can say you love your wife but you're never with her. You don't value her enough to be with her. You can say you love your husband.

So I said, "We can love people that we don't know". "That's not true", he says. Well, think about a baby. A baby is born into this world and we don't know their personality. We don't know they haven't spoken to us. For the first year they are screaming and crying every time they want something. I mean, they mess their pants. You know, they never say thank you.

I remember walking the floor with our five kids when it was my turn, me and Sally would take turns. And they never said thank you for keeping me up all night and I had to go to work. I mean, they would throw up and pee and mess. And they never said anything to me that was enjoyable. But yet, I love that little baby so much. I would have died. I would get in front of a bullet or any intruder and to give my life before I would lose one of my children. God loves you and I before we have established our external value, okay? Are you gonna be a nice person? Are you gonna be a successful person? Before any of that is establish, God already values you and loves you. And it really touched him.

And you know what, it's important that you understand that. Even when Jesus walked the planet, it says He went down into the waters of baptism and John the Baptist baptized Him. Then it says Holy Spirit settled on Him and a voice came out of heaven and said, "Behold my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased". Well, Jesus hadn't done anything yet. He hadn't done one miracle. Nobody had messed with Him yet. He hadn't proven anything externally. But you see, God looks at the heart. He doesn't look at the external. And it says He was already well pleased with Jesus before He prove anything.

If you try to prove yourself to God with your behavior, cleaning up all the stuff. You're going back into external areas. Know that God loves you like a parent loves a baby. They don't even know them yet. They haven't even started talking yet. But that love is there. And then know this, the power of God will help you to change and to become the person you may never thought you could. You never, might have, never thought you could change your temper, your addiction, your inability to treat people right. Maybe you feel so trap in these areas. You need to know God loves you the way you are. And when you come to Him, and you get your identity from the value God places on you, not the value your peers place on you or the public places on you or you place on you. You look to Him. Your self-worth begins to rise and all of a sudden, you feel this fulfillment, this peace, this joy.

Now, when you first get saved, you get kind of a dose of that. But then you've got to begin to study God's Word and get in there so that you can renew your mind, establish your heart in grace, in God's truths. This thing that I'm talking about today is so huge. And so many people watching me today know that. You've learned the Word. You've renewed your mind. You've prayed in the Spirit. You've gone to church and you're struggling in so many areas. There's this area of self-identity and it's where the deepest beliefs of your life are in this heart level. A deeper almost subconscious area of your life. The Bible calls your heart and the heart is the seat of your identity and you've got to focus it on God. And when you do, you begin to believe like God believes. You begin to see yourself as a success. And Holy Spirit is working with you as your helper and He is helping you to lead you into all truth.

Now, as He lead you into all truth, this truth will affect you, your identity. And this sense of self-worth, this value, this significance, this love will rise up in your life and you will be able to get your eyes off yourself and off of everybody around you. As a spouse, you'll become beautiful, loving, caring, funny. I mean, exciting, creative. As a business person, everyone wants to get around you because you can afford to help everyone succeed because you know nobody can stop you from what God has called you to and from succeeding for the rest of your life. This thing of moving from your self-identity focus on God and a sense of self-worth will change everything in your life. God bless you.
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