The first I
The name of chart is “Cleansed Consciousness” (Hebrews 9:14). It is rightly named simply because we all must have our minds renewed to the truth (Romans 12:2), which will close all the gaps of separation and cleanse our blinded consciousness from a guilty, “What Is Wrong With Me?” sin-consciousness.
The first “I” represents our lost condition, and the word “being” represents all lost people just being themselves. They are not trying to be sinners; they are just naturally being one. They don’t wake up every morning and say to their master, Satan, “How can I serve you?” Or, “What rules do I need to keep in order to be accepted by you, or stay in good standing with you?” Lost people don’t work hard at being lost, do they? No, they don’t work hard at all. They just “be” themselves and they naturally and spontaneously bear the fruits of unrighteousness.
Why do I put the word “Satan” over the first “I”? The created human, “little spirit” or “I” is created to contain and be indwelt by a deity Spirit. Through the Fall, the human race has been invaded by an Satanic spirit. This is a very strong statement, and one most people recoil at when put like that. However, the scriptures clearly say it in Ephesians 2:1-4. None of us walk according to our own will, our own life, or our own minds. No, we humans have always been enslaved to, or joined to, another. Romans 6:17 calls us “slaves of sin.” A slave doesn’t do his own separate living; he lives under the control of another.
The second I
Let us move on to the second stage. Suffering drives the hungry heart to Christ, the Savior. The Cross delivers us from the powers of darkness and transforms us into newly created beings. It all was finished at the Cross, but how then do I experience this power and transformation? And why don’t I automatically experience it?
Christians are always trying and striving to improve themselves. Instead of depending on the Spirit’s transforming power, we Christians try to improve ourselves by self-effort. If we understood what the Bible declares to be true, then there is no self to improve. You can’t improve a dead man. “For ye are dead, and “Christ who is our life” (Col. 3:3-4).
Our minds have to be first cleansed from the pollution left over from the Fall. Deep in our consciousness, redeemed man still has the grave clothes from his former owner, Satan. We are like Lazarus coming forth out of the tomb, but after three days, I’m sure Lazarus’ grave clothes stunk. And as long as we are operating from these dead grave clothes, even today THEY STILL STINK.
Now notice that there is a “C” with a little “I” in it. Actually, the “new man” is Christ in union with our human spirits, and that is my new identity and new life. Yet, I’m functioning as if there is Christ in me, plus a great big “PERFORMING ME.” At the beginning, I might think, “He is somewhere in my back pocket to be pulled out when I am in trouble or I feel weak.”
That is a lie, and the root of the stench keeping us deluded to who we really are in Christ. In our unsaved days, we thought we were an independent self, operating by self-sufficiency; and even now as a Christian we still think the same way.
The problem is that we don’t know the answer to this question: WHAT IS MAN? If we did we would understand the human being is a helpless expression of someone else: a vessel, a branch, a temple, a wife, the body, and the slave.
Don’t we Christians wear bracelets saying: “W.W.J.D.”? “What would Jesus do?” This means to most of us that we should imitate Jesus and do good things like He did. Aren’t we trying to become like Jesus by our own self-effort? Isn’t our dependency centered in on our own flesh power, and not on the power and life of Christ in us?
These false interpretations concerning our humanity are the lie that Satan planted deep in our consciousness.
Doing good by self-effort is an expression of Satan and “dead works.” The big “I” after the plus on the chart is not who we are. The big “I” is Satan disguised as a good, sufficient me.
Personally I went through a second crises and experienced great defeat for a long time. I think that is healthy; otherwise, I would have gone right back to trying to live the Christian life by myself. I had to be completely finished with a “self-acting-self.” Sometimes we are in the death side of the Cross for a long time. God has to know that we will not jump back into independent-self sufficiency, so He leaves us in the, “NOT I, but Christ” stage, sometimes for a long time. The “Not I,” truth must be burned in our consciousness.
The third I
Christ is not a part of our lives, HE IS OUR LIFE (Col. 3:3-4). When I found myself in the no-self stage, I was so thankful not to have a self. All I knew was I didn’t have to live any longer. I hated my self anyway. Little did I know that I really hated Satan masquerading as a good me, and not my precious vessel-self anyway.
The real truth is that I am a resurrected new creation in Christ. The only way to possess what Christ has already provided for us is to take a leap of faith into the no-condemnation release of Romans 8. If you are still condemning yourself, then you falsely believe that you can produce your own righteousness. If we dare leap into no-condemnation then you believe that Christ is your righteousness and He must manifest His righteousness through your soul and body.
Rest entered my soul. Jesus is taking my place now in my daily living. What a release! I no longer live. It is Jesus going to the grocery store; it is Jesus raising my children; it is Jesus fighting my temptations. There was no me there to do anything but rest in Him. My responsibility is nothing more than, my response to His ability.
It is good practice to stand by faith instead of fretting and trying to become who we really already are. What irony! Now faith is the key. Nothing will happen, or be experienced until we function as faith people instead, of works people.
Take a leap into your new identity, the new you, and trust that Christ is your life. Happy is the man who doesn’t condemn himself anymore. Happy is the man who knows Satan’s voice of condemnation and doesn’t believe his lies anymore.
The fourth I
We are to the final stage of restoration. Usually, however, we are so glad to be in the resting stage that we don’t want anything else – but no, there is one more adjustment. We cannot be really happy until we can fully accept our human self as a right self, and our humanity as God’s asset. There was never anything wrong with the human self; our sense of wrongness came from the delusion of independent-self. With the lie exposed and the truth believed, we are safe to get our self back. My basic humanity (personality and intellect) doesn’t change, yet my Christ-driven-self sure looks and feels different from my Satan-driven-self.
My consciousness changes to Christ in the background and my human self in the foreground.” “I now go to the grocery, I go to the bank, I plan my day.” Is it an independent “I”? NO, it is really He expressing Himself by me. Yet, I am not all the time conscious of Him. Does that sound dangerous? To some, yes, but not to me. It is hard trying to be conscious of Christ all the time, and we are not meant to be. But, I’m doing my business, I’m living my life. Now, who is that “I”? It is the new redeemed human I, operating with the Operator at the helm.
The divine nature in us is other love, not self-centered love. Never again is the point of life “about me.” I am a driven person, driven to be for others. Now, we too, are trusted by God to be sons and friends of God. Am I talking about the “old DOOR MAT” mentality? No, Jesus said, “No man takes my life from me, but I lay it down of myself” (John 10:18). I don’t see Jesus taking anything off of anyone.
Someone asked me one time, “Sylvia, do you love yourself?” The answer to my friend’s question is really, “Yes” I do love myself, because I accept myself and then forget myself and just be. Blessed is the day when we don’t obsess about ourselves anymore.
What do I think about myself? Well, I think I can do anything. I believe I have the sufficiency to do all things. I have no fears; I have self-confidence; I think that I am wonderful. Is it just me being on an ego trip? No, it is Christ’s very own right-self- consciousness. Am I saying that I never “feel” any of these feelings of weakness? No, I am still tempted at times to fear, to worry, to be jealous etc., but my temptations don’t rule me. Instead God uses them as attention getters in my life. Then I rightly use them as my opportunity for faith to see what God is doing through them.
What a transformation! Praise the Lord; we come back as super human other-love beings. This is truly the “Liberating Secret.”