Cover of The Greatest SecretL.D. Turner
As new creations in Christ, one of our first tasks is to face ourselves honestly and assess the level of our current functioning. I have discovered that when most people do this, they come to the stark realization that they are generally living far beneath the level they are capable of. In fact, most studies show that the vast majority of us a easing along through life like a six-cylinder car running on four.
Sputtering and gasping, we are capable of a lot more. As followers of Christ, it is imperative that we come to an understanding early in our walk of faith that the Master calls us to a much higher standard.
Ron McIntosh opens a chapter in his book, The Greatest Secret, by telling a great story that makes the point that to a large degree, we are controlled by the limitations we set for ourselves. In essence, our own thoughts impact what we can and cannot do to a far greater extent than we may realize.
In 1983, Australian Cliff Young set a new world record for the ultra-marathon distance race of 600 km. Three factors make this feat so incredible it almost seems beyond belief. First, Young not only broke the record, he demolished it by topping the old record by 36 hours. Second, Young was 61 years old when he did it. And finally, Young was not a trained athlete or world class runner. He was a local farmer who liked to run.
Ironically, Young was able to shatter the world’s record primarily because he did not realize that what he was doing was impossible.
The accepted strategy among ultra-marathon runners for the 600 km run is to run for 18 hours, rest for six hours, then repeat these same intervals until the race is completed.
Someone forgot to tell Cliff Young.
Young began the race with the mistaken notion that you were supposed to run the distance straight through and that is exactly what he did. The 61 year old farmer set a new world’s record in the process. Because he did not grasp the fact that running straight through was impossible, Cliff Young was not limited by the accepted standard. In the end, he set the standard.
From a biblical perspective, we begin to remove the limitations set on us by coming to fully grasp and accept our new identity in Christ. Until we accomplish this task, our efforts will remain limited. In Christ we are indeed new creations (2 Cor. 5:17), with a new power, energy, and presence at our disposal. We have been blessed by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and further, as we are told in Ephesians 4:10, Christ, by rising higher than the highest heaven, has filled everything in the universe with himself. Add to this the fact that we have within us the same power that raised Christ from the dead, and you can begin to see just how powerful we are now that we are “in Christ.” McIntosh describes the process of our new nature as declared in 2 Cor. 5:17 this way:
This verse shows the key difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. It isn’t about people trying to live for God, but living through Christ (Galatians 2:20), who now indwells you by His Holy Spirit. This personal encounter with God gives people a new spirit, a new nature, and a new identity. Once you are born again, God creates a new nature in you. You now have new inherent tendencies, new instincts, and an inborn character that comes from God. You spirit is brand new, but your mind has to be renewed.
I would add that in addition to the new spirit, new nature, and new identity described by McIntosh, we also are operating in a new universal milieu. By infusing himself into everything, Christ has vivified all that is, seen and unseen. He has given all things new life and part of that new life is a heightened sensitivity and responsiveness. This especially is true of the subconscious mind, which is the divine matrix through which our thoughts manifest things according to their nature, positive or negative.
Let me pause here for a moment to deal with an issue that must have arisen in your mind by now. Does this mean that Christ has infused everything and everyone with his nature? Yes, that is exactly what scripture tells us in Ephesians 4:10. Does this mean that all people have access to being a new creation, with the power that raised Christ from the dead? Yes it does.
Does this mean that everyone, including atheists and those that deny Christ has the same inner power stemming from Christ’s actions? No, it does not. It would seem that there is something required to activate this new identity, new power, and new nature. I am thinking that what is needed to activate these things is “faith.” In addition to faith, we also must connect with – align with – and abide with Christ. Another way we activate these blessings is through obedience to Christ’s principles and yet another way is through proactive service to others.
To be continued......
(c) L.D. Turner 2011/All Rights Reserved