The Scripture says that:
“Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I declare; Before they spring forth, I tell you of them.”
Isaiah 42:9 NKJV
As an eagle is getting ready to reemerge from its hiding place after waiting patiently for so long in seclusion, so as to complete the process of renewing its strength; it knows that the old way of soaring in the air and hunting for preys has to go away. The former things have already passed away, and the new eagle is able to emerge with its new strength.
The eagle has accomplished a feat that it had never done before. Now, new things are springing up to bring changes to its body, as it’s about to launch back into the air.
But this time around its past experience is necessary for it to be able to do much more. The bad old habits have to go away, so that it can be able to live a longer and more fulfilled life, while soaring in the air again.
For us in Christ Jesus the old has to go away completely, so that our new life in Christ Jesus can be able to make us more fruitful in God’s Kingdom. Any Christian who is still clinging on to the dead old lifestyle before Christ, will never live a transformed life.
Such a Christian is often struggling in the flesh and the mind, to lay aside the old sinful past. He just needs to allow Christ to take it completely away, so as to be able to experience the new life of the new creation in Christ Jesus.
Positive and negative past experiences do matter a lot in doing greater exploits in God’s Kingdom. The positive experience can come into play to help us with the renewed strength in Christ Jesus. But our negative past experiences are the warning signals to point us into the right direction, so that we don’t keep making the same mistakes of the past.
These things are important for us, just as they’re important for the old eagle also. The eagle has overcome all the odds of dying on the mountain top, to receive a renewed life and restored strength.
Now it has to be careful not to be making the same old mistakes, that were made before with its restored life and strength. The ability to learn from its past mistakes is crucial, to the longevity of its new life in the air. The eagle has chosen life over death; and is not prepared to compromise on that decision to live longer while doing exploits in the air.
The old eagle has now learned a lot of things which has given it new skills, during the waiting time on the mountain top. It has learnt new survival skills within its environment in the wilderness. The new skills are essential for it, so as to attain new experiences in the air and its hunting for preys.
Now, experience is important for the eagle, so as to be able to live longer, while doing the things that it likes to do in the air. The old ways of doing things have to go away completely, as new things are about to spring up.
The eagle is looking forward to new discoveries, as it will begin to soar in the air again. The new discoveries will bring in new opportunities for new adventures in its hunting activities. But now its skills and experience will have to come in handy.
There is absolutely no need for it to be wasting its renewed strength, by getting itself engaged with worthless adventures. The old eagle knows that any wasted opportunity gives its adversaries an advantage over it.
An eagle that has successfully renewed its strength is seeking for greater glory. And with its elevated status as the chief predator among the other birds, the honor that it commands has to be protected.
The eagle needs the bodily discipline that it has now acquired to be combined with its past experience. In this way it is able to protect the dignity and honor of its elevated position, among the other birds in the air.
An old eagle has no time for playing games. Time is now essential in all that it does from the moment it re-emerges in the air. The time clock begins to tick away on its renewed and restored strength in the air.
As with the eagle and its renewed strength, a Christian who is renewing his mind away from the mindset of the wicked world, will need to cultivate this same attitude in the eagle also. He begins to see the world in which he lives as God sees it, because he has cultivated the mind of Christ in everything that he does.
He is now dead in the flesh to the wickedness and the evil of the world around him. The new life in Christ Jesus is energizing him, to be doing exploits more than ever before. He has gone through the process of self-crucifixion to his flesh, as he is renewing his mind with the word of God and praying daily.
The Apostle Paul said about his own encounter in this process that:
“I have been crucified with Christ [that is, in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body I live by faith [by adhering to, relying on, and completely trusting] in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”
Galatians 2:20 AMP
Being identified with Christ qualifies you for the glory
The crucified life of any child of God identifies him with Christ Jesus. A Christian who is renewing his mind with God’s word and praying daily, shares the same experience with Christ in the process of self-crucifixion.
The end result will give birth to a holy hatred towards every appearance of sin. The scriptures say:
“Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.”
