One of the remarkable concepts of our christian walk is appropriation. Appropriation does not connote acquiring something new. It implies setting aside for our ownership, our possessions in Christ.
This notion is central to the New Testament because through Christ’s atonement and resurrection we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ. Therefore, as Christians we have a responsibility to understand how to appropriate these blessings so that by a demonstration of Christ’s glory in us, many will be drawn to the truth.
Too many of us stop at simply admiring scriptural truths, or in some cases teaching them to others, but appropriation is the real test. Through the process of appropriation, we harness the skills necessary to apply the word of righteousness.
There are two basic elements of effective appropriation:
1. Knowing: The knowledge of our privileges in Christ, as well as the practical needs created through our daily circumstances and the challenges we face.
2. Receiving: Obtaining a definite supply of the Spirit for the particular challenge. The Spirit will do two things in us; guide us into all the truth and make manifest in our mortal flesh the life of Jesus.
Essentially, the key to effective appropriation is faith exercised through the Spirit. When confronted with any challenge, we need to know that God has already made full provision for us in Christ. Our prayers are not aimed at moving God to do something brand new. They are offered first that our inner eyes be opened to see what He has already accomplished in Christ regarding the situation and second to allow the Spirit lead us through the process by which the provision will be made flesh in us. This way, others can behold His glory in us.
Accordingly, four things are critical to making the blessings of Christ tangible:
1. Be Still: When confronted with a challenge, be still before God. Don’t start out by switching to “fight mode” against the devil. If you adopt this approach, you have given up your ground in Christ. Stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made you free. Stand still worshipping God for the provisions He has already made in Christ for that situation. Avoid anxiety. You are complete in Christ.
2. Study: Engage in intense study of the Scriptures to find the truth in God’s word concerning your present situation. This can only be achieved under the influence of the spirit of wisdom and revelation. You must therefore ask God to open the eyes of your understanding that you may “see” when you read the scriptures. Pray, as the Apostle Paul taught, for the supply of the Spirit that He may guide you into all the truth.
3. Meditate: Meditate upon the portion of the scriptures that show you what the outcome of your situation will be. Meditation is an audible process. Put those words on your lips and contemplate these truths as you give voice to them. Do this at least twice a day. Read and re-read the portion of the scriptures that the Spirit has shown you. By this process you will receive insights on what practical steps you should take.
4. Travail: Enter into travailing prayers, with groanings that cannot be uttered, over the truths you have received. The purpose of this is to get notes of victory in your spirit. Stay in the place of constant and perpetual praise over the truths that God’s word has revealed to you.