Episode 6: Identity Crisis

 

Anchor Lady: Hello everyone. Welcome to Exposé where we turn the light on Christ. How have you been finding the Prodigal Father series? I hope you’ve been blessed by them? (Turns to Peter) Would you like to say a word to those who have been following us and anyone joining for the very first time, Peter?

Peter: Yeah. If you’re joining us for the very first time on Exposé, we welcome you and those who’ve been with us on this journey through the Prodigal Father series, we also say you are welcome to this new episode of Exposé.

Anchor Lady: Last week, we went on the Identity as we try to bring out the identity in the story, so what do you want to say about it before you move on to today’s series?

Peter: Yeah, on the last episode of Exposé, we made a major point that the whole foundation of sin is identity and we looked at the fact that the younger brother wasn’t just on a journey of spending the inheritance; it was beyond that…that’s too simplistic to think about. In reality, he was in a journey of trying to define himself by using that journey and how did we know that? Because the last verse we read said “He came to himself…” So we knew it was all about identity. That was where we stopped on last, errm, last episode.

Anchor Lady: Have we explored everything about identity? And where does that identity takes us today?

Peter: Yeah, you see, there’s something that we have to take a look at today before we go on to the next verse in this Luke 15 because, you see, it’s as if we are tied up…up to this point where he came to himself. Errm, if I come to you and I advertise a medication for you to use and I said I’m sending a particular medication to you, you wouldn’t…people wouldn’t buy into what I’m selling until I tell you the implication of not having that medication. And I tell you that this medication, if you have it, is gonna solve this particular problem in your life… And I think today, we’ll have to focus on Why do we really need to have a Christ-centred identity? Why is this significant? Why is it important? I mean, what are the dangers of having a non-Christ-centred identity? So that’s what we wanna explore today. And I think that…that’s gonna make a lot of sense to us as we go through this Prodigal Father series.

Anchor Lady: Are you sure we can still find the Christ-centred identity in the story of this younger brother?

Peter: Yeah, yeah…you see, like we said, it’s all about identity. Humanity has become a genius in trying to use everything around to cover up who they really are and it started right from the time of Adam! You see, when God showed up in the garden of Eden after Adam fell, when God showed up, Adam already had himself covered up. And you see, it started from Adam and it’s all gone through all generations—we use everything around us just to define ourselves. And what’s the danger of having a non-Christ-centred identity? Now, we’re gonna have a look at Proverbs 18

Anchor Lady: You’re saying we should bring it on?

Peter: Yeah, Proverbs 18 verse 10. Now if you have your—either you have your Bible or you don’t, you can just follow us as we go through. Ermm, the prodigal son came to himself… Now, Proverbs 18 verse 10…I’m gonna read that now. It says…if you are there, you can join us (turns to Anchor Lady) You can read it if you’ve found it.

Anchor Lady: “The name of the Lord is a strong tower…”

Peter: okay…

Anchor Lady: “…the righteous runs into it and is saved.”

Peter: Now, that’s Proverbs 18:10. It says “The name of the Lord is a strong tower…” Now, we know this scripture very well…if you’re a Bible reader, you know this scripture, but let’s backtrack on the verse before verse 10. What does it say?

Anchor Lady: That will be verse 9

Peter: Verse 9. Proverbs 18:9. What does it say?

Anchor Lady: “He also that is slothful in his work…”

Peter: yeah

Anchor Lady: “…is brother to him that is a great waster…”

Peter: Now, it says, “If anyone is lazy in his work…” The scripture says he’s the same family member to someone who destroys. So the Bible is saying you need to be active. You need to be hardworking. Whatever you’re doing, you need to engage it. God has put us on this planet to engage the planet. Don’t forget, God told Adam—God said “replenish the earth…multiply!” So it means God put us here to engage this planet…to work hard. Romans 12 says “Do not be slothful in business…” Do you see that? There’s no slothfulness. If you know you have an assignment from God, but look at what it says next. So that’s verse 9, verse 9 says no for laziness…Christianity is not an excuse for laziness—you need to engage this planet. Now, that’s verse 9. Now, watch verse 10…what does it say in verse 10?

Anchor Lady: “The name of the Lord—”

Peter: “The name of the Lord…” Do you see that? That means what it’s simply saying is engage the planet, do your work with all rigour…don’t be lazy. Don’t use whatever it is in verse 9 to be a protection or cover-up for yourself. That’s why it says “the name of the Lord…” is what? “a strong tower, the righteous runs into it and they are what? Saved” Now, you know a tower is like a stronghold; it’s a protection

Anchor Lady: fortress

Peter: It’s a fortress. So what it’s simply saying is, even though I told you in verse 9 to be hardworking… even though I said in verse 9 that you should engage this planet, even though I said there’s no room for laziness? But still…know for sure that you need to run into the name of the Lord as a cover, as a protection. You cannot use those things as a protection. Those things cannot cover you, they cannot determine you, they cannot define you… And that’s what it’s saying in Proverbs 18 verse 9 and verse 10. You see, the problem—

