I wrote a post a few weeks ago talking about the journey I'm on to have a clearer understanding of who I am in God. The Bethel DVD's I've been watching (18 down and 6 to go!) and the book I'm currently reading (Dreaming with God - Bill Johnson) have all been feeding into this. I certainly feel different although I'm not sure I could adequately articulate what has changed at the moment. It's like something has shifted in my Spirit but my mind is going to need a while longer to catch up. That said, here's my attempt to share with you some of what's been going on: (more posts to follow as I get more revelation)
1) I am a new creation. When Jesus died on the cross my old self that was a slave to sin was crucified with Him. And when He rose again from the dead I was raised up with Him. When I gave my life to Him I became dead to sin and alive to God. I became a brand new creation - holy and righteous and completely spotless. I became a Daughter and a Princess; an Ambassador for Christ and a Saint. This is my new identity, but how often do I really live like it? Often as Christians we refer to oursleves as sinners saved by grace - this of course is true; we were sinners and we have been saved by grace. But the reality now is that we're Saints. We're no longer sinners because we're dead to sin! Now of course it's true that we still sin, but our thinking must be the right way round: rather than thinking of ourselves as sinners who sometimes act like Saints, we should consider ourselves first and foremost as Saints who sometimes sin. Do you see how the thinking is completely different? (this is also important because 'what we imagine, we become.' If we're imagining oursleves primarily as sinners that will act out in our behaviour, however if we imagine ourselves as God sees us how much more effective might we become?)
2) It's not humility to try to crucify the 'new man'. Christians will often speak negatively of themselves and try to kill their dreams or desires in an attempt to make themselves low - in an attempt to appear fully surrendered to God and His purposes, without realising that the ability to dream is a God-given gift (I speak to myself here as much as anyone else!) More to the point, I don't know if God ever intended us to be low in the first place? Ephesians says that we've been raised up with Christ and that we're seated with Him in heavenly places. I wonder if when we seek to make ourselves low so as not to appear proud we actually undermine the value God has given us as His sons and daughters?
We were singing a refrain at a recent leaders meeting that went like this, 'more of you and less of me.' In the past I would have sung along with everyone else but this time I felt a check in my spirit. Of course I want more of God - It's all about Him. But less of me? Is that really an appropriate response when God places huge value on who I am as a person. I wanted to sing, 'more of you and more of me as you've made me to be.' Then I read this in the next chapter of the book I'm reading; 'Dreaming with God.'
'Many have prayed, 'None of me, all of You.' God had none of us before we were born and He didn't like it. He created us for His pleasure. A better prayer would be, 'All of me covered my all of You!'
Anyone challenged to change their thinking yet?