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Renew, Acknowledge & Experience

                Paul prayed for his friend “that the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus” (Philem. 1:6). “Communicate” means to “release” or “transfer.” For instance, I’m communicating, releasing, transferring to you what God has spoken and made a reality in my life. “Effectual” means it begins to “work” or “produce.” How does your faith work and produce? “By the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.”

                Old Testament principles don’t necessarily apply to New Testament faith. That’s why concepts like “getting more faith,” “receiving a new anointing,” “getting more of God,” and “receiving a double portion” don’t work. Out of ignorance, people say, “Elisha had a double portion of Elijah’s anointing. Tonight is double-portion night! Come up here and we’ll pray for you to receive twice as much anointing.” Elijah didn’t have the fullness of God. He only had a small part. Therefore, Elisha could have twice as much as Elijah. However, John 1:16 reveals, “And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.” Under the New Covenant, we have all received (past tense) His fullness!

                As a believer, God gave you everything when you were born again. Old things passed away, and all things became new. In your spirit, you received the same measure of faith, the same power, the same wisdom, and the same ability as every other Christian. Our spirits are all identical to the Lord Jesus Christ in every way. Your spirit isn’t in the process of growing and maturing because it’s already complete; you’ve already got everything!

                The rest of your Christian life is learning how to manifest in the physical realm what’s already in your born-again spirit. The way your faith becomes effective, productive, operative is by acknowledging every good thing in you (your spirit) in Christ. Since you can only acknowledge things that already exist, you can’t acknowledge something that’s not a reality. Therefore, in order for your faith to work, you must recognize, believe, and acknowledge the good things in you in Christ!

  One-Third Complete

                I didn’t see any manifestation of power, victory, joy—anything—until I started renewing my mind and discovering what God had put inside me. As I began acknowledging what He had already done, His presence and power started manifesting in my life. The lives of the people I ministered to began to change. Acknowledging the good things in me in Christ caused my faith to work and produced supernatural results!

                Most Christians believe God can do anything but experience very little. Now that they’ve been born again, they know they have access to the Lord. They believe that God can release His power in answer to prayer, but whether something comes to pass or not depends on their performance (i.e., being holy, speaking right, studying the Word, tithing, avoiding strife, etc.). This view short-circuits God’s power because their focus is on what they need to do instead of what Christ has already done. It’s not His power these Christians doubt but rather His willingness to use it on their behalf. They think God’s power is out there somewhere, and they must do things in order to obtain it!

                The truth is, when you were born again, God put His power, anointing, victory, joy, peace—everything—in you in abundance. The only reason they aren’t manifest in your soul and body is your unrenewed mind. It’s not that God didn’t give it but that you’re still looking at the physical realm instead of His spiritual mirror.

                One-third of your salvation is already complete! Right now, your spirit is as saved, sanctified, holy, and empowered as it will ever be throughout all eternity. Someday you’ll receive a new body and a new soul to match up with your new spirit. Until then, it’s your soul and body that are in the process of change, not your spirit. At the Second Coming of Christ, or when you die and go to Him, the change in your soul will be instantly completed. Then when the Lord returns, your spirit and soul will be reunited with your glorified body. At that time, all three will be perfect. But until then, the Christian life is renewing your mind and acknowledging the perfection already in your spirit so that your soul and physical body can experience the benefits of salvation!

  Conformed or Transformed—It’s Your Choice!

                “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Rom. 12:1-2).

                Don’t be conformed to this world! “Conformed” means “to be poured into the mold of!” In life, you will encounter pressures—from the world, from the devil, from unbelievers, and from circumstances. Although you can’t avoid being melted, you can choose which mold you’ll be poured into. When pressure comes, will you become bitter or better? As fiery trials arise, will you stand victorious or give in to defeat? The choice is yours, but you will be changed!

                Be transformed by the renewing of your mind! “Transformed” in the Greek is the same word we derive “metamorphosis” from. It’s the picture of a little worm spinning a cocoon and then coming out as a butterfly. The way you transform, change, metamorphose from being bitter, hurtful, sick, and defeated into the loving, healed, healthy, and victorious person that God created you to be is through renewing your mind. Your spirit is already changed, and your body is basically your soul’s caboose. Whatever you think in your soul, your body will just go along for the ride. Therefore, it’s your mind, your thoughts, your attitudes that determine whether you experience victory and the life of God in your spirit or the defeat and death of the fallen natural realm. Renewing your mind to the Word facilitates your transformation!

                God’s Word tells you what is spiritually true. It gives you the new values and attitudes you should conform yourself to. As you continually look into the Lord’s spiritual mirror, you’ll begin to see and experience yourself for who you really are!




