Your Real Identity

by Saturday, September 24, 2011

I thought I was never going to get out of my past. I thought this was going to be a stumbling block that will not allow God’s presence or healing to come through for my life. I placed the perspective that I have been deducing about myself, from what I have been hearing, to how God thought about me. Little did I expect that this was not the real me…
I realized that I need to find out my real identity: in Christ.

To realize my real identity in Christ, these were some of the things I had to work out:

1) Detect the lies of the enemy
In the past, the enemy may take advantage of situations and lead you to believe that you are a baddie or a troublemaker. Using words like "hypocrite", "useless" and "unworthy", a perfect lie or a constant sounding could mold you and make you think that you are such a person. These lies will even distort your picture of the great, heavenly Father.

He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.
John 8:44 (NLT)

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
1 Peter 5:8 (NIV)

2) Question your thoughts with the word
God is the living word (John 1:1). When you know that there are thoughts running wild in your mind, and these thoughts are trying to bring you down, or they are shifting you away from knowing who you are, refer back to the word. God speaks through the word.

Few verses to point out:

When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
John 19:30 (NIV)

The finished work on the cross is the main element that would give us a life of victory. Though stuck from our past, Jesus is the one that frees us from the core of our current being and He makes us realize who we are in Christ.

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.
Romans 8:1-4 (NLT)

God assures that he won't condemn or hate you because of the past wrongdoings. He freed us from the past and from the devil’s clutches by sending His one and only Son to pay the price for all that we have done.

3) Never let the old you determine the future you
“I failed in the past, so I am bound to be a failure in future.” This was one thought that ran over my mind when I felt that I have failed God. I thought that if I was such a person in the past, I may be such a person forever. Maybe the proverb “The leopard does not change its spot” is a true statement in regards to who I really am: I will not change.

Even when I became real with my relationship with Christ, the same thought will run through my head, making me feel that I am not fit to walk with God. God then shook away that thought through this verse:

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)

I immediately knew what He was trying to tell me. To realise my real identity in Christ, firstly I need to shake off that thought that the old me will never determine who I will be in future. When I mean business with God and sincerely want to start anew with Him, He gives me a new life: the old has gone and the new has come!

Friends, if you have been thinking negative thoughts about yourself, that what the devil or people spoke about you is your current self, I just want to challenge you today that God is a God who loves you and He wants you to find out your new identity in Christ. Even I am trying to realize who I really am in Christ. So ask yourself: Do you think the current you is the real you in Christ?

Walking Through The Storms

by Friday, September 16, 2011

Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.
“Yes, come,” Jesus said.

So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.

Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”

Matthew 14:28-31 (NLT)

In the storms of your life, are you like Peter, who will become terrified while looking at the strong circumstance coming over your life, or will you fix your eyes on Jesus?

1) Peter fixed his eyes on what was near
For Peter, he took notice of the strong winds and the waves. Even though he was the one who initiated Jesus to let him walk on the water, instead of having that strong faith, believing that he will get to Jesus, he took notice of the strong waves that was beneath his feet.
Similarly, when we are walking through life’s’ storms, will we fix our eyes on the present situation which seems unsolvable, or will we fix our eyes on Jesus?

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)

2) Crossing over the supernatural as a natural being
Put yourself in this situation: if you are Peter, and Jesus asks you to walk on the water to meet with Him, will you be able to do so? Will you fret because you are walking on the water or will you stir up your faith and believe that you are not going to sink or fall down because Jesus is right opposite you?

Perhaps you would have thought that you are in a natural realm so if Jesus asks you to walk on water, the first thought that may come to your mind would be: “But this is the sea! How can I be able to walk on water? It’s nuts!”

Well, will you have just that little faith to believe that you will be safe in His hands? For our God is a supernatural God, and all you need to do is to believe.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
Proverbs 3:5 (NLT)

3) Overcome fear with faith
Notice that God assured the disciples when they were afraid:

When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!”

But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!”
Matthew 14:26-27 (NLT)

Shortly after Jesus assured them, Peter walked over to Jesus. But he began to sink as he walked over. Didn’t Jesus just assure him that “I am here?” Or was Peter too old that he became to be forgetful?

Therefore, when Jesus assures, have faith that will not lead to doubt. Even when constant problems hit your life, remember that God is always with you.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT)

Say to those who are fearful-hearted, “Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God; He will come and save you.”
Isaiah 35:4 (NKJV)

Power In Declarations

by Thursday, September 08, 2011

Exhausted and tired over questioning God why. It's not that God doesn't want to answer me; I know that He is stirring my faith to believe that He is bigger and greater than my situation. And I know that there is power in declarations, when I declare things over my life:

1) Declare His favor
Why will God put through so much thought to uniquely design you and make sure you come into earth as a beautiful child, handcrafted by Him? This is all because His favor and love is upon your life. You may question God: “Why am I suffering so much? It is as thought you are not near.” Know that God works all things together for good (Romans 8:28), and when He allows tribulations to happen, He will bring you through it.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
Psalm 139: 1-18 (NLT)

2) Declare God’s grace
Based on past treatments by people, you may think that whatever treatments that humans give you, God will treat you the same way. So if someone in your family constantly punishes you, you will most likely expect God to punish you before He forgives you. But, Jesus is not the same Father that treats you the same. The same picture of the angry daddy may dwell on you when you sinned, hence giving you the thought: “Well, I am not matching up with God’s standards, so I bet He is still angry with me. I don’t think I’ll be forgiven unless He comes down from heaven to punish me.” No, God’s grace is more than sufficient in your life. As long as you admit your sins, confess and apologise, God will forgive you.

David committed adultery with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11:1-4), and God sent the prophet Nathan. Thereafter, David realized that he was wrong and he admitted his sin to God. It was entirely by God’s grace that set him free and he was called holy again.

When I refused to confess my sin,
my body wasted away,
and I groaned all day long.

Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me.
My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.
Finally, I confessed all my sins to you
and stopped trying to hide my guilt.
I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.”
And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.
Psalm 32:3-5 (NLT)
So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”
1 Peter 1:13-16 (NLT)

3) Declare His kingdom come
When Adam and Eve sinned, God said that they would die and know between right and wrong. Also, they were banished from the garden of Eden (Genesis 3).

"For the Son of Man came to seek and save what was lost."
Luke 19:10 (NIV)

What was lost? Was it our salvation? No! What was lost was the joy and peace that we could enjoy in the Holy kingdom. It was the life that we could enjoy without any worries.

However, God loved us too much, therefore through the victory of Jesus on the cross, we can now easily proclaim His kingdom come upon our lives (Matthew 6:10). For in His kingdom, sickness, bondages, strongholds, pain, guilt shall reign no more.

At times when you feel like questioning God why such things have been happening in your life, and when there seems to be no way out, turn your focus to the kingdom: For in God's kingdom, nothing is impossible. So when you are declaring His kingdom, you are declaring His Lordship over your life. What worries will you ever have when you entrust your life with the King, who has great plans for your life? (Jeremiah 29:11)

Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.
Matthew 4:23 (NIV)
“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.”
Matthew 5:3 (NLT)
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The LORD is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made.
Psalms 145:13 (NIV)
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