Anchor Lady: —despite how glamorous or engaging the thing is

Peter: You see, that’s why we need to maintain the balance of spirituality. Some people, all in the name of being spiritual—being Christians—have become so slothful. You see, they are not hardworking. They keep saying you know what? I’m praying about this; I’m praying about this…they are found wanting. But Bible says you need to work hard; you need to till… you see, it’s just like Adam, you need to replenish the earth, but be careful to know that for your protection—for your cover-up—you need the name [of the Lord] of the Lord. The name of the Lord defines your worth; the name of the Lord defines your value; the name of the Lord is a sure protection. Now, if you notice—why do you need the name of the Lord to define you? It said it’s for what? For protection…for cover. That’s the problem. For people…that’s what happened to the younger brother. The question you want to ask yourself about the younger brother and the prodigal father story is How come? How was it that he left the enclave, the care, the protection of the father’s house and went on a journey that made him connect himself (the Bible says) to the citizen of that country? When the Bible talks about the citizen of the country, you know what that means? I believe you know that the Bible says in Philippians 3 that “Our citizenship is in heaven.”[1] We don’t have our citizenship here. But the Bible says whoever this younger brother connected with was a citizen of that country… and the Bible says in 2 Corinthians chapter 4[2] that we know that the devil—Satan—is the god of this world. If you are talking about the citizen of this world, you’re talking about Satan! How did he leave the protection of the father? How did he leave the home, how did he leave the care at home and made himself vulnerable and made himself joined to a citizen of the country—a type of Satan? What happened? A search for identity. Can you see that? So what the Bible is simply saying to us is we have true cover and true protection in the name of the Lord. Even though, we are actively engaging in this world in verse 9, Proverbs 18:9…we are not lazy; we’re hardworking

Anchor Lady: Even though we’re working for the Father?

Peter: We’re working really hard in this world, yet it says we are defined by the name—our protection is in the name, our strong tower is in the name of the Lord. Now, if we have such an understanding, it means Satan will not have any inroad into our lives, we will not be connected to the citizens of the country like it happened to the younger son.

Anchor Lady: So what I can glean from it is that as much as we are involved in our professions [yeahxs], in our callings [yeah], family lives [yeah], ministry [yeah], we should not run into it.

Peter: Now, that’s the point. What…

Anchor Lady: We cannot run into our career…

Peter: We cannot run into them for protection.

Anchor Lady: And you know, some places too in that Proverbs, it was talking about how the wealth will be the defence for people…so it’s like an alternative so people can run into their money, they can run into their influence and connections, people can run into the networks they’ve built, they can run into family—

Peter: In fact, I might say this: people can run into religion—

Anchor Lady: yes—

Peter: …as a strong tower! Now you see…

Anchor Lady: They can run into ministry work…

Peter: You can run into ministry—if you are a minister—as a strong tower! That’s why I think, last episode, we made a reference to when Jesus did say that some will come to me in the last days and they will say we cast out devils in your name, we prophesied in your name, and I will say I don’t what?

Anchor Lady: I know you not!

Peter: See, if you say you don’t know someone, it’s about identity. We know we’re not connected. It means people can use anything, you know, as a protection. Don’t run into anything; engage this planet. Be hardworking in anything you do as a profession—whatever you do—but the Bible says that ultimately, we must glean, we must take our sense of value—

Anchor Lady: and protection, and cover

Peter: from the name of the Lord. Why? Why do we have to do that? Because there’s protection! It said “the name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous runs into it and they are [what?] they are saved” There’s no protection anywhere else. Whatever you use for protection will blow off. I’ll give you an example; you know, there’s something—you have a question anchor lady?

Anchor Lady: No. I was just thinking of one of the Christ-centred identity…

Peter: Okay, now…there’s something I want us to have a look at as well. Now, Hebrews chapter 13 if you have that, it’s about protection, really. It’s about security. The security can only be in the name of the Lord. We are not protected if we use any other thing as a cover. Now, Hebrews 13, now from verse 5, you can read that…

Anchor Lady: “Let your conversation be without covetousness…”

Peter: It says let your conversation—your life style—in how you live your life be without covetousness…

Anchor Lady: “…and be content with such things as ye have…”

Peter: And be contented with what you have.

Anchor Lady: “…for he has said ‘I will never leave you…”

Peter: Now, now, watch this, watch this…Anytime we hear about contentment, we always talk about ‘Oh, be happy with what you have’ but that’s half of the story.

Anchor Lady: Hmmmmm

Peter: That’s not complete. If anybody…that’s a half-truth! Asking someone to be happy with what he has, I mean, don’t go for more…and we believe that… If it says don’t go for more, it means that will run contrary to Proverbs 18:9 that we read. Well, Proverbs 18:9 says you can’t be lazy, you can’t be… you cannot say Oh yes, I’m done… You need to work hard. So it’s not just about stopping of making effort, that’s what you think it will—

*abrupt end*

[1] Reference: Philippians 3:20

[2] Reference: 2 Corinthians 4:4

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