You Already Are What You’ve Been Trying To Be
You Already Are What You’ve Been Trying To Be
by Lonnie Lane
I often hear “we just need to know who we are in Yeshua and
we’d be okay,” as if instantly we would become whatever it is that would make
us invulnerable to doubt, deception and destructive influences of the
enemy. How many years have you been
waiting, trying, praying, longing and seeking to be what you think you should
be in Yeshua? How many times have you
tried and tarried, hoping that by works or waiting on God you would somehow become
more like Him?
Perhaps it would be more effective to know who He is in me more
than who I am in Him. Does this seem like a distinction without a
difference? If my quest is to know who I
am in Him, my quest is largely focused on me, but if my quest is to know who He
is in me, then my quest is to know Him. What is the real challenge: to know who
I am, or who He is? I’m of the decided opinion that whatever the dilemma or problem, the answer is Him:
to know Him, to find Him,to learn of Him. Regardless of the question, as the
saying goes, He’s the answer. So let’s look at how to pursue this quest to
become like Him.
There are two realms of existence, the Spiritual
and the natural or temporal realm. I like to think of the natural realm as the
temporary while the spiritual realm is the forever. The spiritual realm where
God exists is eternal, unchanging, perfect and holy. It is above all other
realms and authorities so it cannot be affected by lower realms. It always remains
perfect and stable in every way. There is only love where God is, where all is
completely and entirely embraced in love. The spiritual eternal realm is the
full expression of “the Kingdom of God (which)
is… righteousness, peace and joy”
(Romans 14:17). All is complete, nothing lacking, or in need of change, or
purification. It is timeless. It is eternally and forever what it will always
be. Such is the way of the realm of God in eternity.
When Yeshua stepped out of eternity into the
temporal realm as a human being, He entered into the arena of change and time. They
go together, don’t they? We change, and things change, over time. Yeshua had to
grow from infancy to childhood and to adulthood. As things are not complete and
entire in this realm, like we do throughout our life time, He had to learn. Evidently
some of what He had to learn caused Him great suffering because we are told, “He learned
obedience from the things which He suffered”
(Hebrews 5:8). I wonder, did the person
who wrote Hebrews know this from Him personally? Would He have told His
disciples? I doubt it. More likely it was evident, especially in Gethsemane.
Later they realized how much He actually did suffer and wrote about it. I
usually tell Him when I read those passages that I’m so sorry He had to suffer
for us because I love Him and don’t want Him to hurt, but I’m grateful He did.
Perhaps it would be more effective to know who HE is in me than who I am in Him.
As a person, Yeshua had a past, a present and a
future which included anticipating the end of His life and His death. Very few
of us know the time or way of our own death so we do not have to anticipate the
event as He did; He was unique in that He knew through prophesies and His
relationship with His Father what lay before Him. In this temporal realm of change
He lived in a world affected almost entirely by sin,
though, as we know, He Himself was entirely without sin. This world was not at
all like the perfect, timeless, complete spiritual eternal realm He came from.
When Yeshua died and was
raised from the dead to newness of life, never to die again, He made a way for
mankind to enter into that same spiritual eternal realm. His death wiped away
the separation between us and God so that we are now able to enter into God’s
presence. And where is God? In the spiritual and eternal realm, though He meets
us here where we live. The Scripture says, “Christ
in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). We’ve heard that a million times
but I sometimes think unless we understand the root of it, it sounds somewhat
mystical and not anchored in reality. This is opportunity right here for a
Jewish Roots Moment. Consider this: When God created the earth and all that was
in it and declared, “Zeh tov!” – It
is good! He meant it was reflective of His character and nature – only good,
altogether good, perfectly good, entirely good, except for one thing – the
devil was loose in the universe and he had every intention of destroying what
God had set in place for Himself. He hates God and in order to get to God, he
goes through God’s creation – which of course, is us.
The short story is, God
allowed sin to happen and it subsequently changed the whole existence of His
first created beings and the earth. Why did He permit it? God is love and love
must always allow for the objects of His love to have free choice, to choose
whether to love Him or not. If He demanded love, it would not be love but
control and that would not be His nature. It would be satan’s nature which is
the antithesis of God’s love. In contrast to the freedom of God, satan
dominates and compels by driving us with fear of failure. Did you ever think
about the humility of God? Yeshua is an example, how He “did not come to be served, but to serve” (Matthew 20:28). Satan on
the other hand is all about “self” whether in the form of self-exaltation or a preoccupation
with self, as in narcissism or pride. When it is coupled with a loss of freedom
(control) you are dealing with the primary expression of satan’s nature. When
you see these characteristics operating in persons, governments or religions, you
know that demonic forces are at work. In God, however, there is always freedom
of will, acceptance, compassion and love. And two of my favorites expressions
of God’s goodness: “Righteousness and
justice (which) are the foundation of His throne”(Psalm 89:14; 97:2). [Note:
That last verse is worthy of some serious pondering.]
