Thursday, February 8, 2018

Your Identity in Christ

In my previous article, Identification with Christ, I explained how the believer has total and complete union with Christ and identifies with Him in every way. In this present article, I would like to help you understand your specific identity in Christ. The reason this is so important is that the devil comes to accuse, tempt, and deceive, and if you don't know your true identity in Christ, he can more easily accomplish his goals. You must know who you are so that you can resist him. Do you realize who you are in Christ? Here is what the Scripture says.

I am...

  • Born again (Jn 3:3; 1Pe 1:23)
  • Born of the Spirit (Jn 3:6)
  • A new creation (2 Co 5:17)
  • Forgiven of my sins (1 Jn 1:9; Heb 8:12; Rev 1:5; Is 1:18; Psa 103:3,12; Isa 43:25; Ez 18:22; Mt 6:14-15)
  • Washed, cleansed, and purified (1 Co 6:11; 1 Pe 1:22; Rom 8:1; Jn 15:3; 1 Jn 1:7; Eph 5:25-26; Heb 9:14)
  • Saved by grace through faith (Eph 2:8-9; Ro 5:9)
  • Created to do good works (Eph 2:10)
  • The righteousness of God in Christ (2 Co 5:21)
  • Raised with Christ (Col 3:1)
  • Seated in heavenly realms with Christ (Eph 2:6)
  • Hidden with Christ in God (Col 3:3)
  • A citizen of heaven (Phil 3:20)
  • On my way to heaven (Jn 14:1-3; 1 Jn 5:13; 2 Cor 5:1)
  • A saint, called to be holy (Phil 1:1; 1 Co 1:2; Eph 1:1; Heb 12:14)
  • Called by God (1 Pe 1:1; Jude 1:1)
  • Chosen by God (1 Pet 1:2; Col 3:12; Jn 15:16; Eph 1:4;1:11)
  • A child of God (1 Jn 3:1; 5:19; Rom 8:14,16; Jn 1:12-13; Gal 4:4–7)
  • A child of the King (Rev 17:14; 19:16; Is 53:10)
  • An heir of salvation (Col 1:12; Tit 3:7)
  • An heir of God and joint-heir with Christ (Rom 8:17)
  • A servant of the Most High God (Col 3:23-24; 1 Co 4:1)
  • Followed by signs (Mk 16:17)
  • The temple of the Holy Spirit (2 Co 6:16; 1 Co 6:19; 3:16)
  • A member of Christ’s Body  (1 Co 12:27)
  • A true Jew (Rom 2:29)
  • A child of Abraham, an heir of promise (Gal 3:29; 5:28)
  • One with Christ (1 Cor 6:17; Eph 5:31,32; Ro 6:5)
  • A friend of God (Jn 15:14-15)
  • A witness for Christ (Ac 1:8; Mt 28:19; Mk 16:15)
  • The salt of the earth (Mt 5:13)
  • The light of the world.  (Mt 5:14)
  • Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, purchased of God (1 Co 6:20; Eph 1:7)
  • Christ's own possession (1 Co 3:23)
  • Loved by God (Jn 3:16; 14:21,23; 15:9; 16:27; Rom 5:8)
  • Fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps 139:14)
  • A vessel of honor (2 Tim 2:21)
  • An object of God’s mercy (Rom 9:23-24; 11:32; Lam 3:22-23)
  • Followed by goodness and mercy (Ps 23:6)
  • Blessed with every spiritual blessing (Eph 1:3)
  • Served and protected by angels (Ps 91:11; Heb 1:14)
  • A king and a priest (1 Pet 2:9; Rev 1:6)
  • Existing to do God’s will (1 Pe 4:1-2; 1 Jn 2:17; Mt 7:21)
  • Living for Christ ( 2 Co 5:15)
  • Crucified with Christ (Gal 2:20)
  • A branch connected to Christ the Vine (Jn 15:5; Ro 11:17-18)
  • Dead to sin (Ro 6:4,11)
  • A living sacrifice (Rom 12:1)
  • A soldier of Christ (2 Tim 2:3)
  • Being transformed from glory to glory into Christ's image (2 Cor 3:18)
  • Accountable to God (2 Co 5:10; 1 Co 3:13-14; Ro 14:10-12)
  • Free in Christ, free not to sin or do evil. Free to love and be who He’s created me to be (Jn 8:36; 8:32; Rom 6:18; 6:22; Gal 5:13; 1 Co 7:22)
  • Victorious (2 Co 2:14; 1 Jn 5:4-5; 1 Cor 15:57)


Furthermore
  • Apart from Christ I can do nothing (Jn 15:5) 
  • I no longer live, but Christ lives in me (Jn 17:26; 2 Co 13:5; Col 1:27) 
  • I have the mind of Christ (1 Co 2:16) 
  • I have an anointing from the Holy One (1 Jn 2:20)
  • I can do all things through Christ (Phil 4:13) 
  • I shall do even greater works than Jesus did (Jn 14:12) 

Now that you know who you are in Christ, you can make these proclamations in response to the devil's lies. As the Scripture says, "I have believed, therefore I have spoken." (Ps 116:10; 2 Cor 4:13). When you begin to reclaim and proclaim your true identity in Christ out loud, you will be victorious over the enemy.

