I Am Powerful In The Kingdom
When I was struggling with eating disorders, no amount of willpower seemed to be able to get me out of it. Day after day I would vow never to binge eat again and often find myself back at the fridge less than 24 hours later. The cycle of hopelessness and despair that this bred was brutal. One time, I was standing at the open fridge and asked God to give me the willingness to not binge (as everything in me was raging to do so). I felt Him say ‘You are powerful in the kingdom’.
At the time I remember being perplexed about what that even meant, but it was enough to scoop me out of the fridge and away from the kitchen. Something about this truth spoke such hope into the midst of my miry pit.
For me, the thought patterns around binge eating were well established. It went something like this; resist, restrict, slip up, give up, go whole hog, feel disgusting, self hatred, despair, shame, hopelessness, loneliness etc. But as I heard God’s voice in that moment at the fridge, light pierced through my darkest cave and the planting of one simple truth in my heart was enough to shift my behaviour in that moment and many times afterwards, when I found myself in a similar situation.
The following passage from Andrew Wommack’s book ‘Spirit, Soul and Body’ speaks so well about the difference between trying to change by willpower and being transformed from the inside out by God’s truth rooting deeply in our hearts. Enjoy!
Through spiritual dyslexia, most people perceive Galatians 5:16 completely backwards! “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” They recognize that the flesh and the spirit are contrary but assume that they’re automatically walking in the spirit if they just deny their flesh.
Therefore, they put all of their focus on quitting this and rejecting that, thinking, If I can just stop doing these bad things and having these foul thoughts, then I’ll be in the spirit! Wrong! This verse doesn’t say “Walk in the flesh, and you’ll hinder the spirit” or “Overcome the flesh, and then you’ll walk in the spirit.” No, it declares just the opposite: “Walk in the spirit, and you won’t fulfill the lust of the flesh!”
Darkness is simply the absence of light. You can’t get rid of darkness by shoveling it out of the room. However, if you turn on a light, it’ll flee! When you walk in the spirit (turn on the light), by default—as a byproduct—you won’t fulfill the lust of the flesh (darkness flees). Willpower is the shovel of the flesh. If you feel you can’t really accept who you are in Christ until after you overcome the darkness in your life—drinking, cussing, smoking, or whatever problems you currently have—you’ll just end up frustrated and stuck (Rom. 7).
It’s not that God won’t release His power to you; it’s just that you haven’t yet flipped the switch! Lay that shovel down and turn on the light! Get into God’s Word, and start recognizing and meditating on who you are in Christ. As you focus your attention continually on the reality of your new identity, the brightness of who you are in the spirit will begin to shine in and through you to such a degree that it’ll break the control of the flesh and deliver you from these external problems. Light always overwhelms and chases away the dark!
A friend of mine used to be a well-known secular entertainer who wrote several famous songs. While in this profession, he became born again. After finishing a concert at midnight, he’d hop on the bus with his musicians and start traveling to their next gig. Excited about God and His Word, my friend actually snorted cocaine off the pages of His Bible so he could stay awake and keep reading about how much the Lord loved him!
Today, this man has been a pastor for over twenty years! How did he overcome his flesh and its bad habits? Did he quit snorting cocaine and all the other ungodly things he was doing first? No! This man didn’t let his vices keep him from beginning to find out what God’s Word said about him. He centered his attention on discovering who he was in Christ and what all Jesus had done for him. As those things became reality to him, he finally came to a place where God led him out of that lifestyle.
God wants you to come to Him just as you are! After you’re born again and changed inside, renew your mind to who you are in Christ. As you find out who you are in your spirit, you’ll change outwardly as a result. If you’ll just start walking in the spirit by focusing your attention on the things of God, regardless of what your flesh is like, you’ll break its dominion over you!
Andrew Wommack; Spirit, Soul and Body