It seems like a really
long time that mankind has been dealing with this sin nature in a fallen world
but in the vast eternal scheme of things, it’s not that long and God, being
just, has His purposes for good. I admit,
I have asked God on more than one occasion why He allows all this sin and
suffering to continue. The obvious answer is that God is patient so that all might
be saved who will be saved, but I got a different kind of answer the last time
I asked. It amounted to this (my paraphrase): “Do you think what the devil did
has ruined My plan for a perfect universe, for a world of goodness and
godliness? Do you think that what the enemy did and continues to do in terms of
deception will be able to destroy what I set in place on the earth?” When He put
it that way, I realized I was seeing things from the natural realm. But
with these new thoughts from God, I saw that this
life of conflict and sin “is a momentary, light affliction (which)
is producing for us an eternal weight of
glory far beyond all comparison” (2
Cor 4:17). He’s bringing it to pass even now.
When God created earth and declared, “Zeh Tov” it was reflective of His character and nature.
Let’s not for a moment
forget that all that is, is God’s creation. The enemy cannot change that, and what
is God’s will remain God’s. That includes those of us who are God’s. The true spiritual
realm is untouched and untouchable by satan. He may rough us up a bit in the
temporal realm, but he can’t touch us where we are “seated in heavenly places in Messiah Yeshua” (Eph. 2:6). The devil was kicked out of the Kingdom of
God, out of heaven, so he has no rights or authority in God’s spiritual territory. What he once
had he forfeited through his rebellion. Even though there is a limited “time”
filled with sin and unrighteousness, hate and unhappiness, fear and sorrow here
on earth, it is not forever, and all that will be done away with. Only what is of God and His beautiful,
glorious, perfect realm of existence will remain eternally. And “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will
no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or
pain; the first things have passed away”
Yes that realm will be
wonderful, but what about today? How do I get to be what I keep trying to be in
God and never seem to get there? To get back to our original topic of Yeshua in
us or us in Yeshua, it’s about identity. So here’s the jackpot question. This
is not a trick question, it’s a very important one: Where is Yeshua now?
______________ What answer did you think to write on the blank line? He’s in
heaven, right? He’s seated in heavenly places at the right Hand of the
Father, isn’t He? Yeshua is now raised from the dead and dwells in an
unchanging, eternal realm, perfect and complete, yes? Because “He (God)
raised Him (Yeshua) from the dead and seated Him at His right
hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and
dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the
one to come” (Eph. 1:20, 21). This means that anything and everything that
satan thinks he is or can do is under the authority of Yeshua now and forever.
This brings up another
very important question: If you are “in Him” – “In Messiah Yeshua (in Christ
Jesus),” where are you? If Yeshua is far above… and you’re in Him, are you far
above with Him? We’re talking about your spiritual nature, your spirit, not
your flesh or even your personality. We’re talking about your innermost being,
your spirit, where you relate to God and where the Spirit of God dwells. This
is the place of your true identity and personhood. God doesn’t fill your
personality or your soul; His Spirit fills your spirit once you’re born again. It
is from your spirit that God affects and brings change in your character and
nature to conform you to Yeshua’s character and nature. It is true you can
ignore or give only minimal attention to His Spirit in your spirit, but He’s
there nonetheless if you’re born again. We are free to choose how much of God
we want in our lives. So I pose the question to you again: If you are “in Him”
and His Spirit is “in you,” where is your spirit? On earth in the Fall or in heaven with Him?
- Are you “alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 6:11)?
- Have you received the
“free gift of God (of) eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (6:23)?
- Is “Messiah Yeshua (your) Lord” (Romans 8:39)?
- Are you a “whosoever,”as
in “whosoever believes in Him will have
eternal life” (John 3:15)?
If so, then your true identity is
in heaven with Yeshua in the unchanging, eternal, complete, perfect, and holy
realm. That is who you truly are if you are “in Him.” In you “the
righteousness of God has been manifested…even the righteousness of God through
faith in Messiah Yeshua for all those who believe” (Romans
3:21, 22). The
reason most Christians don’t live this out is we have it upside down. We keep
trying from “down here” to get to what can only be received from “up there.”
Trying won’t do it, but trusting will. Trusting that God through Yeshua has
already made you “accepted in the beloved”
(Eph 1:6 KJV). When you’re already accepted you don’t have to try and be
accepted anymore, do you?
