Renew, Acknowledge & Experience
Paul prayed for his friend “that the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus” (Philem. 1:6). “Communicate” means to “release” or “transfer.” For instance, I’m communicating, releasing, transferring to you what God has spoken and made a reality in my life. “Effectual” means it begins to “work” or “produce.” How does your faith work and produce? “By the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.”
Old Testament principles don’t necessarily apply to New Testament faith. That’s why concepts like “getting more faith,” “receiving a new anointing,” “getting more of God,” and “receiving a double portion” don’t work. Out of ignorance, people say, “Elisha had a double portion of Elijah’s anointing. Tonight is double-portion night! Come up here and we’ll pray for you to receive twice as much anointing.” Elijah didn’t have the fullness of God. He only had a small part. Therefore, Elisha could have twice as much as Elijah. However, John 1:16 reveals, “And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.” Under the New Covenant, we have all received (past tense) His fullness!
As a believer, God gave you everything when you were born again. Old things passed away, and all things became new. In your spirit, you received the same measure of faith, the same power, the same wisdom, and the same ability as every other Christian. Our spirits are all identical to the Lord Jesus Christ in every way. Your spirit isn’t in the process of growing and maturing because it’s already complete; you’ve already got everything!
The rest of your Christian life is learning how to manifest in the physical realm what’s already in your born-again spirit. The way your faith becomes effective, productive, operative is by acknowledging every good thing in you (your spirit) in Christ. Since you can only acknowledge things that already exist, you can’t acknowledge something that’s not a reality. Therefore, in order for your faith to work, you must recognize, believe, and acknowledge the good things in you in Christ!
I didn’t see any manifestation of power, victory, joy—anything—until I started renewing my mind and discovering what God had put inside me. As I began acknowledging what He had already done, His presence and power started manifesting in my life. The lives of the people I ministered to began to change. Acknowledging the good things in me in Christ caused my faith to work and produced supernatural results!
Most Christians believe God can do anything but experience very little. Now that they’ve been born again, they know they have access to the Lord. They believe that God can release His power in answer to prayer, but whether something comes to pass or not depends on their performance (i.e., being holy, speaking right, studying the Word, tithing, avoiding strife, etc.). This view short-circuits God’s power because their focus is on what they need to do instead of what Christ has already done. It’s not His power these Christians doubt but rather His willingness to use it on their behalf. They think God’s power is out there somewhere, and they must do things in order to obtain it!
The truth is, when you were born again, God put His power, anointing, victory, joy, peace—everything—in you in abundance. The only reason they aren’t manifest in your soul and body is your unrenewed mind. It’s not that God didn’t give it but that you’re still looking at the physical realm instead of His spiritual mirror.
One-third of your salvation is already complete! Right now, your spirit is as saved, sanctified, holy, and empowered as it will ever be throughout all eternity. Someday you’ll receive a new body and a new soul to match up with your new spirit. Until then, it’s your soul and body that are in the process of change, not your spirit. At the Second Coming of Christ, or when you die and go to Him, the change in your soul will be instantly completed. Then when the Lord returns, your spirit and soul will be reunited with your glorified body. At that time, all three will be perfect. But until then, the Christian life is renewing your mind and acknowledging the perfection already in your spirit so that your soul and physical body can experience the benefits of salvation!
Conformed or Transformed—It’s Your Choice!
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Rom. 12:1-2).
Don’t be conformed to this world! “Conformed” means “to be poured into the mold of.” In life, you will encounter pressures—from the world, from the devil, from unbelievers, and from circumstances. Although you can’t avoid being melted, you can choose which mold you’ll be poured into. When pressure comes, will you become bitter or better? As fiery trials arise, will you stand victorious or give in to defeat? The choice is yours, but you will be changed!
Be transformed by the renewing of your mind! “Transformed” in the Greek is the same word we derive “metamorphosis” from. It’s the picture of a little worm spinning a cocoon and then coming out as a butterfly. The way you transform, change, metamorphose from being bitter, hurtful, sick, and defeated into the loving, healed, healthy, and victorious person that God created you to be is through renewing your mind. Your spirit is already changed, and your body is basically your soul’s caboose. Whatever you think in your soul, your body will just go along for the ride. Therefore, it’s your mind, your thoughts, your attitudes that determine whether you experience victory and the life of God in your spirit or the defeat and death of the fallen natural realm. Renewing your mind to the Word facilitates your transformation!
God’s Word tells you what is spiritually true. It gives you the new values and attitudes you should conform yourself to. As you continually look into the Lord’s spiritual mirror, you’ll begin to see and experience yourself for who you really are!