Identity ('Ground Shakers' Series)
Once imprisoned by the trap of living a life of instincts, Todd Pierce speaks to his journey fighting rejection to find his identity in Christ and how God spoke.
Freedom is so often misunderstood.
I had a chance to meet Todd last night. The horse is older than this kid is. Look at this fur riding, I mean that's as good as fur riding as you're going to see.
I think when people look at a wild horse, they'll think that that's what it looks like to be free. They're able to run wherever they want and roam the countryside. The problem is they're driven by something
internal, it's their instincts. And that instinct just says stay alive.
The trap of living, a life of instincts, or in other words, for us as humans, we're just doing what we want, is that we've made ourself a prisoner to whatever we perceive to be true.
Our reality is being formed by the voices around us and even the way we see ourselves has made us a prisoner.
If the way I see myself is through the eyes of the people around me, through my experiences or my successes, then I'm always going to be held bondage to those same expectations.
This is where my journey begins.
Can I see myself clearly?
I grew up in a really small community. I had very little connection with people. I didn't have friends. The only safety that I found was in connection with animals.
To me, submission was a really scary thing because it looked like someone was going to hurt me.
I've heard it said that you become whatever you believe the most important person in your life believes about you.
And the problem is that the most important people in my life when I was very young, I didn't think that they thought very highly of me. So I didn't think very highly of me. I became angry and my anger turned to fighting and violence and ultimately I learned to channel it into sport.
I found that the better I did in sports, the more people liked me. And. It was intoxicating. Everybody wants to be loved.
The more that one, the more I felt like people loved me, more value that was in me.
But the reality is, is that the more I got the praise from people, the more distorted my view of myself became.
And my 'Whatever everybody else says that I am' means there's something different. Because if I'm going to live this way, then I'm going to have to prove myself over and over again?
That distorted image started way back when I first felt rejection, but I think every one of us come to a place where we realize that we don't want to spend our whole life allowing other people to define us.
There's not any hope and there's no future in that.
I set out on this journey. It was as though I was fighting through a storm, trying to get to the next mountaintop, thinking that somehow the view would be better from up there and, the harder I would try, the more I found myself slipping right back into that place of performance.
And now I'm not trying to please people. I'm trying to please God, but it's still just the pressure of performance.
I didn't really know what it was like to be just loved right where I was at.
There was this day that I found myself working with this horse in this round pen, and it seemed like every other day where I've done this hundreds of times. But this horse in particular, he wouldn't stop running. He was hitting his legs off the panels and he was switching directions and he was trying to get out of the pen, and I started speaking out loud to the horse, which I had never done before. And I was asking questions like, why are you running from me? Why are you so afraid? Why won't you trust me? If you would only trust me, I would show you so many things about yourself. Would you please just stop? Just look at me for a minute.
And as I spoke those words, I realized that I had just got caught up in this encounter with God where this wasn't my words, this was God speaking to me and I don't even remember leaving the round pin that day. It was as though God had just spoke these words over me as His son and was waiting for me to stop running. And helped me realize that as I could see something so beautiful and so powerful and so much potential in this horse that He could see the same in me that I had never seen myself before because my view of myself was so distorted, I felt as though God himself was as a father speaking over me, saying that I want to show you who you are. I want to help you see yourself clearly.
When I actually got face to face with God, and felt as though I could see what it is that He's seeing. There was a piece of fell over me that, it's undeniable and it's unexplainable but when you watch it happen and you can see it in this horse, everything about him changes.
And when I allowed God to be the one that was speaking my identity into me, showing me who I am. Teaching me how to love what he loves. Then I started to see myself and the whole world around me differently.
I can see clearly.
I wasn't afraid.
People are exhausted from all the years of striving for acceptance or success. That's why Jesus said, come to me and I will give you rest.
I think every man wants this journey. I believe the most powerful thing we posses is the ability to see what God himself sees. And when we see that. We become the life giving force that the world is waiting to see.
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