Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Old Man is Dead – In Christ is Newness of Life by Amanda Leonard

There comes a time in each of our lives that we must go from merely having head knowledge about our Father, to that deep KNOWING Him in our hearts. This can be a difficult journey for many of us, mainly because of the way that we are taught from the time we enter this natural world. Almost every one of us were taught by the ways of the world. We have been taught "the way that seems right to a man." (Proverbs 14:12)
We've been taught things like, "What you see is what you get.", "Don't get your hopes up", or "I'll believe it, when I see it." That last statement alone would blow all of Christianity out of the water, if it were true. There have been many things that we have learned throughout our lives that were the ways and wisdom of men.
Religion is the byproduct of many of these false ideas and perceptions. So many of the body of Christ, continue to be sin-conscious (old man) instead of Christ-conscious (new man in Christ). Sin-consciousness keep us focused on ourselves, while Christ-consciousness keeps us focused on Christ. I believe religion is one of the main ways that we get "stuck in our heads" and are unable to move into the reality of being one with Him and His truth being rooted in our hearts. Religion says you must do this, this and this (works apart from His grace), to earn His love and acceptance. Religion is like a wall that causes His true love to ricochet away from our hearts.
The way that seems right to a man is still the old mindset, the Adamic way of thinking; the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which leads to death (no life in Christ). The old man was born into Adam, where it was all about "self" that's why we must be born again. We must die to the ways of Adam and be born again into the newness of life in Christ.
In the garden, when Satan told Eve, if you eat of this tree you will be like God, they didn't realize they already were made in His image. They were already like Him. That was the day their identity surely died. The same goes for the way that seems right to a man (head-knowledge), it only leads to death.
We need His knowledge and wisdom, His love and mercy flowing in our hearts. He is our source of life. Our identity needs to be secure in Him alone.
All our old ways have died, once and for all. Your depressed self, your old anxious ways, the fallen personality of who you once were is buried and gone. The striving to overcome our old sinful nature is gone and buried.
You may say, "But I don't feel dead to depression, I feel so overwhelmed", child don't let your feelings be greater than His truth. The truth is, that is not who you are anymore, the old man is gone and with that old man goes depression, anxiety, fear, being impatient, addictions, health problems, insecurity and every other thing that is not in Christ. We get so focused on what we are not, that we can't see who we really are. This doesn't mean that we will won't still feel these things but as we can bring these feelings to Jesus and thank Him for our new man in Him who is free, completely free, we will trust in His word. I believe this is where faith comes in, where no matter our circumstance, no matter what we see in the natural, His truth stands.
Here's a couple examples to share to maybe make this more clear. I was talking with my friend, who has a very special little boy. He is special needs but the thing is this, he is healed. His mother and I were talking about how the Lord has been giving us more revelation of the cross. If we could just see ourselves through the cross. Her son's healing came over 2,000 years ago on the cross and as we now know this truth, we can see him fully healed, fully restored and can believe that "it is finished". She's been speaking this truth over him, by the faith of the Son of God and things are changing, in her, in him, in her entire family, as His Truth has come and has set us free! This is not just some method, as if God is a genie in a bottle, it's through that love relationship with Him. Sometimes we can just quote, "In the name of Jesus" as some formula, but He wants us to literally know Him, to see ourselves through that name, through the cross, as His perfect bride.
Another example is of a precious daughter of God and author, Michelle Perry, I've read some of her writings where she talks about being born with one leg. So there have been obvious obstacles that she has had to overcome. The first time I read something she wrote, I was taken back at first. She mentioned that although she has one leg here, she really has two legs. She could see in the eternal, she sees herself with two legs. She knew what Jesus had paid for and she could see past the now, into eternity where the cross has paid it all. The cross is eternal, Jesus was the Lamb that was slain before the foundations of the world and that reality is still present today and will always be, forever. She sees herself with two legs because she sees herself through the eyes of Jesus the Son.
What if we can see through His single eye to who He created us to be and who our new man is in Him? Wouldn't that be a lovely picture of Truth? I believe so, actually I know so.....and now we have His Spirit in us; the same Spirit that raised Christ Jesus from the dead to quicken our mortal bodies!!! How can we lose folks? We can't, He's already won and we are in Him, so we win too!
Romans 6:10-14 "For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 Likewise you also reckon yourselves dead indeed to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in it's lusts. 13 And do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as righteousness to God. 14 For sin SHALL NOT have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace."
He has been so gracious towards us. We have had some really good ideas on how to alter ourselves and yet many are still living in bondage. We've came up with some good protocols and keys to living a more blessed and prosperous life and yet we still can't even see our created value. So we end up just trying harder and continuing to eat off the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Those ideas are all well and good but if we don't have Christ as our cornerstone, we are just building another set of good ideas with no power behind it to accomplish change through Jesus. He is a God of transformation.
We have focused so much on what is wrong in our lives and the lives of others, that we over look what He's made right. We are dead, the old man is gone. We have tried to resurrect our old man instead of living in His resurrection life within us. The more we focus on what we think we are not, the more we miss who we really are now in Jesus.
Galatians 2:20 "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me : and the life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me."
He longs for us to see ourselves the way that John saw each of us in the book of revelation. As a bride ready, a changed people who know who they are in the Son. A bride who is spotless, beautiful and radiant, joyful and full of life.
Revelation 19:7-8 " Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage supper of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready." 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints."
Let's pray together. Father, I thank You that our old man is dead and that IN You we have new powerful resurrection life. Thank You Jesus for the cross, for Your blood that was shed that has made ALL things possible for us that believe.
Father forgive me for times that I have let my circumstances speak much louder than Your truth. I thank You that Your truth is rooted in my heart. I thank You Jesus for allowing my eyes to be opened to see myself through the cross and that all my old ways have died and I have been made alive in You alone. Help me Lord to walk this out.
Transform my mind Father, that I will even hear words that I speak and realize that it's just old mindsets trying to define me, these are lies Father, so as they come up, I just give them to You. I see You just taking those lies of who we thought we were, old mindsets and You just burying them on the other side of the cross, never to come up again.

I love You Jesus and I thank You for transforming me by the power of Your Spirit living in me. I give all of myself to you, thank You for building me up in Christ and seeing that reality manifest in my life. You are amazing Daddy and my love for you fails in comparison to Your love for me. I am forever Yours! Amen.

Walking In Newness of Life,

Amanda Leonard

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