We are blessed “with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).1 We are heirs of the riches of His inheritance. God has given us everything; yet there seems to be so little of it available to us. Paul reminds us that when the heir is a child, he is no different than a slave although he owns everything (Galatians 4:1). We are coheirs with Christ and there is nothing that the Lord has withheld from us. But you may feel more like a slave than one who is possessing all things and seated with Christ at the right hand of the Father.
Instead, God wants to move us into the place where we are living as the heirs who not only own all things but have possessed all things. Possessing our inheritance also deals with warfare and the great eternal plan of God to manifest His wisdom through the Church to the principalities and powers (Ephesians 3:10). Paul encourages us, “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God” (Ephesians 6:10-11). This is essential. You cannot approach the principalities and powers in your own wisdom or battle them in your own strength. You must learn how to put on God’s attributes, move in His strength, and appropriate the full armor of God. We have to find a way to gird our loins with truth and put on the breastplate of righteousness. But we will never appropriate all that the Lord has for us unless something motivates us to reach in with a drive and get it.
God is our strength and our armor. There is nothing you can do in your own strength or abilities that will enable you to stand. Paul understood this: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God” (Galatians 2:20). He lived by the attributes of God. It was literally the life of Christ in him that was his life force.
To walk with the Lord, we must have a revelation that there cannot be a substitution for God’s attributes, His gifts, or the fruits of His Spirit. We must be driven to appropriate the personality of God. We are to “put on the Lord Jesus” (Romans 13:14). That is appropriation. The fruits of the Spirit are simply His attributes. They are pieces of God’s personality and abilities. God wants His attributes to literally be our life, our motivations, and our abilities. But there is that deep thing in us that still wants to work at it a little bit. God is trying to get to something deep within our hearts and minds so that we see how our abilities will not succeed. We will not have enough love or joy or faith. So we try a little harder and are tricked by the schemes of the devil. One of his greatest schemes is to have us use our own abilities. But only one faith will work: God’s faith.
Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane realized there was no other way to do what the Father wanted, so He appropriated God’s strength. When we are convinced in our hearts that there is no other way, then we will learn to appropriate our inheritance and all He has provided. God is in the process of convincing us until we will explode into appropriation and turn loose the attributes of God in the earth.
1 All Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible 1995 (NASB1995).