11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. Romans 13:11-14
I have been working on being intentional about building relationships with people in our River Stone family. I really enjoy getting to know people; how they think and feel about things, and what makes them thrive. I believe that as we walk together in relationship, honouring one another, everyone being accepted for who God has made them to be, that we will experience real joy and create a place that God can demonstrate His love and power.
Over the past several months, a friend of mine and I have been trying to strengthen our relationship. Our goal in our relationship is “connection”, to use a Danny Silk-ism from KYLO. We have a desire to get to know one another on a deeper level.
I can only describe the whole scenario as strange. Every time that we’d meet, either for coffee or to chat, we’d both sense a “tension” between us. It was almost like we were “shut down”, experiencing a real oppression, so much so that we couldn’t seem to verbalize it to one another. It was as if a barrier was always there. It’s very difficult to foster a strong connection in this circumstance!
It was hard to understand or know how to deal with this. It had been going on for months and was not getting any better. It only became apparent to us that there was a nasty spirit working here as we brought the issue to a mutual friend; a third person. We had been blinded, and deceived. We needed someone else’s revelation!
During my times of abiding with the Lord, He has been giving me further revelation of my identity in Him and what it means to “put on Christ”. He has me camped in “Living Free in Christ”, a book by Neil Anderson. Colossians 3: 10, 11 says we “have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.”
As God takes me through this book, with 36 powerful scriptures and readings about our unique position in Christ, He is showing me what it truly means to have Jesus living inside of us, and how to walk that out. First and foremost, we cannot be separated from the love of God (Rom.8: 38-39). We are assured that all things work together for good (Rom. 8: 28). We are salt and light of the earth (Matt. 5: 13-14). We have been established, anointed and sealed by God (2 Cor. 1: 21,22). We have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7) and we are born of God and the evil one cannot touch us (1 John 5: 18-20). These are but a few truths of where we stand in Him. As I stayed connected to God and He was building my faith, I realized that everything inside of me, the Person of Jesus, is so much stronger than anything the devil would try to throw at us. He is also stronger than anything we ourselves, in our own humanness, would try to control. Satan is no match for the power of God that lives inside of us. Human nature is no substitute for God’s power. This is who we are in Him! All that I need to do is believe and submit to that truth. Knowing this in a deeper way in my heart and not just through my head spurred me on to say “enough of this attack on my connection with my friend”!
Because of our continued desire to know one another better, we arranged to meet once again at a local restaurant. This time I was armed with new revelation of what it means to be carriers of Christ and how He desires to work through us as we submit to His power, goodness and love. We met, submitted to God (put on Christ) and asked Holy Spirit to lead our conversation. As we talked, God revealed lies that we had believed and He brought His truth into the light. He exposed the darkness and the schemes that the devil had been trying to use against us. His presence was tangible and you could definitely feel walls coming down. Only God could do this. His will was being accomplished; strengthening of the relationship for two of His children, through His power, goodness and love. He fought the battle for us. This is Who we carry inside of us! All we need to do is submit to Him.
Our River Stone Women’s Retreat in May is all about staying connected to God through Jesus as our Living Water or Life Source. Through our connection with and submission to Him, and understanding who He is in us and who we are in Him, we have all the power we need to come against anything that the devil would try to throw at us. We can live in His power, not our power. We can live the abundant life that Jesus came to give us. He deserves all the glory!