I have also created another version of this article called Your Identity in Christ -- Full Version, which quotes each verse in full that I have referenced in this article. I strongly encourage you to either look up these verses in your Bible or read the full version, which is much meatier than this one.

I have also created a three-fold, quick-reference card that you can print out, which lists your identity in Christ, just as I have laid it out in this article. It contains only the Scripture references, not the full text of each verse. This keeps it concise enough to fold and keep handy in your Bible or hang on the front of your refrigerator to remind you who you are. If you would like one, simply click on one of the following links: Who Am I? (3-fold card) or Who Am I? (Portrait)

Meanwhile, if you have not yet come to know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, then I'd like to share what you need to begin to understand about your own identity. If that's you, then please see the section at the end of this page titled, "Do You Want to Know Him?"

Attribution Notice: Image may subject to copyright, used according to the Fair Use Act for educational and commentary purposes.

Author's note: If you would like to receive free training in becoming a disciple of Christ, I highly recommend that you consider enrolling in our Doulos Training School.

I recommend reading the following articles: You Must Be Born AgainIdentification with ChristOvercoming the World, God's Amazing Plan for Your LifeCovenant Prayer,  All Things Handed Over to Jesus ChristSupernatural Power for All Disciples, An Incomparable InheritanceThe Cost of Discipleship, Persecuted or Popular?, The Priesthood of All Believers, and Having a Servant's Heart. I also invite you to read my daughter's poems, called The Cost and Mirror of Christ. You can also find my complete collection of blogs at Writing for the Master.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Your Identity in Christ - Full Version

In my previous article, Identification with Christ, I explained how the believer has total and complete union with Christ and identifies with Him in every way. In this present article, I would like to help you understand your specific identity in Christ. The reason this is so important is that the devil comes to accuse, tempt, and deceive, and if you don't know your true identity in Christ, he can more easily accomplish his goals. You must know who you are so that you can resist him. Do you realize who you are in Christ? Here is what the Scripture says.

I am...

Born Again
"Jesus answered and said to him, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.'" (Joh 3:3)

"for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God." (1Pe 1:23)

For more on this, see my article, You Must Be Born Again.

Born of the Spirit
"That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'" (Joh 3:6-7)

A New Creation 
"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come." (2Co 5:17)

Forgiven of My Sins
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1Jn 1:9)

"For I will be merciful to their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more." (Heb 8:12)

"and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood—" (Rev 1:5)

"'Come now, and let us reason together,' says the LORD, 'Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool.'" (Isa 1:18)

"I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, And I will not remember your sins." (Isa 43:25; Eze 18:22)

"For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions." (Mat 6:14-15)

For more on this, see my article, God Forgives and Forgets.

Washed, Cleansed, and Purified 
"Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God." (1Co 6:11)

"Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart..." (1Pe 1:22)

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." (Rom 8:1, KJV)

"You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you." (Joh 15:3)

"But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin." (1Jn 1:7)

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word." (Eph 5:25-26)

"How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Heb 9:14)

Saved By Grace Through Faith 
"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast." (Eph 2:8-9)

"Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him." (Rom 5:9)

For more on this, see my article, By Grace Alone.

Created To Do Good Works
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them." (Eph 2:10)

For more on this, see my article, Faith Works

The Righteousness of God in Christ 
"He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." (2Co 5:21)

Raised with Christ 
"Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God." (Col 3:1)

Seated in Heavenly Realms with Christ 
"And raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus..." (Eph 2:6)

Hidden with Christ in God 
"For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God." (Col 3:3)

A Citizen of Heaven 
"For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ." (Php 3:20)

On My Way to Heaven 
"Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 'In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.' " (Joh 14:1-3)

"These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life." (1Jn 5:13)

"For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." (2Co 5:1)

A Saint, Called to Be Holy 
"Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons:" (Php 1:1)

"To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours:" (1Co 1:2)

"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus:" (Eph 1:1)

"Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:" (Heb 12:14)

For more on this, see my article, Saints Alive and Holy Living in a Perverted World.

