Years ago I was in the city of Perth preaching and witnessing in the main shopping mall and I met some young people of middle eastern descent. I am attracted to foreigners, have been all my life. I want to meet them and ask them about themselves and their country etc.
The had been sitting listening to me preaching to the throng of people passing by so when I finished I went over to them. A young man in his early 20’s and two girls a bit younger than he with head scarfs on.
I came within their space and at the same time as sticking out my hand to shake his I said,
“Hi, I am Dennis and am pleased to meet you where are you from?”
Okay…so they had time to make up their mind about me from my preaching. I had preached about the need to believe in Jesus. The young man folded his arms and without looking at me said,
“I am Muslim. We do not drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes or eat pork!”
I looked at him, arms folded and eyes averted from mine which were no doubt glowing like fireballs with Jesus love–and I was filled with pity for him. I glanced at his two female friends and their eyes met with mine and they coyly smiled and looked back to their brother.
He was on the defensive and there was no way through. I answered him according to his folly —
“What has Muhammad done done for you?”
Again he told me, with a bit more determination in his voice,
“Our religion has taught us to not drink and to not smoke and to not eat pork!!”
Oh! So he has done nothing for you then….whereas Jesus has died on the cross for you to forgive your sin and make you pleasing to God.
My point in sharing this story is that his answers to me were not organic but rigid rules enforced by fear. So I had compassion for the young man. His two sisters would to dare say anything to me though I could see that they wanted to.
When the Pharisees came to see what all the fuss was about with a certain fellow named John we see this exchange taking place
Joh 1:19 Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”
Joh 1:20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.”
Joh 1:21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.”
Joh 1:22 Then they said to him, “Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?”
Who are you?
Good question. They were on the lookout for the Messiah or any wannabe messiah’s that appeared and popped up from time to time. Is this guy another whacko in the wilderness or is he the real deal?
When religious spirits come to you demanding to know who you are— you better know who you are— and who you are not!
Act 19:15 And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?”
What do you say about yourself?
Joh 1:23 He said: “I am ‘THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS: “MAKE STRAIGHT THE WAY OF THE LORD,” ‘ as the prophet Isaiah said.”
John found his true identity inside of the Word of God. In other words inside of Jesus Who is the Word of God. John was found in Him and nowhere else.
Religious spirits try to pin labels on you, are you the prophet, the Christ, Elijah? NO I AM NOT!!
John had come to his true identity and his calling through revelation. God showed him who he was. And so for all of us.
What do you say about yourself?
Do you say “I am a Methodist? I am a pentecostal? I am a pastor, Apostle, Bishop?”
I met someone from India last week and they introduced themselves like this….
Hello dear brother Den! My name is Pastor Sunil.I answered him according to his folly…
That’s strange–Did your parents give you the name “Pastor” or is that what you call yourself?Of course this went straight over his head. Did Paul ever call himself Apostle Paul? Nope. Others did. Sure he knew he was an apostle of the Lord Jesus–but his roots were not in his calling but in Jesus Himself.
Do we think that the spirit’s in the unseen realm care about our silly titles and tags? The spirit’s that bind people and oppress people are not one bit impressed with those outer things–they know us according to the spirit.
But if we do not know our self according to the Spirit, who we really ARE then these malevolent spirits know this and will do as they please with us and with those we are trying to help.
On that…If David did not know who he was according to the spirit–none of his stones would have hit Goliath with any power at all.
The armies of King Saul were afraid BECAUSE NONE OF THEM KNEW WHO THEY WERE according to the spirit. And so it is today. You can call a mass prayer meeting in Washington DC, but if your army does not know who they are FOR REAL…not just head knowledge knowing, but solid, substantial, revelatory knowledge of their true identity inside of Jesus then your mass prayers will do nothing.
Saul rejected his true self whereas David accepted the mercy of God. Saul was always trying to prove himself to be the big man…because he did not know who he was…shame and self condemnation were stopping him in his tracks. But David had found that it was not up to him to be anything great…But God Who does the works.
Not trusting in the outer man to be your identity but seeing that your identiy and true self is the inner man entwined with Jesus. This is who you are.
When they ask What do you say about yourself? You must know what God says about you. Hence all of Paul’s letters to the churches.
Everything in Paul’s revelation that speaks about your identity in Christ is who you are.
I cannot begin to write all those things down here….read the epistles yourself and ask Father to amplify your identity through His Word. He is doing this all the time anyway for He wants to establish you in His son so that you may fulfil your calling.