As the first guest at Liberty University’s Convocation of the new semester, Christian author and speaker Sadie Robertson Huff inspired students Wednesday morning to ground their identity in Christ and use their influence as the next generation to lead others to Him.
Since gaining a platform through her family’s popular reality TV show “Duck Dynasty,” Robertson has become a bestselling author and popular speaker. The Robertson family has many ties to Liberty; Sadie’s older brother, John Luke, and younger brother, Will, both attended Liberty, and family members appeared at Convocation.
Sitting onstage at the Vines Center with Liberty Campus pastor Jonathan Falwell and LU Shepherd principals Melanie Denney and Brandon Milks, Robertson presented a problem she sees in today’s culture, especially among students and young adults: finding identity in the wrong areas. She asked her Instagram followers how they identified, and many replied that they were “what God says I am.” However, Robertson said that belief is rarely reflected in people’s lives.
“When I look at the world and even my followers…I don’t necessarily see a generation living like this,” she said. “We all struggle with fear, anxiety, perfectionism, self-doubt, depression, loneliness, etc. Who we say we are in genuine conversation does not necessarily match who God says we are. Why? Whatever sits on the throne of your life will tell you who you are.
Robertson cited the moment in Matthew 16 when Jesus asked his disciples who the Son of Man is, and they simply repeated what the world often said. But it was Simon Peter who said to Jesus, “You are the Messiah, the son of the living God,” to which Jesus then replied that Peter would be the rock on which the Church would be built.
“(Jesus) gave Peter his identity, and then he gave him his purpose,” Robertson said. “We will never know who we are until we understand who God is. When we see who God is, we will know who we are because we belong to Him, and we will know what we are called to do because He gives us our purpose.
At age 14, Robertson was thrust into the limelight by the rapid popularity of “Duck Dynasty.” Being so young when she became “famous” – a word she struggled to accept – Robertson said she didn’t know her purpose in all of this. During a conference, Robertson felt the voice of God delivering her.
“(God) said, ‘I’m not calling you to be famous; I call on you to be a sister and friend to those who have no sister and friend,” Robertson said. “I don’t know how to be famous, but I know how to be a sister and I know how to be a friend. With that little word, he launched me into what I’m doing now. Here I am seven years later, and God did extremely and abundantly much more than I thought he would have done.
Robertson recently spoke at the Passion 2022 conference in Atlanta, Georgia. She published her first book, “Live Original”, in 2014 and created her “Live Original Tour” in 2016. In February, she will publish her new book, “Who are You following?” on how to live in a culture obsessed with social media.
Robertson said each project happened because God gave him the opportunity. She said she identified with the followers of Jesus by feeding 5,000 people with just five loaves and two fish, bringing Christ’s provision to others and testifying to his power.
“The disciples had nothing to do but distribute the food; Jesus is the one with the power,” she explained. “The disciples were empowered just by being able to be in that moment and see what Jesus was going to do. When I see what God is going to do (through me), it not only impacts the people there, but also my faith.
Having received such a big platform on social media, Robertson said she adapted her 24-year-old “influencer” status to compel others to shine God’s light through their social media feeds.
“I like social media because I see the potential, but I also don’t like social media because I see the darkness,” she said. “Not everyone is famous, but everyone is an influencer. I want to use my (platform) to lead people to Jesus, because it’s the most influential thing you can do in the world. someone’s life.
Speaking directly to the thousands of Liberty students in attendance, Robertson urged them to act as messengers of the gospel on all available platforms.
“Each of you has the opportunity to affect change,” she said. “You have the power of God living within you, so do something with it. You are not too weak for God to be strong in you.
At the end of the convocation, the arena filled with students joined campus pastor Jonathan Falwell in wishing a happy birthday to Liberty President Jerry Prevo via a phone call with Prevo, who was out of town celebrating. with his wife, Carol.
Students will return to Vines Center tonight for the first campus community of the new year, which will launch a new series called “Echoes,” about the prophecies of Christ the Messiah found in the Old Testament.