My Flesh Is Dead!
I could feel my flesh battling the Spirit within me. It was so clear to me—the discrepancy—which desires were my own and which were of a higher nature. Finally—I released, my flesh to let the Spirit in. The longer I worshipped, the stronger He was in me. The longer I served, the more I grasped the eternal value of every saving word He spoke.
I was denied. I was sold out. It was never about me, and it never will be. I abandoned my flesh to the dirt where it belongs. And now, my flesh is dead.
The truth of dualities is in which side we choose.
Bad - Good
Death - Life
Spirit - Flesh
On Thursday, we continued in our Death is Dead series with a message from Dustin about what it means to be a new creation. Looking to 2 Corinthians 5:17 for reference, Dustin pointed out that “new creation” means our lives are a direct contrast to what they were before, an opposite turn from the path that leads to death. Newly made in Christ, we can discern what is good. We are carriers of life. We are no longer guided by our flesh but by the Spirit. We are on the right sight of the duality.
Before we were transformed, our automatic, unchecked way of being was congruent with death. Just think about who we were before we knew Jesus, or who we are on the days or moments we let our own desires win. We are controlled and limited by our flesh, which is like a physical bondage that keeps us from understanding, much less participating in the things of God. Our flesh puts us on the wrong side of the duality.
The key to living on the right side is keeping our flesh dead. Jesus said it similarly to His disciples:
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)
We have to deny our own will and even our own thoughts to truly be a disciple of Jesus, because when we choose ourselves over the new work that God is doing in us every day, we re-create what was already put to death by the cross. For worse, we undo what Jesus did and are a stumbling block to Him. In a moment of weakness, Peter did what we all do every day (believed his flesh more than Jesus), and Jesus replied, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns" (Matthew 16:23). A serious rebuke for a serious command: to deny every desire and belief that is “natural” to us.
But here’s the good news: when we choose to live in the Spirit, who is constantly remaking us and renewing our minds, we are living sold out—outside of ourselves, and for a greater purpose that is the Gospel of Jesus. We get to leave death behind and participate in the great, great plans of the Lord. And we know He has great plans (plans our flesh could never dream of) even in our city. If denying ourselves means working through the power of the Spirit with hundreds of other young adults throughout the city to bring revival, then sign us up. We’ll leave our flesh at home with our pride, fear, and the rest of our worthless belongings.
The longer we live like this, the more powerful God is in us because we are more surrendered to Him than our flesh. This kind of life, as a disciple of Christ, is true freedom and joy.
To live, leave your flesh to die!
Blessings on blessings,
The HOME Downtown Team