Tag Archives: confessions of faith

The Fight for Your Identity

good tree, bad tree

What kind of tree am I anyway?

Matthew 12:33 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit.

          This is an amazing formula for faith, and a great example of the faith principle in Romans 4 of “calling things that are not as though they were.”

Romans 4:17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;

          The quotation in Romans 4:17 refers to Genesis 17:5. God spoke this over Abram when He was 99 years old and childless. At the same time God changed Abram’s name to Abraham and changed Sarai’s name to Sarah. In changing the names, God forced them to say the same thing about themselves that He had just said about them. Abraham means, (“Father of a multitude,” Sarah means, “Mother of nations.”) In the name change, God was showing Abraham and all who would follow after him, the principle of faith that God Himself operates by. He speaks things into existence.

          Let’s apply this to the good and bad tree.

          If you see a tree that has apples and avocados growing on it, what would you call it? An apple tree? An avocado tree? A hybrid? Would you just make up a name? The truth is, you wouldn’t know what to call it.

         The Bible says in Isaiah 61:3 that we are “trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord.”

          When we look at ourselves and behold the fruit of our lives, we see our mistakes, our bad habits, our inconsistencies, our failures, our secret sins, and we think “I must be a bad tree.” But then we look closer and say, “Wait a minute, not all the fruit in my life is bad. I help people, I am faithful to my church family, I serve in different areas in the ministry, I love people, I am generous with my time and resources, so not all the fruit in my life is bad. I am confused! What kind of tree am I?”

          We see the good and bad fruit in our lives and gravitate towards walking by sight and living by feelings. The Bible says that we are NOT to live our lives this way.

2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.

          We cannot allow our physical senses to dictate our identity. We must set ourselves in agreement with what God has spoken about us and not be moved by our feelings and our fallen experience. What we see, feel and experience must never be a consideration in light of what God has said about us. Abraham, the father of faith, has set the example for us.

Romans 4:19-22 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

          Abraham refused to consider the weakness in his flesh, but was fully convinced that what God said about him, God would bring to pass.

          So the question is: What has God said about us?

Romans 5:17  For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)

Romans 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Colossians 1:21-22 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight.

          God says that He has made us righteous, holy, blameless, and above reproach in His sight. Although we may not look like that in our sight we must not consider what we see and believe what He said about us is true.

          How we refer to ourselves, the words we say about ourselves should align in agreement with what God says about us. When we begin to speak what God says about us, the grace of God is released in our lives to transform us into what He has spoken. When we align our words with His words, the fruit of what He said will start growing in our life. This is how we make our tree good. This is how we fight the good fight of faith. This is what produces transformation in our life.

          The Old Testament is full of stories about natural battles. We must look at those physical battles and learn how to apply them spiritually to our lives. For the most part, we see two ways that God calls his people to battle.

  1. He gives His people specific instruction on what, when and how to conquer the enemy. When Gods people follow the instruction, He is with them in battle and the victory comes easy.
  2. He tells His people to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. He fights the battle for us and the victory is ours.

         When fighting to be free from our sin nature, to live righteous and holy, we tend to try and do this by our own works. We struggle against our sin, our bad habits, wrong thinking and destructive cycles of failure and disappointment. This type of behavior will only produce a sin consciousness that insures failure. The Old Testament has already proved that no one can become righteous by works.

          Submitting to the authority of the Holy Spirit on the inside of us places us in a powerful position to be transformed and overcome the sin nature. We must call ourselves righteous and holy, believing that He is at work in us to bring that to pass. We follow Abraham’s example and call things that are not manifest as though they were.

           Confess that you are righteous, confess that you are holy. Thank God for freeing you from sin and transforming you into His image. And if you stumble and fall, run to God and say “I am sorry Father that is not me! That is certainly not You in me! I thank You for the Spirit of grace that is transforming me and shaping me into Your image, removing that junk from my life and molding me into everything You have created me to be. Thank You for fathering me! Thank you for loving me, for believing in me, for being patient with me. Thank you for completing the work that you began in me. Where would I be if You didn’t father me.”   

 hold fast         This is a good example of biblical confession. This type of confession sets you in agreement with His work and His plan for your life. This will produce the fruit of righteousness and holiness in your life.

          In the battle for our identity we are supposed to follow the example of our father Abraham and set ourselves in agreement with His word, letting the Spirit of grace shape us and mold us into His image. We are not to consider the weakness of our flesh, but stand strong in faith, trusting that God is able to bring His word to pass in our lives.

So hold fast to the confession of who you are in Him and trust that He will complete the work that he began in your life.

finish

Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

~Scriptures To Strengthen Your Faith In God ~

Take these scriptures and meditate on them, personalize them and lift them to the Lord in prayer.

Psalm 3:3 ~But You, O LORD, are a shield for me, my glory and
the One who lifts up my head.

Psalm 8:9 ~ O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all
the earth!

Psalm 9:1-3 ~ 1 I will praise You, O LORD, with my whole
heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works. 2 I will be glad and
rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High. 3 When
my enemies turn back, They shall fall and perish at Your presence.

Psalm 139:14 ~ I will praise You, for I am fearfully and
wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.
Psalm 12:6 ~ The words of the LORD are pure words, like silver
tried in a furnace of earth, Purified seven times.

Psalm 13:6 ~ I will sing to the LORD, because He has dealt
bountifully with me.

1 Samuel 2:2 ~ “No one is holy like the LORD, For there is none besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God.

2 Samuel 22:32  ~ “For who is God, except the LORD?
And who is a rock, except our God?

Psalm 18:2 ~ The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my
deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Psalm 18:46 ~ The LORD lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let the God of
my salvation be exalted.

Psalm 19:7-9 ~ 7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; 8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; 9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

Psalm 23 ~ 1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for
His name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I
will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You
anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

 Psalm 24:8-10 ~ 8 Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. 9 Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. 10 Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah.

Psalm 25:4-6 ~ 4 Show me Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths. 5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day.
6 Remember, O LORD, Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindnesses, For they are from of old.

Exodus 15:2 ~ The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him;

Psalm 27:1 ~ The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall
I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 28:7 ~ The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart
trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him.

Isaiah 12:2 ~ Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be
afraid; ‘ For YAH, the LORD, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.
 

Psalm 31:19 ~ Oh, how great is Your goodness, Which You have laid
up for those who fear You, Which You have prepared for those who trust in You In the presence of the sons of men!

Psalm 34 ~ 1 I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. 2 My soul shall make its boast in the LORD; The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
3 Oh, magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together.
4 I sought the LORD, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my
fears. 5 They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces were not ashamed. 6 This poor man cried out, and the LORD heard him, And saved him out of all his troubles. 7 The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them.
8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! 9 Oh, fear the LORD, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him. 10 The young lions lack and suffer hunger; But those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing. 11 Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. 12 Who is the man who desires life, And loves many days, that he may see good? 13 Keep your tongue from evil, And your lips from speaking deceit. 14 Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are
open
to their cry. 16 The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. 17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. 18 The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit. 19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. 20 He guards all his bones; Not one of them is broken. 21 Evil shall slay the wicked,
And those who hate the righteous shall be condemned.
22 The LORD redeems the soul of His servants, and none of those who
trust in Him shall be condemned.

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JC