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Living Up to What You Have Already Attained

God is waiting for a settlement of all of our controversies with Him. — Watchman Nee

The thought of being anything other than British is repulsive to… well, to the British. I can say this from experience because I was born in England. So, not too long ago, when I became an American citizen, it was likely met with a few raised eyebrows by some of my fellow Brits. During the citizenship ceremony, I had to raise my right hand and say (paraphrasing), “I renounce all allegiances to any foreign sovereigns and powers.” So basically, they were asking me to renounce my homeland. That was hard for me! I had to promise to do that because the United States does not accept dual citizenship.

That’s how it is for all of us in Christ: We now have complete allegiance to Him. When I raised my hand and renounced my allegiance to Britain, I became dead to Britain. When I came to Christ, I became dead to my old self. Significantly, this death is something that has already happened in Christ—it is a mystery, for certain, but it is done.

Only let us live up to what we have already attained. (Philippians 3:16)

We don’t have to work for this. Everything we are was attained by Christ. We’re “living up to what we have already attained.” Britain is still alive and well across the pond. The renunciation of my allegiance did not cause the Queen to step down and dissolve Parliament. My flesh still hangs around, too. I belong to Christ, but my flesh still beckons. (I’m not saying that Britain is the equivalent of sinful flesh–please don’t run with that analogy!)

But there is no dual citizenship. We are all members of His kingdom first and foremost.

Father, I praise You for calling me Your child and an heir. Thank You for letting me be a citizen of Your kingdom with no higher allegiance. Jesus, teach me how to live up to what I have already attained by Your death for me, through the power and presence of Your Spirit in me, according to the truths you have recorded and revealed in Scripture. I renounce any allegiance to my fleshly desires. I pledge allegiance to You and You only! Amen.

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