When we walk by the flesh, we are walking outside our true identity and we have more problems. When we walk in the Spirit we walk with power and authority and we conquer the enemy. Too often we view ourselves in very negative terms. We are weak. We are prone to fail. I’m just a sinner saved by grace. All of these pronouncements are focusing on our flesh (which has been crucified), rather than who we are in Christ. We tend to view ourselves in terms of what our flesh does, rather than who we are in the Spirit. Our flesh was crucified with Christ and we should no longer be “taking it out for a spin.”
When we view ourselves in the flesh we will continue to walk in the flesh. I teach a Bible study in a prison and deal with a lot of addicts. Most are taught in recovery to say, “My name is X, and I am an alcoholic.” This is one of the reasons that they stay addicts. I realize that admitting there is a problem is important, but this becomes their identity.
They are alcoholics. If that is the case, then what do alcoholics do? Drink. They define themselves in terms of the problem. In fact, much of the rehab mentality is that “I am only one drink away from disaster.” Then they live in fear and on the brink of failure. I am not being flippant with these words or trying to imply that alcohol abuse is no big deal. Rather, I want to bring about a more powerful way to walk in victory.
The better solution is to say “I am <your name>, and I am a son of the Living God. I am a new creation in Christ.”
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Christ gave His life for me. “The life I live is no longer mine, but Christ who lives within me.” This puts us in a mindset of victory rather than defeat. The same is true of all areas of our lives. Is Christ an alcoholic? Is He a sex addict? Is He a gossip? Is He a failure? I am in Christ and Christ is in me. I have a new nature and a new identity. I must not live by the flesh!
If I go around telling people that “I’m just a sinner saved by grace,” then I am reinforcing that my identity is sinner. I start at a point of weakness and my identity is in my flesh and the old man. There is a much better way: To see yourself in Christ; to see yourself as Christ sees you. That means I can say I am redeemed. I was bought with a price. I am worth the life and blood of Christ. I have the mind of Christ. In Him I have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. I stand forgiven and righteous. I have the Holy Spirit indwelling me.
Based on this, I will walk in power and authority. I will walk in strength. I will not be ashamed and I will not be defeated. Many people fear this, because they have been taught that a Christian must be humble and lowly. They mistake defeat and self-deprecation for humility. They confuse the poor state of their flesh with the power and authority they have in the Spirit.
I am no longer thinking about myself, but rather I think about Christ in me. That is who I now am—and He is awesome. So guess what? I am awesome and so are you. Let’s stop talking about us and what our flesh is doing. Rather, let’s talk about Christ in us and how we are now more than conquerors. We are victorious. Rest in it. Delight in it. Praise God for it.
[This was an excerpt from “Extreme Turbo Mega Grace”, chapter 3.]
. 2 Corinthians 5:17
. Galatians 2:20
. 1 Corinthians 6:20
. 1 Corinthians 2:16
. Colossians 1:14
. Romans 1:16
. Romans 8:37