Called by God 
"Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia..." (1Pe 1:1)

"Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:" (Jud 1:1)

Chosen by God 
"You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you." (Joh 15:16)

"Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." (Col 3:12, NIV)

"Who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood:" (1Pe 1:2, NIV)

"Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love." (Eph 1:4)

"In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will..." (Eph 1:11, NIV)

A Child of God 
"See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him." (1Jn 3:1)

"We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one." (1 Jn 5:19)

"For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God." (Rom 8:14)

"The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God." (Rom 8:16)

"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God." (Joh 1:12-13)

"But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, 'Abba! Father!' Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God." (Gal 4:4-7)

For more on this, see my article, Children of God

A Child of the King 
"These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful." (Rev 17:14)

"And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, 'King Of Kings, and Lord of Lords.'" (Rev 19:16)

"But the LORD was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand." (Isa 53:10)

An Heir of Salvation 
"Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light." (Col 1:12)

"So that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life." (Tit 3:7)

For more on this, see my article, An Incomparable Inheritance.

An Heir of God and Joint-heir With Christ 
"And if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him." (Rom 8:17)

For more on this, see my article, All Things Handed Over to Jesus.

A Servant of the Most High God 
"Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve." (Col 3:23-24)

"Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God." (1Co 4:1)

For more on this, see my article, Having a Servant's Heart

Followed by Signs 
"These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover." (Mar 16:17-18)

The Temple of the Holy Spirit 
"Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" (1Co 3:16)

"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?" (1Co 6:19)

"Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, 'I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.' " (2Co 6:16)

A Member of Christ’s Body  
"Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it." (1Co 12:27)

A True Jew 
"But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God." (Rom 2:29)

A Child of Abraham, an Heir of Promise 
"And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, heirs according to promise." (Gal 3:29)

"And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise." (Gal 4:28)

One with Christ 
"But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit." (1 Cor 6:17, NIV)

"For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection." (Rom 6:5)

"For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church." (Eph 5:31-32)

A Friend of God 
"You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you." (Joh 15:14-15)

A Witness for Christ 
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." (Act 1:8)

"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit..." (Mat 28:19)

"And He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.'" (Mar 16:15)

For more on this, see my article, Being a Witness for Christ.

The Salt of the Earth 
"You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men."(Mat 5:13)

The Light of the World
"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden." (Mat 5:14)

Redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb, Purchased of God 
"For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body." (1Co 6:20)

"In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace." (Eph 1:7)

Christ's Own Possession 
"And you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God." (1Co 3:23)

Loved by God 
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." (Joh 3:16)

"He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him." (Joh 14:21)

"Jesus answered and said to him, 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.'" (Joh 14:23)

"Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love." (Joh 15:9)

"For the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father." (Joh 16:27)

"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom 5:8)

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." (Ps 139:14, NIV)

A Vessel of Honor 
"Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work." (2Ti 2:21)

An Object of God’s Mercy 
"And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles." (Rom 9:23-24)

"For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all." (Rom 11:32)

"It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness." (Lam 3:22-23. KJV)

Followed by Goodness and Mercy 
"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever." (Psa 23:6)

Blessed with Every Spiritual Blessing 
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ." (Eph 1:3)

For more on this, see my article, Partaking of the Divine Nature.

Served and Protected by Angels 
"For He will give His angels charge concerning you, To guard you in all your ways." (Psa 91:11)

"Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?" (Heb 1:14)

A King and a Priest 
"And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." (Rev 1:6)

"But you are a chosen race, A royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." (1Pe 2:9)

For more on this, see my article, The Priesthood of All Believers.

Existing to Do God’s Will
"Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God." (1Pe 4:1-2)

"The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever." (1Jn 2:17)

"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter." (Mat 7:21)
For more on this, see my article, Walking in the Perfect Will of God.

Living for Christ 
"And He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf." (2Co 5:15)

Crucified with Christ
"I have been crucified with Christ; and 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 up for me." (Gal 2:20)

For more on this, see my article, Crucified with Christ.

A Branch Connected to Christ the Vine 
"I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing." (Joh 15:5)

"But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you." (Rom 11:17-18)

Dead to Sin 
"Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life." (Rom 6:4)

"Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus." (Rom 6:11)

A Living Sacrifice 
"Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship." (Rom 12:1)

For more on this, see my article, Living sacrifices in Consuming Fire

A Soldier of Christ 
"Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus." (2Ti 2:3)

Being Transformed from Glory to Glory into Christ's Image 
"But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit." (2Co 3:18)

Accountable to God 
"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad." (2Co 5:10)

"But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written, 'As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.' So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God." (Rom 14:10-12)

For more on this, see my article, Ultimate Accountability.

Free in Christ
Free not to sin or do evil. Free to love and be who He’s created me to be.

"So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed." (Joh 8:36)

"And having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness." (Rom 6:18)

"But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life." (Rom 6:22)

"For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another." (Gal 5:13)

"For he who was called in the Lord while a slave, is the Lord's freedman; likewise he who was called while free, is Christ's slave." (1Co 7:22)

Victorious
"But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place." (2Co 2:14)

"For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" (1Jn 5:4-5)

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."(1Co 15:57)

For more on this, see my article, Overcoming the World.

