"Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come." (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Many of us fail to walk in victory. We read in the Word that we are new creatures, but we can't bring ourselves to accept it as true. We struggle through life as if nothing has changed. Christians believe everything will be O.K.in the sweet bye and bye, but some are miserable in the horrible here and now.
For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. (Romans 6:5-7)
Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus." (Romans 6:11).
All of us understand that our sins are forgiven. We have no problem with that. But that is only one side of the redemptive coin. We fail to realize that, as new creatures in Christ, we are cleansed also from the sins committed against us!
Victims of physical, verbal or sexual abuse carry guilt, shame and unworthiness into their adult lives. If we were programmed to believe we would never amount to anything and those words came from an authority figure, we accepted them as truth. Because we believed the lie, our behavior made it a reality.
Many of us carry negative programming into our adult lives and, even though we read Scripture, we find the words impossible to believe for ourselves. This is because we filter the truth of the Word through our old negative programming.
Disciples realize their birth was not a fluke. Regardless of the attitude or circumstances of our parents at the time of our conception, God had a plan for us from the beginning (Ephesians 1:11). We understand also that God can't fulfill His plan if we filter Him through our low self-esteem or our unworthiness.
1 John 1:9 tells us that we have been cleansed from all unrighteousness! We are to consider ourselves to be dead to sin, including the sins committed against us! Because we are in Christ Jesus, and He is in us, we are to be alive to God, that is, we are to walk in the fullness of God's life within us!
It has been said that a fool misses tomorrow when he reaches back for yesterday. If we allow the things of the past to affect our present relationship with God today, we certainly miss what God has for us tomorrow.
A disciple doesn't have time for that. If we don't walk in victory, we need to ask God to reveal those conditions within us that block the flow of His fullness. As He shows them to us, we release them to Him immediately.
In Philippians 3:10, the Apostle Paul cried out, "That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection..." We need that resurrection power in our own lives, especially if we still listen to the programming of a dead man. We must realize Christ has done away with that old creature who was capable only of committing sin, and being sinned against.
"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
Jesus has overcome the tribulation we received at the hands of the world. We are not to walk under the influence of the tribulation of our past experiences. We must let Him overcome that part the world has played in us.
Disciples understand we don't need power within ourselves to overcome the world. We experience victory through His grace. As we focus upon Jesus, He shows us our weakness. We submit that weakness to Him and He replaces it with His strength and spiritual maturity. We are expected to come into the stature of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13). We accomplish that only through Him.
Some of us may not feel victorious right now. Our challenge is to get beyond our feelings. We can't afford to permit the circumstances of the past to feed more negative programming into our personal computers.
We must deliberately turn our focus upon Jesus and increase our private time with Him. If we don't journal, we should begin right away. For a disciple, prayer is two-way conversation with God. We pray, we listen, and we write down the thoughts that come to us spontaneously. One of the most exciting methods available to us is to record God's answers to our prayers.
Let's decide now to believe we are new creatures in Christ. Let's refuse to allow old programming to filter out the purity of God's purpose. Let's reckon our old selves dead and our new selves born again, ready to receive the fullness of God's life. It is never too late to appropriate God's truth in our lives. He has an acceleration program for late-comers.
Our Lord's arms are outstretched, beckoning us to walk in His victory. Is there any reason in the world for us not to take His offer? He said His yoke is easy. It is time we laid down our own heavy yoke and let Him show us what it is really like to be a new creature in Him!
Jesus is King!
P.S. What are you doing of eternal value?
Question for today: Do I let past programming affect my life today and my potential for the future?