3. Read, memorize, and meditate on truth.
Throughout Scripture, God reveals how He views us. We’re deeply and unconditionally loved. For those who are in Christ, we’re:
We’re clothed not in sin, condemnation, or defeat but in our Savior (Galatians 3:27) and we’re living temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). We’re not brought low but “raised with Christ” (Colossians 3:1). We’re His ambassadors, equipped and empowered to transform lives, neighborhoods, cities, and our world.
One morning, when I was struggling with self-defeating thoughts, I happened upon Ephesians 1, and it was like God shined a light into my wounded, beat down heart. I realized I could continue feeding all the lies I’d entertained for so long or I could choose instead to believe that what God said about me was indeed true.
In other words, I could give Him the authority He deserves. Determining to do just that, I began to pray the passage, personalizing and claiming each attribute listed.
If you find yourself identifying with your sin rather than who you are in Christ, consider doing the following exercise.
1st: Create a box with three columns. Label the left column “Before Christ,” the center column “By Christ,” and the right column “In Christ.”
2nd: Read Ephesians 2 and list, in your left column, everything Scripture says you were before you surrendered your life to God. Notice the use of the word all in verse three. At one time, we all lived in sin, “gratifying the cravings of our flesh” rather than the will of God.
Every believer—the former drug addict and prostitute and the “rule-following” woman raised in the suburbs—has given in to selfish, prideful, and hurtful thinking and behaviors. We’ve deceived and wounded others, even those we love most, and have chosen momentary pleasures over God’s best for us. As deceased Puritan John Owen once wrote, “The seed of every sin is in the heart of every man.”
We are all equal at the foot of the cross. No one is worthy of Christ’s death nor the gift of life it gives. But neither are any of our sins worse than anyone else’s. We’ve all rebelled against our holy, loving Father (Romans 6:23).
But that’s where God’s grace came in. Christ did what we didn’t have the power to do; He conquered the power of death and sin, removed our filthiest stains, and clothed us in righteousness. Because of His death and resurrection, we’re transformed. The old has gone and the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17).
3rd: In your center column, draw a cross, and pause to thank Christ for His gift of life.
Next comes the most freeing part of this activity: declaring who you are, now that you are in Christ—encompassed and surrounded by Him and all the blessings and privileges He provides.
4th: Read Ephesians 1 and, in your right-hand column, list every attribute God speaks over you as His redeemed child.
Photo Credit: unsplash/priscilla-du-preez