Iron Sharpens Iron
As a new contributor to Team Jesus Magazine, I feel the need to introduce myself a little. As you know, there are people who are a part of this team that we have never met. Players all over the globe who are making advances for the Kingdom of God. So, I take joy in this opportunity to not only share Good News – but my journey as well.
My name is Kristina Bolton. I am the wife of Caleb, and together we have five beautiful children. I am a founding member of Carriers of the Glory International Ministries in Tallahassee, Florida under Apostle Sharon D. Walker. I accepted Christ in 2006, and since then the Lord has transformed my life tremendously. Now, 13 years later, I am what you may consider a semi-seasoned player. Not as seasoned as grandma, but not a newborn Christian either.
As I meet other believers, many ask me how I got to the place where I am now. The person I am today is by the grace and glory of God. The Lord used my Pastor, who I call my Elijah, to train me and help me mature in the things of God. Maturity is a process every team member has to go through. It takes time to come into the understanding of the things of God. More importantly, it takes time to come into a place where you can truly live for God.
Living for God is not an easy thing to do. It requires coming face-to-face with our imperfections and repenting from a life that will not please God. The Bible calls this denying yourself (Luke 9:23). It was in that place of self-denial that I learned a vital piece of information that catapulted my growth.
It was there that I learned to pray against myself.
How Do You Pray Against Yourself?
Understand, the composition of a man is soul, spirit, and flesh. Regarding the flesh, the Bible says in Romans 7:18 English Standard Version (ESV) “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.” Thus, the “me” I am praying against, is my flesh. Without God, it is impossible for man to do what is right. When we accept Christ and give Him our entire being, we give everything including the bad that dwells in us. As we walk on the path of salvation, we are in the process of transformation. Praying against the works of our flesh can assist that process.
Praying against yourself is not the most tasteful thing to digest. The Bible says that the carnal mind is enmity against God (Romans 8:7). Therefore, it is natural for you to find opposition within. It comes from your flesh.
Paul said something powerful when he wrote, “I die daily.” (1 Corinthians 15:31). That death was not a natural death. He is talking about the death of his flesh. People often reference satan, but there is an enemy of man that is closer than the devil. That is the flesh.
If unconquered, it could cost anyone their place on this team, and ultimately the Kingdom. How do we conquer it? Spiritually! And one way is praying against yourself.
My Personal Testimony
When I initially accepted Christ, I did not know God or the things of God. I was straight out of the world. It didn’t take long for me to understand that I would need a lot of help. The Bible says that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (2 Corinthians 10:4). That means there is nothing you or I can do in the natural that will prepare us for this spiritual team.
As I understood this, when conviction came from what I read or heard in the Word of God, I knew I would need more than an “Amen.” Sure, there were things that I naturally repented and turned from, but how does someone repent from ungodly desires, feelings, and inner struggles?
What I needed was more than just a turn – I needed God to go into my inner man and transform me. I was mean, unforgiving, prideful, rebellious, and angry, to name a few. I needed God’s help to submit to His will for my life because I still wanted my way. Being conscious of this, I was determined to fight for the prize and gain Christ.
So, I spent years asking God to remove ungodly things out of me. I am a fighter, no longer naturally, but spiritually. Any time I noticed something wicked rising from within, I would bind it up in the spirit. Jesus told us that whatever we bind on earth it would be bound in heaven (Matthew 16:19). I believed the Word and applied it. I bound up who I used to be before Christ and loosed submission to the work of God in my life. This made my transformation so powerful because I chose to fight in the war that happens on the inside when you decide to live for God.
SO, WHATS THE PLAY CALL?
If you’re wondering how to advance in your spiritual fitness, pray against yourself. It’s not as bad as it sounds. Essentially, you are commanding yourself to submit to Jesus (James 4:7). The reality is this – living for God is not as easy as people say. Be truthful with God and yourself. You know the secret things that rumble on the inside. Bind up that other man called your flesh.
Like bodily exercise, you have to press past the burn so that you can shed that unnecessary weight. As you continue, you will be able to look in the mirror and see a beautiful work of God in the making.
I hope this testimony and encouragement helps you.
I love you. Be blessed.