Chapter 2 

Release What You’ve Already Got.   

                Your spirit totally changed at salvation! Upon making Jesus Christ your Lord, your spirit underwent an instant and complete transformation. Typically, your body and soul are both impacted by what happened, but it’s not total, nor complete.

                People who don’t understand that the change took place in their spirits and has to work its way out into their souls and bodies are usually quite disappointed. “I thought I’d become a brand new person. Jesus was going to change everything!” Then unbelief takes hold. “But things didn’t change, and I’m still the same!”  Some may seriously doubt whether or not they were saved. Those who do maintain their salvation often lose faith that they’ll ever really experience and enjoy it here in this life.

                But the truth is—your spirit has totally changed! You aren’t in the process of trying to get anything from God. Everything you’ll ever need in the Christian life is already present in its entirety in your spirit! At this very moment, your born-again spirit is as perfect and complete as it’ll ever be throughout all eternity.  You won’t get a new one when you arrive in heaven, and neither will it need to be matured, completed, or cleaned up from any defilement down here on earth. Your spirit is—right now—as perfect, mature, and complete as Jesus Himself!

  The Pivot Point 

                After being born again, the rest of your Christian life consists simply of renewing and releasing! As you renew your mind and believe God’s Word, your soul will agree with what’s already transpired in your spirit. When your soul comes into alignment with what it sees in God’s spiritual mirror, what’s already in your spirit releases into your soul and body. That’s how you experience the benefits of your salvation!

                If your spirit and soul agree, you experience the life of God. Your born-again spirit is always for God because it’s already been completely changed into His likeness and image. When your soul agrees with your spirit, that’s two parts of your being against one. Since the majority always rules, your soul and body will experience the life, victory, and power that is in your spirit.

                On the other hand, the supernatural flow of life from your spirit to the physical realm stops when your soul agrees with your body (majority rules again) and is dominated by the natural realm. You cut yourself off from experiencing God’s life in you when you align your soul with what you can see, taste, hear, smell, and feel instead of what you perceive in the Word. What’s in your spirit must flow through your soul in order to get out to your body and the physical world around it!

  The Real You

                Take a look at the functional diagrams I’ve included here. I call them “functional” because there’s no inspiration or reality to the fact that I’ve depicted spirit, soul, and body as circles. None of us are circles, even though some people are rounder than others! These diagrams are just an effort to communicate with you the relationship between spirit, soul, and body by means of illustration.

                Consider this first diagram of three circles inside each other (appears like a target). The outer circle is your body. It’s the part you can see and feel. Then you have an inner part that can’t be seen but can be felt. That’s your soul. Notice how your soul touches both your body and spirit. Your spirit is a second inner part. Although it’s the centre of who you are, it can’t be seen or felt.

                Most people don’t recognise the fact that their spirits are the core of their beings. They function primarily out of their soulish realm, believing what they think and feel is reality. They may perceive their souls to be the core of who they are, but God’s Word says differently.

                Your spirit is the real you! “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:26). After God formed Adam, He breathed into him the breath of life (Gen. 2:7). This Hebrew word “breath” is also rendered “spirit” in other places (e.g., Job 26:4 and Prov. 20:27). Adam’s body and soul (physical, mental, and emotional parts) had no life in them until “spirit” was imparted. Your spirit is your life-giving part!

                Since your life comes from your spirit, it’s the innermost circle of the three. Notice also how your spirit is completely surrounded by your soul. It has no direct access to your physical body. The diagram of three rings also illustrates this lack of a direct link. That’s why everything that comes out from your spirit to your body must go through your mental, emotional part!


 Is Your Valve Open?

                With the pipe diagram, one side represents your spirit and the other your body. Your soul acts as a valve in between the two. When you open the valve, what’s in your spirit can flow through to your body. Depending upon how open it is, the flow of life could be just a trickle, a small stream, or rivers (John 7:38). When the valve is closed, the flow from spirit to body shuts off. That’s a great illustration of how a born-again believer functions!

                In your spirit, you’ve got the same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead (Eph. 1:18-20). However, it’s possible to have this power and never manifest it. If your soul, like a valve, stays closed to this truth, you won’t experience it. Without opening the valve by renewing your mind to God’s Word, the eternal reality in your spirit won’t be able to impact the temporal “reality” of your physical realm. All that resurrection life and power just stays locked up inside until you look into the spiritual mirror long enough to see the real you and release it!