Furthermore
  • Apart from Christ I can do nothing (Jn 15:5) 
  • I no longer live, but Christ lives in me (Jn 17:26; 2 Co 13:5; Col 1:27) 
  • I have the mind of Christ (1 Co 2:16) 
  • I have an anointing from the Holy One (1 Jn 2:20)
  • I can do all things through Christ (Phil 4:13) 
  • I shall do even greater works than Jesus did (Jn 14:12) 

Now that you know who you are in Christ, you can make these proclamations in response to the devil's lies. As the Scripture says, "I have believed, therefore I have spoken." (Ps 116:10; 2 Cor 4:13). When you begin to reclaim and proclaim your true identity in Christ out loud, you will be victorious over the enemy.

I was going to quote each verse in full that I referenced in this article, but decided to simply give you the references, in the hope that you would look them up in your own Bible. Please take the time to do that.

I have also created a three-fold, quick-reference card that you can print out, which lists your identity in Christ, just as I have laid it out in this article. This keeps it concise enough to fold and keep handy in your Bible or hang on the front of your refrigerator to remind you who you are. If you would like one, simply click on one of the following links: Who Am I? (3-fold card) or Who Am I? (Portrait)

Meanwhile, if you have not yet come to know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, then I'd like to share what you need to begin to understand about your own identity. If that's you, then please see the section at the end of this page titled, "Do You Want to Know Him?"

Attribution Notice: Image may subject to copyright, used according to the Fair Use Act for educational and commentary purposes.

Author's note: If you would like to receive free training in becoming a disciple of Christ, I highly recommend that you consider enrolling in our Doulos Training School.

I recommend reading the following articles: You Must Be Born AgainIdentification with ChristOvercoming the World, God's Amazing Plan for Your LifeCovenant Prayer,  All Things Handed Over to Jesus ChristSupernatural Power for All Disciples, An Incomparable InheritanceThe Cost of Discipleship, Persecuted or Popular?, The Priesthood of All Believers, and Having a Servant's Heart. I also invite you to read my daughter's poems, called The Cost and Mirror of Christ. You can also find my complete collection of blogs at Writing for the Master.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

God's Amazing Plan for Your Life

I recall when I was in high school, planning my future, trying to prepare myself for whatever career I would choose. There was a lot of emphasis placed on that, or at least it seemed so to me. I went through a few different career choices during my high school years.

One was that I was fascinated by the human brain when we studied it in biology, so I thought I would like to be a psychologist. Then one day I was speaking with my sister and she said she thought it would be depressing to listen to people's problems all day long. I thought she was right, so I decided that was not for me.

Another career I considered was being a commercial airline pilot. I had always been fascinated by planes and looked up whenever one flew overhead in the sky. When my brother went off to Navy boot camp in the early 1970's I got to go into the jet aircraft that he was about to take for his flight to Illinois. I met the pilot and may have even seen the cockpit. They even gave me a set of wings that I pinned on my chest. And when I flew for the first time in the early 1980's on a class trip to Italy, I really enjoyed it. My plan was to either go into an ROTC (Reserve Office Training Corps) college on a scholarship, or to one of the military academies like Annapolis or the Air Force Academy, then do my four years in the Navy or Air Force afterward as a fighter pilot. Then after that I planned to go on into flying for a commercial airline.

But when I told my Navy Junior ROTC (NJROTC) instructor Commander Steven Toby about my dream of being a pilot, he suggested I speak to someone who had followed exactly that very career path. So I called a man that my instructor knew, who was a Major, and he asked me if I ever planned to get married. I did in fact have a desire to be married one day and raise a family, so I told him. He said that if I planned to be married, I needed to be aware that being a pilot is very strenuous on a marriage and many pilots end up in divorce due to their work schedule. He described to me how they would be gone from their wives and children for days at a time. So I ultimately decided not to pursue that career path, since it was more important to me to have a strong, healthy, enduring marriage that would last a lifetime.

Another career I considered was computer science. This was during the early 1980's when my home computer was a Commodore Vic 21, so there was still no such thing as the Windows operating system, which was not introduced until 1985. But I took BASIC programming in school and found it interesting. We were told that computers would be an exploding field and that it would be a good one to get a job in. So I considered getting a degree in it.

Near the end of high school, I enlisted on the delayed entry program into the US Navy. I had been in NJROTC for four years, and my brother had been in the Navy's nuclear submarine program as a nuclear reactor operator in an attack sub. But then a friend in high school convinced me that the US Army had cooler uniforms than the Navy and I decided to switch my enlistment to the Army. When I went to select my Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), my father cautioned me not to choose the infantry. He himself had been in the infantry in World War II and was in the Battle of the Bulge, where his entire division was destroyed by the Nazis and he was taken on a nine-day death march to a German prison camp.

However, the recruiter at the recruiting station promoted the Army's College Fund. The Army was in need of young men to fill the ranks of the infantry, and in exchange for three years of service, I would receive $20,000 for college. It sounded like a good deal to me, because that was a lot of money back then for college and three years was not that long to serve. So I enlisted in the US Army infantry for three years.

