by Matt Schroeder
If you are a follower of Jesus, bought with the precious blood of Christ, then you have been given a brand new identity. Whatever sin and life style you used to walk in is no longer the banner truth that defines who you are. You certainly still have to fight against sin and you may still struggle with the effects of sin from your former life, but that sin no longer makes up who you are before the throne of God. Here are a couple identity shaping verses God has spoken over his children:
1 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, the old has passed away, behold the new has come.
Romans 8:15 – For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, Abba! Father!
Galatians 2:20 - I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
1 Corinthians 6:20 – You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
If you have grown up going to church, then you probably know all the verses I listed. You probably have all these verses memorized from your Sunday School days. In fact, you may have even skipped over reading them and jumped straight to what I’m saying now, because you know those verses so well. However, I’m wondering, how many of us functionally live out those verses and truly rest in them?
You see, not only has God saved us from sin and depravity, but he’s also empowered us by His Spirit to walk in a completely different way. I believe one of the easiest ways to describe what that difference should be or should look like is transitioning away from a victim mentality to having a warrior mentality.
Victim mentality can look like a number of things, but some of the more common ways it comes across is by saying and believing, “well, this is just the way I am. Yes, I know this is an issue and something I need to work on, but this is just my issue and something I’ve always struggled with.” Or it could come across as always equating our struggles and issues to spiritual attack from Satan. Please don’t misunderstand me, I fully believe spiritual warfare is real and more real than many of us walk out on a functional level. And I’m sure spiritual attack is a factor in all of our sin. However, I’ve seen brothers and sisters (and myself) use that to the exclusion of taking responsibility for their own actions and getting angry at their sin.
A brother told me he likens the victim mentality to an old dirty cloak that people just won’t take off. They know it stinks, they know it isn’t pretty, and they know it effects people around them, but they won’t get rid of it because “it’s just the way they are.” Victim mentality can often feed on itself and grow stronger the more we let it fester in our hearts and minds.
The warrior mentality does everything in its power to not just throw that old stinky coat off, but then burn it! The warrior mentality gets seriously angry at the sin in their lives and declares war against it. The warrior mentality does not make excuses because they have wrestled with that sin for their entire life. They identify the struggle, walk in the power of God’s Spirit, and fight day and night against that sin.
And how can we do this with confidence? It goes back to what we talked about at the beginning, identity. When God saves you and brings you into his family, your identity has changed from victim to warrior. So, now what it comes down to is walking in that new identity that is already yours.
So, are you walking in a victim mentality any where in your life? Have you embraced the truth that you now belong to the kingdom of God and it is your responsibility to go to war against the kingdom of darkness in your own life and in the lives of those around you? Have you thrown off the old dirty stinky coat? Have you burned it yet?
2 Corinthians 10:4 says, “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.”
Pray hard, fast multiple meals each week, bring others into your life to help you fight sin, and embrace the fact that as a Christian you are now a warrior, not a victim! All for God’s glory!