Monday, May 23, 2022

I Am Independent of My Circumstances

Did you ever take a particular amount of money and intentionally put it aside for some reason, but forgot that you did it and also where you put it? I know I have and probably many of you have done the same. However, sometime later, you decided to do some extended cleaning or maybe just going through some personal items and found the money that you had put away and in your surprise you thought, "Where did that come from" or "I did not know that I had that."

Interestingly enough, you really cannot say "Where did that come from" or "I did not know that I had that" because you actually had the money. The only issue is, the money did not do you any good because you did not know you had it. Although this is something that happens in the natural, for many the same thing happens to them in the spiritual. When it come to spiritual things the thinking is, "If the Bible says it, it is automatically mine." This is only true to a point. The Apostle Paul states, "For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us." (2 Corinthians 1:20) Yes, the promises of God through Christ belong to believers, but have believers exercised faith to receive them, or are they only hidden somewhere in the Word of God.

God has given us His Word so that we would take the time to discover what we have been given through our faith in Jesus Christ. A good example of this would be eternal life. A person can have eternal life because one day they confessed with their mouth and believed in their heart the Lord Jesus Christ and not really know depths of eternal life. Their thinking maybe, "Thank you Lord that I am saved and now when I die I'll go to heaven." This is true, but you will not enjoy the reality of eternal life in this life because you do not know its depths or what it is suppose to do for you.

Many of the lyrics in our hymns and songs today speak of eternal life as a destination and not an instant transformation of ones old nature to the new nature in Christ. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation." (2 Corinthians 5:17-18) This is the miracle of becoming born again. The Apostle Paul is not talking about ones body or soul, he is talking about the spirit, "the hidden man of the heart." (1 Peter 3:4)  

According to scripture, Jesus came to earth for many reasons, "to seek and saved that which was lost" (Luke 19:10); "To bear witness of the truth" (John 18:37); "To give His life a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45) and so on. But He also came for another incredible reason that many have not come to understand nor walk in the reality of, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." (John 10:10) The word "life" here is the Greek word, "Zoe." That is the God kind of life; eternal life. The reality is, the moment that one is born again, God imparted His very nature into our human spirit. We are in Christ. Christ is in us. We have the nature of God. We have the life of God.

The Apostle Paul tells us, "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." (Galatians 2:20) Notice that Paul tells us how to fully come to the understanding of and how to take advantage of the believers new life, eternal life, in Christ. We are to live by faith in Christ. In other words, what God says in His Word is one hundred percent true. It does not change with time because He does not change (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8) and we can put our faith in the integrity of His unchanging Word and not only understand what abundant life in Christ is, but also live in it in this life.

In short, living in abundant life is believing on and acting upon God's Word no matter what the circumstances of life may try to dictate, especially when they are contrary to God's Word. The Apostle Paul tells us how he lived in Christ, "For I, however I am placed, have learned to be independent of circumstances." (Philippians 4:11 TCNT) We can experience the abundant life that Jesus gave His life for, by exercising our faith and as Paul did, "learn to be independent of circumstances." It really isn't as difficult as it may seem, if we can remember as Paul, "I can do everything in the strength of Him (Christ) who makes me strong." (Philippians 4:13)     

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