Remembering Gilgal By Dennis Reanier

By Dennis Reanier

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As we get a revelation about our new identity in Jesus Christ, we can see that we have already been given a new heart downloaded with His agendas and priorities. Ezekiel prophesied about this thousands of years ago: "And I will give them one heart (a new heart) and I will put a new spirit within them; and I will take the stony (unnaturally hardened) heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh (sensitive and responsive to the touch of their God)."


Paul testifies to this new covenant reality, saying, "You show and make obvious that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, not written with ink but with (the) Spirit of (the) living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. Such is the reliance and confidence that we have through Christ toward and with reference to God."


As a believer it's important to understand that the resurrection power of the cross already resides in us. Every force that would oppose us has already been defeated at a time in the past. All authority and power has already been given to us as believers, and His heart was already given to us when we were born again!


Substitution in Christ


Martin Luther once said that the gospel is nothing less than laughter and joy. You are not the slavish people of Ishmael. Ishmael was fully grown when he was circumcised. He had to feel the pain, because he represented the old, do-it-yourself covenant on Sinai. But the little baby Isaac was different! He was only eight days old when he was circumcised. Isaac doesn't remember what happened to him. He has no memory of the pain. Your death found its substitution in Christ.


In Him also you were circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, but in a (spiritual) circumcision (performed by) Christ by stripping off the body of the flesh (the whole corrupt, carnal nature with its passion and lusts).


The spirit of religion wants to try and convince us that we must work and perform for what we have already been given in Christ. He wants to us to believe that we still need to try and accomplish His works, which have already been completed. He wants to blind us through a veil of legalism based on our own efforts so that we will unconsciously reject grace based on the efforts of His finished work.


Many of us have received wrong instruction about our identity in Christ. We have been told that we need to strive and work harder to get everything in order on our own. But the more we strive and work harder, the more things fall apart and go wrong. We have been deceived into trying to perform for an inheritance that we have already been given.

We only betray ourselves when we forget who we are in Christ and try to take back the control that we have already given to Him, making excuses for all the reasons that we are not living the abundant life. Unmet expectations turn to frustration as we begin to tell God that we're not going to do things His way anymore, but we are going to start doing things our way again. Frustration turns to anger as we try to manipulate people and circumstances externally in order to try to re-establish more control in our lives.


The angrier we become, the more we seem to lose control. The inability to change our circumstances causes feelings of helplessness leading to resentment and bitterness internally. Finally, resentment and bitterness begin to manifest outwardly through our negativity and complaining, keeping us from ever experiencing the promises of God.


This isn't who we are in Christ!


Newness of Life


We were buried therefore with Him by the baptism into death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious (power) of the Father, so we too might (habitually) live and behave in newness of life. For if we have become one with Him by sharing a death like His, we shall also be (one with Him in sharing) His resurrection (by a new life lived for God).


This passage says we were buried at a time in the past with Him! How many times do we have to die before we are considered dead? How dead is considered dead enough? When will we quit preaching the wrong message to the wrong audience?


We often hear messages taught to those in the church who have already been buried with Him, that "whoever would preserve his life and save it will lose and destroy it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he will preserve and save it." This verse was never meant to be taught as a way of life for those who are already in Christ. How can I preserve my life if I am already dead? It's no longer I that live, but Christ that lives in me. Jesus was speaking to a pre-Christian audience!


Jeremiah says our "heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly perverse and corrupt and severely, mortally sick! Who can know it (perceive, understand, be acquainted with his own heart and mind)?" But this is an old covenant Scripture! The new covenant says we have already been given a new heart and a new spirit. It is His heart and His Spirit!


It's time for the church to get a revelation of the time and season in which we are currently living, instead of sometimes living out of the old covenant and other times living out of the new covenant. The veil has already been torn! This allows us to live and behave in newness of life. We don't have to live in deception on the wrong side of the cross, striving and working hard in our own strength.


In remembering Gilgal, we receive revelation of our new heart and all that has already been given to us in Christ! This is the place where the Lord your God circumcised "your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your (mind and) heart and with all your being, that you may live.


Then, with a revelation of pure heart we can experience the true power of God by resting solely in His accomplishments as He puts "curses upon your enemies and on those who hate you, who persecute you." We can begin to experience the abundant life as "the Lord your God will make you abundantly prosperous."


Dennis Reanier

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