I’m standing by the Jordan River in
Israel, a place that is filled with such rich history. This is where the masses
came out to John the Baptist, and he baptized them as they confessed their
sins. And the Scripture says in John chapter one, Now this is the testimony of
John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who
are you?” He confessed and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.”
And they asked him, “What then, are you Elijah?” And he said, “I am not.” “Are you the
Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” And 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?” And he said, “I am
‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Make straight the way of the
Lord,” ‘ as the prophet Isaiah said.” It’s interesting, John knew who he was, and he
also knew who he wasn’t. Are you the Christ? No I’m not. Well, are you Elijah? No,
I’m not. Are you the Prophet? No, I’m not. Well, who are you? What do you say about
yourself? I would just humbly like to ask the same question to you: Who are you?
What do you say about yourself? It’s just as important to know who you’re not, as
it is to know who you are. Some people spend their entire life trying to be a
clone of someone else. Trying to do it like this person, trying to be like that
person. Listen, God has created you uniquely. You are an individual. There’s
no one else like you, and you need to find out who He’s created you to be. And
you know what, I pastor a church and people all the time are saying, “Well, you
know, Bayless, you should do this, and you should do that, and we need to do this.”
And they’ve got great, grand ideas, but I realize there are certain parameters
that God has called me to operate within. I can’t do it all, and I can’t be it all.
I make a terrible someone else, but I make a great Bayless. So I know who I am,
but I also know who I’m not. And sometimes people want us to do
this or that and we say, “Look that’s just not us. I don’t feel like I’m gifted to
do that. I don’t feel like I’m called to do that.” And so I want to encourage you,
you know, find out who you are. Find out who you’re not. Now, John was able to
answer the question, “Who are you? What do you say about yourself?” He quoted Isaiah.
Now John just didn’t happen on that. He spent a long time in God’s presence out
in the wilderness where he prayed, where he walked with God. And God revealed to
him by the Spirit through the Scriptures who he was and what he was gifted to do.
And there are no shortcuts, my friend. You have to spend time with God and find out
who you are, as well as who you’re not.