Our Identity as Saints - Jim White
For the past few months I’ve been volunteering as a counselor for a counseling center who offers help to those addicted to drugs and alcohol. I’ve learned a lot just by listening to both the clients, as well as the other counselors. For the most part the clientele consist of young adults under the age of 30. It’s sad to see how so many of them can mess up their lives so fast. The counselors offer them practical steps to overcome their addiction.
My heart goes out to them because they’ve never met Jesus. They are broken and Wounded, with no way to help themselves. Each week they come together to share their struggles with others and seek hope and freedom from those who are trained to give it to them. In one particular meeting, as I sat and observed and listened to the group share their stories, I heard Holy Spirit say to me, “They can't become a new person by changing their behavior. They need to discover the person they already are in Christ Jesus and then act accordingly.”
Needless to say I was overwhelmed at what I just heard. My thoughts began to focus not only on those who were in the meeting that day but also on the thousands of believers I’ve met over the years throughout the world, who have received Jesus as their Savior and yet they struggle with some sin, bondage or addiction. They mean well. They try really hard to live victoriously for God and yet a life of freedom seems to always be out in the distance somewhere.
I don’t have all the answers for everybody’s problems. However, I have learned some things throughout my life and have gained what I like to call “golden nuggets” along the way. I think we all have. One of these precious jewels of wisdom is this, only a “saint mindset” can empower you into total freedom. The bible tells us that we are a new creation in Christ Jesus. You and I are no longer sinners. Jesus has made us saints. The problem is we don’t think like a saint, therefore we don’t act like one.
Like so many I’ve encountered in counseling, they think like an addict. They've been told they will be an addict for the rest of their lives. They try to get by without falling back into their old habits and lifestyles of addiction. The bible tells you and I that as a man thinks in his heart, so he is.
God wants to empower us, to renew our thinking to the truth. He wants us to believe that His son, Jesus, has made us saints. Jesus has put us back in right standing with God. He has made all things new. I realize you already know this but the question is do you believe it? More importantly do you think it? Do you think of yourself as a saint? If not, start doing so. Why? If you start thinking of yourself as a saint, it’s only a matter of time until you will start acting like one.
Holy Spirit stands ready to reveal to you who you really are. He wants to show you the person you really are in Christ Jesus. It’s one thing to get a revelation on this, it’s an altogether different thing for you to act on it. Heidi Baker once told me, “Jim, when Holy Spirit reveals something to you, heaven then holds you responsible to act on it.”
Discovering the person you already are in Christ Jesus and acting that out brings about the manifestation of healing in so many areas of your life. So many are waiting for God to do something. They don’t realize He already has. I’ve spent many years as a Christian trying to become a better person by changing my behavior. This would work for a while then, next thing I knew, I was right back where I started which produced more discouragement and guilt.
You see, I felt guilty for not being able to live the life of victory I read about in God’s Word. After all I gave my heart to Jesus, I read my bible, went to church, gave in offerings and I would try so hard to be victorious. After much agonizing and crying out to God, He revealed to me the truth.
The truth is I was trying to change a sinner. I didn’t see myself as a saint. Religion had taught me that I was always going to be a struggling sinner saved by the grace of God. I wouldn’t become a saint till I went to heaven. Jesus came to set the captives free. He came to set us free from ourselves so we could embrace who we are in Him.
I want to encourage you to change the way you think. Ask Holy Spirit to reveal to you you’re true identity. However, don’t stop there, finish by acting accordingly to the revelation He gives you. If you want to start walking and living in victory and freedom start by discovering who you are in Christ and act accordingly.
You and I are the custodians of our mind. God will never renew it to the mind of Christ. He gave us the responsibility to do that. This is something that has been so overlooked in the body of Christ. I personally believe the greatest hindrance that holds back the body of Christ, and keeps us from achieving the results our spirit man desires to see, is the renewing of our mind to the mind of Christ Jesus. Our problem isn’t so much the devil and demons, Jesus dealt a death blow to them. He has placed them under our feet. They may be under our feet but many still allow them to be in their mind. This makes it easy then to believe lies and perceptions that the enemy places in our thoughts because our un-renewed minds are the breeding ground for dysfunction, addiction and bondage.
This new year challenge yourself to become a man or woman of God who daily lives out their life on earth with a renewed mind. Your spirit is born again. Your mind must be renewed so you can live the life of Christ here on earth, carrying His presence and releasing His Glory! How fun and exciting to think of the entire body of Jesus Christ living on earth, walking and living in constant victory because they finally got serious about having renewed minds and act and behave accordingly to what God says about them. It’s possible you know!!
Enjoy your journey of discovering who you really are and living the lifestyle of an overcomer who has already been set free and liberated by the power of Jesus Christ!
Remember in Christ we live, move and have our being (identity)!!