The other evening while strolling through the local Barnes and Noble bookstore, I happened to notice an eye-catching, glossy covered novel entitled, The Enemy Within.
Out of sheer curiosity, I picked it up and started thumbing through the pages all the while thinking, if a person truly is born of God, the enemy is anything but within, “Praise the Lord,” I whispered under my breath.
We are privileged to bear the name of Jesus Christ and are blessed to have His continual abiding presence, and there is absolutely no break in that divine union (1 Corinthians 6:17). How reassuring it is to know that we have this wonderful companion with us – every moment of everyday!
One of my favorite descriptions of Jesus being our closest friend is so wonderfully described by a well known Chinese evangelist named Watchman Nee. In his best-selling books, he affectionately describes this constant companion as our “Resident Boss.” That loving, authoritative person of the Christ-head, whose voice is always gentle and re-assuring when He whispers,
“This is the way, walk in it, when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” (Isaiah 30:21)
But unfortunately, the disturbing reality is that most Christians today do anything but personify a life full of freedom and deliverance from the cruel dictates of sin. The truth of the matter is our biggest enemy most often arrives in the form of three notorious S’s: that of Sin, Self and Satan.
However, as you may have already guessed, there is one of them in particular that we usually have the greatest struggle with, and it isn’t sin and isn’t Satan. You guessed it …it’s “Self” with a capital “S.”
We come straight from our mother’s womb, kicking and screaming making quite a ruckus, all the while insisting that our every need be met. Then as we are lovingly held and nestled, the next round of hunger pangs arrives and everything goes south in the diaper department, and before you know it … the whole cycle starts all over again.
It takes many, many years of nurturing, discipline, love and patience before we develop and mature to the point where we finally become willing to take our eyes off of ourselves and begin to admit that perhaps it wasn’t meant for us to have the “starring role” in this thing called “life” after all.
When we purpose within ourselves to begin to focus on the magnificent, finished work of the Cross, that’s when we begin to realize that we have been marvelously delivered from the realm of darkness and brought into His marvelous Light.
“Awake thou that sleepest, and Christ shall give thee Light.” (Ephesians 5:14)
Our greatest challenge is gaining and maintaining our spiritual freedom by recognizing who we really are and what we really have in Christ Jesus.
We begin to see that the true enemy of the state is in reality, the enemy of the “State of our being!”
If we truly believe what the New Testament says about us, then it shouldn’t be long before we discover that we, at this very moment, have every spiritual blessing named under Heaven (Ephesians 1:3). Just to mention a few:
I am a child of God. (John 1:12)
I have been justified. (Romans 5:1)
I have been bought with a price and I belong to God. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins. (Colossians 1:13-14)
I am complete in Christ. (Colossians 2:9-10)
I have direct access to the throne of grace through Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 4:14-16)
I am free from condemnation. (Romans 8:1-2)
I am assured that God works for my good in all circumstances. (Romans 8:28)
I am free from any condemnation brought against me. (Romans 8:31-39)
I have been anointed and sealed by God. (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)
I am confident that God will complete the good work He started in me. (Philippians 1:6)
I am a citizen of heaven. (Philippians 3:20)
I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me. (1 John 5:18)
And the list goes on… Understanding our true identity in Christ is absolutely essential to our achieving success in living out this victorious Christian life.
If you are born-again, then the things that are listed above are true for you! But it cannot, for one moment, be appropriated until you recognize that there is an “enemy” who makes it his business to keep you from this knowledge, and the understanding of what your true state of being really is.
The more you reaffirm who you are in Christ, the more your behavior will begin to reflect your true identity! What will be the result? You will have defeated the very enemy of your state. And at last, find your long awaited for, Freedom in Christ.
Jesus has already paid the penalty for your sin. He is asking you, in the quiet of your heart, to put your trust in Him and begin to know and experience once and for all the full life that He promises each and every one of us.
Won’t you begin today to acknowledge your true Identity? All it takes is recognizing the truth of who you really are and what you already have in Him!
“A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” (John 10:10, The Message)
Borrowed from Missey Butler @ CBN.