After I graduated from BASIC Training and Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Fort Benning, Georgia, I ended up with a permanent duty assignment at Fort Benning. While I was there I got to go to Army Airborne School and graduated from there with my Airborne Wings as a paratrooper. At that particular time, as I have explained in my article, The Truth Set Me Free, a young man in my platoon named Alan shared Jesus with me and I gave my life to the Lord. He radically saved me. My whole life changed from living for my own pleasure to living completely for Jesus. I began to feel called by God to preach and teach the Word.

Around the time I came to know Christ, I received PCS (Permanent Change of Station) orders to go to Berlin, Germany. I ended up serving there as a reconnaissance scout on the Berlin Wall, and later as a driver for a Battalion Commander. While I was there, I felt that the Lord would call me back to that part of the world some day to the people behind the iron curtain. So I prayed and told the Lord I would be willing to do whatever He commanded me to do and go wherever He commanded me to go.

After finishing my Army tour with an honorable discharge, I initially worked in a bank as a records clerk, reporting directly to a Vice President. I wore a sport jacket and tie to work and had my own office. But after about a year in that job, I quit it, because I knew I was called to be a missionary, and I did not think there would be banks for me to work in on the mission field where I was going. That was rather silly, because there are banks everywhere. But I felt that I should find a job working with my hands, following the example of the apostle Paul, who was a tentmaker, so that I could use those skills anywhere the Lord would have me go on the mission field. When I quit my job at the bank, one of the Vice Presidents was puzzled and asked why I wanted to quit. When I told him about my ministry, he asked if I was going to become a priest, because he didn't understand what it meant to be a missionary. It's rather funny now looking back on it.

From there I went on to work in a warehouse working for my brother-in-law first as a welder-fabricator of metal door frames and metal window frames. Later I was a shipper-receiver at the same place until the time came when I was eventually led by the Lord to use my Army College Fund to go to Bible School to prepare for ministry. And once I graduated from Bible School, the Lord led me to go on for further study to Regent University, which is where I met my wife. There I obtained a Master's degree in Missiology with a concentration in Church Planting. Amazingly, the Army College Fund did not run out until I was nearly completed my Master's degree. And when those funds were exhausted, the Lord provided a scholarship for the remainder of my degree, so the Lord provided fully. During my degree program, I also served Him on missions trips in Bulgaria and Ukraine.

After my wife and I married and I spent a decade in the corporate world, the last few years of which were as a project manager, the Lord led us to establish Doulos Missions International and go overseas to Eastern Europe as missionaries. We ended up serving as resident missionaries in Eastern Europe, based in and around Budapest, Hungary for four and a half years. I have had the pleasure of ministering in countries like Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Romania, as well as Hungary. I got to see the Lord do some amazing things in people's lives. Now that we are back in the States, I have the privilege of making disciples of people from many nations through our three-year Doulos Training School, which the Lord led me to establish.

So isn't it amazing how I didn't go to an ROTC University or a military academy, I didn't become a military officer, a pilot, a psychologist, or a computer scientist. Instead I ended up as a combat soldier in the US Army Infantry, of all places, where someone shared Jesus with me and my whole life changed radically. Once I came to know the Lord, then He Himself showed me what He had in store for my life, which was not what I thought it would be. How wonderful that instead of the Army College Fund being used for a secular degree in computer science, like I originally thought it would be before I knew the Lord, it ended up being used for a much greater purpose to train me for ministry. God's plans for my life were very different from mine, and much better than mine, too.

Isobel Kuhn
Let me share a brief story about Isobel Kuhn. She had always dreamed of being a university English teacher, so she went to the University of British Columbia and got her degree in English Language and Literature. Then she got a job teaching third grade students in a school. Since she was fresh out of college, she could not get a job teaching in high school like she would have liked. So she became bored and very dissatisfied with her career. At that time in the early twentieth century, there were only three careers for women -- nursing, teaching, and secretarial work. It was too late now for her to go back to school and get a different degree, so she felt stuck in a job she didn't like.

Then she had an opportunity to go to a teachers seminar in Seattle, Washington. As she was getting on a ferry, she received a message that her father had made arrangements for her to stay in the home of some people he knew there, Otis and Julia Whipple. She would have liked to send a telegram to her father to let him know that she preferred to find her own place to stay in Seattle, rather than with old, religious people, but she didn't have the time to do so. And when she arrived, she was met by the couple, whose home she stayed in while she was there. They were not old people like she had expected, but were middle aged.

After church on Easter Sunday, she met a friend she knew from college, who asked her how she liked her teaching career. She held back the tears as she told her friend that she was very unhappy in it. So her friend invited her to come to dinner at her home that evening. She was having a guest over for dinner, who was a phrenologist who could read people's skull and tell by the shape of it what their career should be. Isobel thought that would be great, but she already had a commitment to eat dinner with her hosts the Whipples that evening. However, her friend persuaded her to talk her way out of that commitment and come to her home to have her skull read, so she could find out what she should be doing with her life in the future.

