On this Memorial Day I am reminded of the countless men and women who serve, have served, and will serve. Inevitably we will lose some of our heroes to conflicts. That is a part of life and one we cannot escape. May God bless all the troops, their families, children, and countless loved ones and friends who miss them while they serve.
I want to discuss being alive and dead. What does it mean to be dead to the flesh and alive in Christ. And most importantly, is it even possible? After all, our spirits are encased in flesh and we won't shed this flesh until we die. That is a fact. Of course, we must start in the Word as that is where life began.
The entire book of Romans is an excellent place to start when you are looking for victory over your flesh. We all have issues that must be overcome, some more obvious than others, nonetheless they exist in us all. Romans 6:6-23 give us SPECIFIC instruction on the Christian Life.
The entire chapter 6 gives us a synopsis as to what it is like to be dead to the flesh. This means it has no power of you any longer. Before Christ we may have been subject to sin feeling powerless against its stronghold. Sin is not always what you think it is either and "forms of godliness" will allow you to overlook sin and continue in it. But Paul tells us that when we accept Christ, we died with Him on the cross - crucifying our flesh. This is important because when Adam fell, the only way to reconcile man to God was through the law, then through Jesus. But we still have to die! "For the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23).
When Jesus died on the cross, it was a symbolic of us crucifying the flesh so we can live SPIRITUALLY. Did it feel good for Jesus to die on the cross? Or be criticized because of His claim of being a Messiah? The same applies to us. No, it is not easy to lead a Christian Life - not going to church, not reading a verse on certain days, not being a "nice" or "good" person, none of these outward acts fool the Lord because He knows our hearts.
Meditate on this if it applies to you because it is something every Christian must deal with throughout their journey. People will make you mad, hurt your feelings, falsely accuse you, envy you, and wish evil on you - that will NOT change. They did it to Christ, and they will do it to you. But what MUST change when you make a decision to follow Christ is your response and walk. People are looking for Christ in you. They want to see if you really believe what you say you believe. When the lady at the nail shop rolls her eyes at you, you may be inclined to "put her in her place," but how is Christ shining through that? Would Christ respond to meanness with meanness? See, sin is not always *obvious* and we cannot always see when we're veering down the wrong path. "For wide is the way to destruction, but narrow is the road to righteousness."
It is not your job to be Jesus, but it is your job as a follower of Christ to FOLLOW Him - for real. Do what He would do, react how He would react, and pray as much as He did. For prayer and the Word are the only things that will keep your flesh under and your spirit alive. Do not be discouraged either because a righteous man fall seven times...and gets back up!
My prayer is that all those who truly seek the Lord will be encouraged and edified. That is the the purpose of this blog.
God Bless you all,