Romans 8:5-6, 12-13
5 For those who live according to the flesh have their outlook shaped by the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their outlook shaped by the things of the Spirit. 6 For the outlook of the flesh is death, but the outlook of the Spirit is life and peace, 12 So then, brothers and sisters, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh 13 (for if you live according to the flesh, you will die), but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live.
I do not imagine that many of us, when we came to Christ, were eager to die. We had just been given eternal live – death was probably not on our minds. Somehow we were tricked into thinking that this Christian life was to be a cushy one. No pain, rose-tinted glasses, maybe even prosperity. Certainly not suffering or hardship.
Where was the disconnect? Christ made it clear that in this world we would have trouble. That we would be hated because of Him. Not much of a salesman, it seems. He said we would have to carry our own cross, too. Who would want to follow that plan? Perhaps it is because of our view of death.
The flesh wants us to live for self. We want to live! God placed eternity in our souls – a desire to continue past this space and time, but the way our lives are lived might be the problem. It is all about us – our pleasure, our peace, our way – until the LORD opens our eyes to see. To really see. Not just a temporary view of our fallen nature, but the realization that there truly is no good thing in our corrupt flesh.
The grace of God enters and we are changed. Over time we can forget what we were saved from and begin to think the righteousness was our own, God forbid. Why would we be redeemed and then called to die? Because living for self means we do not see the hurt all around us. Living for self means we are not living for the Kingdom of God. When we accepted that free gift of salvation, it was a call to die and live solely for Jesus and His glorious kingdom.
Die, friend. In the best sense of the word. Dying to self means we are alive in Christ. Live sold out to Jesus, available to His call and make the flesh submit to His will – You belong to Him.
Lord, help us to not lose the sight and understanding You gave us. We want to be used by You – effective to minister to others all for Your glory. Thank You for dying for us, LORD. We will never be worthy of all You have done for us.