When she got back home, she spoke to Julia Whipple and told her that she was unhappy in her teaching career. She asked her if she thought it would be alright, especially since it was Sunday, if she went to this friend's house for dinner to have the doctor read her skull and determine what would be the right career path for her. Her hostess said that she didn't think the day of the week mattered so much as what it was she intended to do. She told her that in her opinion, she would be better off asking God what His plans were for her life, rather than consulting some doctor who would examine the lumps and bumps on her head. Then she asked Isobel, "Don't you think so?"

As Isobel considered the question, she realized that in all her years of going to church and listening to preachers, nobody had ever told her that God had a specific plan for her life personally. This was a new concept for her that she had never heard of or considered, but which seemed like a much better approach than going to the phrenologist. So she decided to stay home and ask God for His will for her life instead. Julia handed her a Bible and said that the primary way God shows us His will is through the Bible. Isobel reached out and took the Bible that Julia handed to her and opened it. She impulsively let her fingers drop on a verse and then read the words, "Keep thee far from a false matter." (Ex 23:7, KJV). She felt that she already had her first confirmation not to go to the friend's house for dinner to see the phrenologist. And that was the beginning of how God began to lead her into His will, which was for her to eventually become a missionary to the Burmese Lisu people of China and later Thailand.

God's Plan for People in the Bible
There are many examples of people in the Bible, which we could cite to show God's plan for them. In fact, God had a plan for every character found in Scripture, but let's just look at a few of them.

Jeremiah
Jeremiah wrote: "Now the word of the LORD came to me saying, 'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.' " (Jer 1:4-5). This proves that God has a plan for each of us even before we are formed in the womb -- before conception!

Abraham
God's purpose for Abram, an old man whose wife was barren and beyond child-bearing age, was that he would become the father of nations (Gen 17:3-6). Don't think that you're too old for God to show you His purpose for your life.

Samson
Before Samson was conceived, an angel appeared to his mother who was barren, and told her that he would be born and become Israel's deliverer. (Judg 13:3-5, NIV).

Peter, Andrew, James, and John
Four men named Peter, Andrew, James and John were fishermen, but when they met Jesus He showed them that their purpose in life, if they would follow Him, was to become fishers of men. (Mat 4:18-22)

When they found Jesus, they found His purpose for their lives, which was much greater than catching fish there in their hometown in Galilee. The Lord was going to use them to preach the gospel, perform healing and miracles, cast out demons, lead many to Christ, and write books of the Bible. In fact, they are still impacting the world today, two thousand years later.

Saul of Tarsus
A man named Saul of Tarsus thought his job was to persecute Christians and force them to deny Christ. But one day when He met Jesus Christ, all that changed. He discovered that Jesus is Lord and that his purpose in life was to proclaim that message to the whole world -- to Gentiles, to Jews, and even before kings (Act 9:3-6, 15-16). 

The apostle Paul went on to preach the gospel throughout the world and experienced a lot of persecution for Christ. The Lord also inspired him to write half the books of the New Testament Bible. As with Peter, James, and John, his life is still impacting the world today, thousands of years later.

John the Baptist
Another great example is John the Baptist. An angel appeared to his father before he was conceived and told him that his barren wife would conceive and give birth to a son, who was destined to be the forerunner of Christ to prepare the way for Him in the spirit and power of Elijah (Luk 1:11-17).

King David
David was a shepherd boy tending the sheep, but God had plans for him to be His anointed one to slay the giant and lead the nation of Israel as their king. Once he discovered God's will, he embraced it and carried it out until his life was finished. "Now when David had served God's purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his ancestors and his body decayed." (Ac 13:36, NIV). He served God's purpose in his own generation. What about you?

God's Plan for Your Life
My friend, has anyone ever told you that God has a plan for your life? It's true, He does. According to Sharon White in The Man Who Talked with Angels, which she wrote about her father, pastor Roland Buck, she stated: "God has had a plan for everyone from before the foundation of the world. God let my dad know that events which He has decreed have to happen! People are foreordained. God has included you in His great unfolding plan, but He will not violate your will. You can choose to experience the joy and excitement of being in partnership with Him."

Let me show you what the Bible says about God's plan for your life. David wrote:

"Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." (Psa 139:16, NIV)

This means that before you were even born or the world was created, God had a plan for your life. He ordained your days and His purpose for you beforehand. That's right. God has an amazing and wonderful plan for your life. It all begins with you repenting and giving your life completely to Jesus, surrendering to Him as your Lord and Savior. Then He says, "Your purpose in life is Me in you." From that point on, your life is all about Him.

"And He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf." (2Co 5:15).