Romans 6:12-14 NKJV
To those who are not yet crucified with Christ Jesus, this is a hard thing for them to do. But a crucified life with Christ has completely lost its identity with this world and its sinfulness.
Such a Christian now has a new identity that is known to all of the celestial beings. To be identified with Christ Jesus is to be one in union and in measure together with Him. That means everything that you are doing, you are doing it together with Him and in union with Him.
Identification separates you completely for Christ Jesus alone. From the moment you are identified with Christ, you no longer have nothing in common to do with the world. Your association with the world and with the people of the world, is now being directed in your union with Him.
Jesus put it in these words:
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so, you will be My disciples.”
John 15:7-8 NKJV
Anyone who can’t identify with Christ will be casted away into the eternal fire on the last day. By identifying with Christ, you are signaling that you are abiding in Him, and He is abiding in you. You are no longer doing the works that you do alone, but He is the One who is working in you and through you.
The power of God is accessible to you at any time, as your Father in Heaven finds in you a ready and worthy vessel, through whom His glory can flow.
The Passion translation describes Galatians 2:20 emphatically about the new identity in Christ Jesus, as it pertains to Paul. It says:
“My old identity has been co-crucified with Christ and no longer lives. And now the essence of this new life is no longer mine, for the Anointed One lives his life through me—we live in union as one! My new life is empowered by the faith of the Son of God who loves me so much that he gave himself for me, dispensing his life into mine!”
Galatians 2:20 TPT
The new creation life experience in Christ Jesus comes through the mind that is constantly being renewed. Self-crucifixion in the flesh identifies us with Christ. As He was crucified in the body, the desires in you for the things of the flesh has to be crucified also, so that as Christ was gloriously risen from the dead, you may become a partaker with Him of that glory in your body also.
The old sinful habit of your past life has to be crucified completely in Christ Jesus. That old nature of sin with its worldly identity has to be gone completely, for God to be able to pour His Spirit into your life. This is important so that your new identity in Christ Jesus may spring up.
God deals with us in the same way as He considers all of His Creations on the earth with care. Even though He had given us dominion over all created things, but the same tender love that He has for us covers all of His Creations as well.
With the certainty of being helped by the Lord God, an eagle embarks on its mission to the mountain top. It has to go into seclusion because it has to be focused on what needs to be done in achieving its objectives on that mountain.
There are therefore lessons that can be learnt from the life of an eagle, as he waits to renew his strength. The old eagle has to beat itself in the flesh until it is completely crucified. It has to be a deliberate action on its part, so as to be able to achieve the expected result.
In the same manner the process of self-crucifixion in the flesh has to be deliberate for a Christian also, so as to become qualified to carry the glory of God. God can’t do anything until you are dead to the flesh that you are struggling with to crucify.
There are a lot of Christians who are struggling to crucify the flesh in their lives. And that’s why they are still struggling with sin. Spiritual strength comes through the process of self-crucifixion with Christ Jesus.
A crucified Christian life has a new identity in Christ Jesus. That’s why such a Christian doesn’t see or know any man in the flesh anymore. He does not see colors, races, tribes or nationalities. He sees all men through the eyes of Jesus, with whom he had been crucified. He does not see denominations within the Body of Christ, but he sees all denominations together as the Body of Christ.
As Paul said it:
“Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.”
II Corinthians 5:16 NKJV
And again, he said:
“For many walks, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.”
Philippians 3:18-21 NKJV
A crucified life with Christ Jesus does not only identifies with Him, but such a Christian sees all Christians as Christ sees him. No longer as a citizen of a geopolitical location on the earth, but he is setting his mind on the citizenship of Heaven. A citizenship that is not temporal, but eternal with Christ Jesus, who is now abiding in him and he in Him.
Is your Christian life looking up to that citizenship from above in your relationship with other Christians today?
There will be surprises in heaven when you get there. You will see other Christians who are of different races and colors, coming together to praise God. Jesus is coming back for such a beautiful and glorious Church. Are you ready? MARANATHA!