When we try, strive, struggle,
worry, fret or work to be accepted by God, we are actually blocking our ability
to receive from Him. We’re trying to be what we already are. Trying keeps us
from resting in what Yeshua has done for us, which is the only way to receive. We
enter into His rest by ceasing to try to attain something in God. We’re already
there!! There’s nothing more we can do to earn God’s approval. Nothing. Zilch.
Nada. Do you want to please God? Of course you do if you’re born again because
He’s placed His law in your heart to want to do His will (See Jer. 31:31). The
way to do that is to receive and rest in the redemption Yeshua bought for us
with His blood and His life. This is the will of God: “God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of
this mystery… which is Messiah in you,
the hope of glory”(Col. 1:27). Could you
possibly work up the riches of His glory or even hope to? Could you create
Messiah in you? Could you make that happen? No, only He can.
only by resting in the finished work of Yeshua that we can enter into His rest,
the rest that says we are the righteousness of God in Messiah. We realize righteousness is already our true
nature, and we are, in our spirits, one with and “in” Yeshua by faith. We will find
a new freedom from a works and performance orientation that keeps us measuring our
own or others’ performance. It’s not just you who are “seated in heavenly places in Messiah Yeshua” (Eph 2:6) but every
believer. We can see each other as being
“in Him” and no longer see each other
“in the flesh”. As we experientially
enter into our new nature, we no longer
function out of the old, critical, performance-based orientation which is “… death in the flesh, but (rather, we are) made alive in the spirit” (1 Peter 3:18).
We have been sold a lie by the enemy that we have to work to be accepted by God.
to us, “Be still and know that I am God.”
(Psalm 46:10). There is a deep message in these few words. To be still we must
cease our striving. The Amplified says, “Let
go, relax.” I often have the image of a leaf floating on a stream. There is
no striving in that. We are so used to striving and struggling that when you
give it up, you’re liable to feel like you’re backsliding if you’ve been trying
to be or do enough so God will really like and accept you. There is none of
that in the Kingdom
of God. God leads like a
Shepherd, but satan drives like a harsh task master. We’ve been sold a lie by
the enemy that we have to work to be accepted by God. That’s religion and it’s
works. It is useless to try and earn God’s favor. We will please God the most
when we rest in Him. We cannot really enjoy God when we’re working to please
Him because our focus is on ourselves and how well we’re doing or not doing.
There’s no faith in God in that. But God is most pleased with us, as Jonathan
Edwards has said, when we are most enjoying Him. We enjoy Him the most when we
are free of striving and worrying and just rest in His goodness. There is no
better way to please God than to appreciate what He has done for us. He has reached out to us and drawn us to
Himself so we are in our spirits what we will be eternally!
you know there are places in you that don’t look like Yeshua yet. What God is
doing with us in this changing, time-bound, imperfect realm is conforming us,
little by little, to what we already are in the Spirit – in our own spirits. It’s
kind of like your child will have all the rights and privileges of being an
adult in your family one day, and perhaps be an heir, but you must teach him or
her as they grow how to be what they already are – a member of your family. God
is teaching us the ways of His eternal Kingdom, little by little. We don’t
fail, we can’t as our sins are no more. Each instance and situation in our
lives is a learning opportunity as God teaches us His ways through it. Satan
would tell you you’ve failed – again. Don’t listen to him. Ask the Lord what He
wants to teach you in it. Learn more of Him and forsake the condemnation, it is
never from God. It would seem that much of what it takes to be like Yeshua is
to unlearn thinking of failure, striving and working for acceptance. We can
spend a lifetime in futility trying to be what we already are.
dear friends, rest. Cease striving and enjoy your God. Let go, relax in Him.
Rest in His love. Give up measuring your performance or anyone else’s. We
really can’t see from God’s perspective
anyway. If we could, we wouldn’t have been trying so hard. You have permission
now that you’ve heard this, to give up the striving and the judging as to
whether you or anyone else is “doing it right.”
Yeshua is the One who did it right! He’s the only One who could, and
He’s made a way for us to be “in Him.”
Where He is, there we are in our true nature – in the timeless, eternal,
perfect, unchanging and holy realm.
When you get hold of this
revelation, it opens up a whole new sense of who you are in your true identity
in Him. When you rest in Yeshua and stop measuring your performance or anyone
else’s, you can then enter into a reality that closes the door to the enemy and
his condemnation, because “in Him (Yeshua)
you have been made complete, and He is
the head over all rule and authority” (Col . 2:10). We are already perfected, “for by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are
sanctified” (Heb. 10:14). Now perhaps you can see how by faith in Yeshua
you have already entered into eternal life.
“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 (eternal) life” (Romans 6:4, my addition).
Reprint of this article is permitted as long as you use the following; Use by permission by Messianic Vision, www.sidroth.org, 2011.
Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible Copyright ©1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. Used by permission.