Now you must no longer live for yourself and for your own pleasure and for what you want to do with your life. You must live for Him who died for you and rose again on your behalf. If you seek to live for yourself, you will be miserable and never find fulfillment. But when you surrender everything completely to Him, you will discover His purpose in creating you, and it will be wonderful. It will be the most fulfilling life you can imagine. As the apostle Paul said,

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us." (Eph 3:20, NIV).

His plans for you are greater than your wildest dreams. And He is able to do infinitely more than you can even imagine. His ways are much higher than yours, and His thoughts higher than yours. As He said through the prophet Isaiah:

"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts." (Isa 55:9)

The Lord has plans to give you a hope and a future, as He said through the prophet Jeremiah:

'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope." (Jer 29:11)

Although you may plan your course, the Lord will determine your steps. As the proverb says, "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." (Prov 16:9, NIV78).

You were created to do good works that God prepared in advance for you to do. As the apostle Paul said:

"For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Eph 2:10, NIV)

God gives you life and breath and determined the appointed time when you would live, as well as the exact location where you would live (Ac 17:26). He does this so that you will reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each of us (Ac 17:27). And when you find Him, He wants you to seek Him to discover His unique will for your life. 

Putting it All Together
There is a reason why you were born. Just as man creates things for a purpose, God made you for a specific purpose. You are on earth to serve God's purpose, not your own, in your generation. Why not discover what that purpose really is? Why not ask God what His will is for your life? I encourage you to do that today. If you have never done it before, then take time to ask God to show you His will for your life. The primary way He will do so is through His Word, the Bible, and by His Spirit. Let go of all the ideas and plans you have for your own life. Put it all on the altar and offer it up to Him. Be willing to do whatever He commands you to do and go wherever He commands you to go. Then He will be free to show you the exciting plans He has for you. And what an adventure it will be!

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.  Other Scriptures from the Holy Bible NIV, where noted. Story of Isobel Kuhn from Isobel Kuhn: On the Roof of the World by Geoff and Janet Benge.

Author's note I invite you to visit these related articles of mine: Walking in the Perfect Will of God, What is That in Your Hand?, Inquiring of the Lord, Hearing the Lord's Voice, Paradoxes of the Kingdom of GodThe Cost of DiscipleshipPleasing the Lord, God Chooses the Weak Things Is Obedience Optional?, Obedience by the Spirit, The Obedience of Faith, and Having a Servant's Heart.  You can access my complete blog directory at Writing for the Master.  I also recommend the booklet by brother Sadiq Ibraham, called Walking in God's Perfect Will.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Living Sacrifices in Consuming Fire

Dear God-seekers,

Many of you who love the Lord Jesus have embraced His promise in Scripture to baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire, and have actively sought Him to receive the promise by faith. I commend you for this, and the Lord will surely answer your prayers. However, one thing I continue to find is how opposed the enemy is to this promise. Even within the Church there are people who speak against it. It's no wonder, because so many are not spiritual men, but are operating out of their natural man. As Paul said,

"But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised." (1Co 2:14)

So I realize that not everyone who reads this is going to accept it, but for those who can accept it, you will receive the promise of God. As for us, we will continue to preach the cross of Christ, and also the cross for every one of His followers. "And He was saying to them all, 'If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.' " (Luk 9:23)

Meanwhile, there are many who profess His name and yet do not deny themselves or take up their cross daily. They may think they are following Jesus, but they are only fooling themselves. The Lord can see right through to their hearts and knows the true condition of it.

Offer Your Bodies a Living Sacrifice on the Altar
The text I want to focus on today is from the apostle Paul's epistle to the Romans in the twelfth chapter, in which he said: "Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship." (Rom 12:1).

That is an admonition to each one of us who professes to follow Christ. Through the apostle, the Holy Spirit urges us to present or offer our bodies a living and holy sacrifice to God. Indeed this is our spiritual act of worship. This is what Jesus meant when He said, "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." (Joh 4:24)

Consider the animal sacrifices that were offered to God under the Law of Moses. They were laid on the altar and consumed by the fire. When you read Romans 12:1, keep that in mind, because it represents what you and I are supposed to be doing. We are supposed to offer our bodies to God to be placed on the altar of sacrifice and consumed by holy fire. Yet how many believers actually do this? Have you done this yet? And if you have done so, are you still on the altar or have you jumped off because the flames were too hot?

Most of us have an aversion to pain and loss. So when we place our bodies on the Lord's altar for Him to consume, we are prone to want to jerk ourselves off the altar once the flames begin to lick us. But we must not do that. Instead we must remain there and let the holy fire of God envelope us completely until self is consumed and all is of God.