              You could actually die with all of the power that raised Jesus from the dead sitting untapped within you. It would be like dying of thirst while leaning against a well full of life-giving water! If you’re dominated by what you feel, your soul is agreeing with the natural realm. “I feel sick and my body hurts. The doctor said I’m dying. Here’s my medical record to prove it!” Even though you have the resurrection life of God in your spirit, your soul can keep it shut off so that not one drop of life-giving power ever touches your physical body.

                You can experience depression, anger, and bitterness all the while possessing God’s love, joy, and peace in your spirit (Gal. 5:22). Since this applies to every area of your life, can you see how pivotal your soul is?

                Your body doesn’t really control anything. It just goes with the flow of what it sees, tastes, hears, smells, and feels unless otherwise influenced by the soul. It’s amoral—neither good nor bad. Left to itself, your body just reacts to and goes along with what’s happening in the physical realm.

                When your soul agrees with your spirit, the life of God in you will manifest itself in your physical body. You’ll experience healing, deliverance, anointing, victory, power, joy, prosperity— on and on it goes!

  Victory Begins

                Since most Christians don’t have a working knowledge of spirit, soul, and body, they’re dominated by what they can see, taste, hear, smell, and feel instead of God’s Word. The flow of life within stays turned off because they don’t believe anything they can’t see. Neither do they understand the change that happened in their born-again spirits, nor are they fully aware of who they are in Christ. To them, something’s just not real if it can’t be perceived though their five natural senses. Attempting to be “honest,” they search their physical, emotional, and mental realms for God’s power. If they can’t perceive it, then they must not have it.

                However, the truth is that old things passed away, and all things became new in your spirit the moment you were born again. Now, everything you’ll ever need in your Christian life is already there. Just renew your mind and release it!

                This truth revolutionised my life! I had experienced God’s power and reality, but when the emotion of it wore off, I thought they were gone. I knew God and everything He promised was real, but I thought I had to try to get Him to give me things. Due to my wrong thinking, I went through a period of discouragement, frustration, and desperation—not from sin but from a sincere desire to live for Him and experience His best. I felt like no matter how hard I tried, I could never get there. Then I started to see that God had already given me everything in my born-again spirit. As this revelation dawned on me, I realized that I just needed to release it. This simple understanding changed everything!

 Since then, I’ve recognized that the Christian life isn’t a process of “getting from God.” Instead, it’s a process of renewing my mind and learning to release what I’ve already received. It’s much easier to release something I’ve already got than to go get something I don’t yet have!

This erroneous concept of trying to get something you don’t yet have carries within it an element of doubt. You see a promise in the Word concerning healing, joy, victory, power, provision, or whatever, and since you know God loves His children and keeps His promises, you start heading toward that, “believing God.” You know it’s possible—even promised—but since you can’t perceive it yet in your mental, emotional, or physical realms, you don’t believe it’s already been done. In your mind, God’s promise isn’t a “reality” until you physically have it.

  “I’ve Already Got It!”

 My wife and I went through a period of extreme poverty when we were just starting out in full-time ministry. After coming home from Vietnam and getting married, I pastored a small church in Segoville, Texas. Every penny we had went toward paying the bills. We were so poor that sometimes we even went without food for a week or two!

                During this time, my Bible kept falling apart. The pages had mildewed from Vietnam’s humidity, and I’d written on them quite a bit. Despite my efforts to tape it together, entire chapters— even books—were gone. There I was pastoring a church with a beat-up, incomplete Bible!

                Since we didn’t have the money available to just go buy a new one, I decided to make an issue out of it. “How can I believe God to minister salvation, heal the sick, cast out devils, and change people’s lives if I can’t believe Him to supply me with enough extra money to purchase a Bible?” I drew my line in the sand and declared, “I’m going to win this fight or die trying!”

                The devil took me up on it and the battle raged. Thoughts of fear and unbelief bombarded my mind. Some man of God you are! You don’t even have a whole Bible. You can’t even believe God for a book! Some pastor you are—failure! I fought those thoughts constantly for six whole months!

                Finally, I got the money and bought my new Bible. After having my name engraved on it, I victoriously paraded out of that bookstore carrying my trophy under my arm. All those negative thoughts left instantly. Once I had it, I never doubted that I’d get my Bible again!

                “Of course not, Andrew, you already had it. Why would you doubt something you’ve already got?” My point exactly! God placed everything you’ll ever need inside your born-again spirit. Once you believe you’ve already got it, doubt is eliminated!

                You aren’t trying to get saved, you were saved! You aren’t in the process of being born again, you were born again! When you confessed Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, your spirit instantly changed. In your spirit, you are brand new and complete. God has already given you everything you need. The rest of your Christian life isn’t learning how to get from Him but rather discovering how to release what He’s already placed within!