As you’ve heard me say many times before, walking after the flesh means I’m meeting my own needs my own way. What are our needs? We have God given needs to be loved and accepted and to know that we have worth. We start off at a very young age trying to control others and our circumstances to make ourselves worthy, loved and acceptable. We also learn ways to protect ourselves from experiencing rejection because rejection hurts! How has your flesh developed? I believe this self discovery is extremely important as you grow in your faith. Our ministry is based on teaching people their new identity found in Christ. We believe many times “self revelation precedes divine revelation.” God begins conforming us into the image of Christ after salvation. He will break the flesh so that the new you can come forth. It is much like the seed that is planted in the ground. It breaks before it reproduces. If you are in a season of brokenness, you are blessed! It doesn’t feel like it at the time but trust me; you are in a very good place. Change is ahead. The “old you and me” was crucified with Jesus on the cross and we have been made brand new. (Gal. 2:20, Rom. 6:6, 2 Cor. 6:17). When God personally reveals your unique version of the flesh, He is showing you the way you controlled or coped with life apart from Him. The bible says that the old has passed away but it sure doesn’t feel like it. Why doesn’t it feel like it? Yes, our spirit has become one with Jesus and His identity has become our new identity. However, our brain has not been redeemed. We still remember the way we controlled and coped without God. The enemy comes along and says, “This old person is REALLY who you are! Look how you are acting! Who are you kidding? You are not a new creation!!!” We begin to look at our behavior to determine who we are instead of God’s word. But behavior does not determine identity! Birth determines identity! If I bark like a dog I am NOT a dog. I am a human being who is acting like a dog. The more you become convinced that what God says about you is true, the more you will experience the freedom you have in Christ. Free from self condemnation and striving. Free from trying to prove you are acceptable. Free to let go of control.
How do you control others? Do you use intense persuasion, shame, guilt, or anger? How do you think you try to control your own environment? One of my major flesh patterns is to put up a wall of self protection. The problem with self protection is that when I keep other’s out, I keep myself imprisoned inside. That’s not freedom and Christ said he came to set us free. Honestly think about it. Can you really control whether or not someone hurts you? Control is an illusion and control is fueled by fear. Will you hand the reigns to God and trust Him? Jesus crucified the old you that HAD to take control so why do you still try to control? It’s such a waste of energy and time. You have a Heavenly Father who loves you more than you can imagine. Give him your perceived control. Nothing comes into your life that He won’t use for your good and His glory! The God of the Universe lives in you. You CAN experience freedom.
There’s a very intense and scary movie clip in the movie “Instinct” with Cuba Gooding Jr. who plays a psychiatrist. A very angry inmate attacks him and reveals that many times we think we are in control but we are not. The first time I saw this clip my heart was beating out of my chest. But my eyes were opened to see that no one really has control. I’m so glad we have a Heavenly Father who is in control and nothing takes him by surprise. He’s a redeemer and a good Heavenly Father. He has your back! Nothing will come into your life that he doesn’t use in a powerful way in your life. Take a deep breath and say with me, “I am not in control but God is in control so I can rest.”