This is further proof from Scripture that the Lord desires to baptize each one of His disciples in holy fire, as I have written about in Holy Fire Baptism and Refiner's Fire, as well as The Burning OnesThe Three Elijahs, and The Fiery Sufferings of the Believer. I should call it the fire series. "Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit." (1 Thes 4:8, NIV78). As I proved in Songs of the Holy Fire, saints have been singing about the holy fire for centuries. Even to this day we continue to sing those hymns, as well as new songs about the fire of God in our lives. The remnant saints still desire the fire.

Bereans or Blasphemers?
Meanwhile, the enemy is busy spreading disinformation and lies about this to the Church. One site that I saw claimed to be Berean researchers, which gives the impression that they search the Scriptures daily like the Bereans to see if these things are true. They have styled themselves to be a site that is exposing heresy in the Church. And one of the things they sought to expose was the holy fire as a supposed heresy. They said many insulting things about the fire of the Holy Spirit. And one claim they made was that the fire of God is not for any believer, but only for the wicked. They also claimed that the expression to be "on fire for God" is a Pentecostal/Charismatic one, and should be avoided or removed from the vocabulary of those who love the truth, because they consider the Pentecostal doctrines of the faith to be false teachings.

Such people should consider the things I have said in this article and the other articles about the holy fire. But it seems that no amount of information will convince some of them, because they have made up their minds that it is evil. Don't they realize they are insulting the Holy Spirit when they do so? They are in danger of blaspheming the Holy Spirit, because some of them are claiming or implying that the holy fire is not from Him, but from the devil. As I have written in Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, they are in great danger of committing this unforgivable sin, when they attribute an act of the Holy Spirit to the devil. My friend, don't follow such people! They have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof (2 Tim 3:5).

Filled with Fire
I don't know about you, but I want to be filled with fire. As I was writing this in my office, my children began to sing the old hymn, Search Me O God, which they had selected in order to start their school day with prayer and worship, although they did not know that the Lord had led me to write this article. The lyrics say in part:

"O Holy Ghost, revival comes from thee.
Send a revival, start the work in me."

and

"Fill me with fire, where once I burned with shame;
Grant my desire to magnify Thy name."

This is what we should be praying: for the Holy Ghost to fill us personally with fire. Revival comes from Him. How could someone say that this is from the devil and that it is not Scriptural to be on fire for God? Such men do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men. They are agents of satan -- wittingly or unwittingly, who seek to put out the Spirit's fire. They quench the Holy Ghost.

Test. Don't Quench
However, the apostle Paul clearly warned, "Do not put out the Spirit's fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil." (1 Thes 5:19-22, NIV78). Of course, we are supposed to test everything to ensure it is from God. The devil has his agents, too, who are imparting things that are demonic, and they can use the same terminology that the Bible uses. So don't assume that everything called the fire of God is really from God. You must test the spirits, and one way you do so is to look at the fruit, as I have already written in my article, Testing the Spirits of False Prophets.

Once you have tested the spirits and know that something is of the Spirit God, then you hold onto that which is good. You don't throw it out just because the devil has a counterfeit version of it. He can only counterfeit that which is genuinely from the Lord. His powers come from God, who is the One who originally gave satan his power. The gifts and calling of God are not revoked. So the Lord has not revoked the devil's powers that he had when he was originally created as a holy angel. However, the devil now uses his power for evil in rebellion against God, and since we must avoid every kind of evil, we must be vigilant and watchful, and test all things. Then avoid the evil and embrace the good.

As for me, I'm crying out:

Come, Holy Spirit, with all 
Your omnipotent and enabling power!
Fill me from head to toe;
Engulf me this very hour!
Set my mind on what You desire;
Grant me more of Your holy fire!

Putting it All Together
If there is no fire, there can be no light. But where there is light, there will also be fire. Indeed, there is abundant evidence in the Word of God that there is such a thing as genuine holy fire, which God intends for every disciple of Christ who asks for it. It's a gift that is available for the asking, the baptism with the Holy Spirit and fire. John the Baptist said, "As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." (Mat 3:11; cf. Lk 3:16).

As the Lord taught us, when you ask the Father for a gift, expect Him to give it to you. He said:

"So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?" (Luk 11:9-13).

If you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then offer your body today as a living sacrifice to God, holy and acceptable, which is your spiritual act of worship. This is the message of the cross. Lay your body on the altar and ask for God's holy fire to consume you wholly. Then receive from God what He has promised you in His Word. Receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Attribution Notice: Most Scriptures taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB), unless otherwise noted, where other verses are from the Holy Bible NIV. All lyrics to the hymn Search Me O God are in the public domain.

Author's note:  If anyone does not receive this instruction, do not associate with him. Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like my other post called Holy Fire Baptism, as well as The Burning OnesThe Happy Hunters on Fire, The Refiner's Fire, Songs of the Holy Fire, The Three Elijahs, Covenant Prayer, and The Fiery Sufferings of the Believer. For more articles of mine, please see the Home page of this blog. You can access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master." Now I'd like to ask a very important question.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
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Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.