God calls us to grow in our faith and come into agreement with what his word says about who we are.
Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who lives, 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.”
In the first portion of this verse when Paul says, “I have been crucified with Christ; It is no longer I who lives …” he is talking about who we were before we were born again. But then Paul says “… 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.” The life that he lives now is referring to the resurrected life. Jesus died for us to live.
In Luke 9:23 Jesus said, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself (who you were before you were born again) and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Jesus said, “… let him deny himself …” which means we must stop looking at everyone else and begin to look into our self and deny our self. This is where our problems exist. We don’t want to confront our self and take up our cross daily and follow Jesus. Taking up our cross daily means that it is an ongoing process of dying to old habits, patterns, mannerisms, addictions and lusts that are not in agreement with who Jesus says we are.
We will not deny or crucify any of those old wrong behaviors and patterns in our lives if we are in agreement with them. Scripture says that if any two of you agree to anything it shall be done. When you are not able to deny yourself it is because you are in agreement with old ways, patterns, abuse, addictions and lust; they become the stronghold that is holding you back from the maturity God is calling you to (following Christ; truth in those areas) which is the resurrected life. Only when you come into a disagreement with the patterns, abuse, addictions, and negative thinking that are the strongholds that are holding you back, and begin to deny yourself, the moment you truly disagree with those wrong behaviors then you will be able to deny yourself and crucify yourself (put them to death) and begin to move forward into resurrected living that Jesus died for and calls you to. Whenever you unify with anything that is ungodly it will become a stronghold in your life and hold you back from all that God has created you for — his plan and his purpose. We must refuse to allow our past to determine our future.
You must look in the mirror and confront that area of your personality that conflicts with what the Word of God says you are, disagree with whatever it is that you have identified that does not line up with who God says you are. This may have happened to me, but I am not this. I may have done this, but I am not that. I am who God says I am. Keep moving and growing in your faith and walk with the Lord. When we come into agreement with who God says we are, it produces peace in our lives. The meaning of the word peace is an agreement or treaty to end all hostilities. True peace is the kingdom of God. (Romans 14:17)
The writer is the pastor at Russell Road Church in Sidney.