Die to Live
“For if ye live after (according to) the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify (put to death) the deeds of the body, ye shall live.“ Romans 8:13
I have been tempted with various things in my life and while some temptations change from one year to the next, there are some that always remain constant. The flesh is always roaring and ready to go, and it will dominate your desires and decisions if you allow it. The flesh wants what the flesh wants, and we must come to understand that it cannot ever be trusted. We must not give it an inch or it will take a mile, and once it had gone the mile, it will require the destruction of our life.
I was attending a Sun Devil football game one Saturday afternoon when I got a text from an old high school friend. The text simply read, “Do you still go to church?” I replied yes, and he asked if we could meet up for dinner sometime. I had not seen my friend in several years, and I really did not know what to expect. I am not sure why he wanted to meet, but it seemed urgent so I made plans to meet him as soon as possible.
My friend poured his heart out to me, and he divulged that he had been living in sin for many, many years. He explained to me that his sin had caught up with him and he was potentially facing 20 years in prison, if convicted. My heart ached with his as he told me this, and he was in a truly broken place. He was repentant of the things he had done, and he told me of the steps he was taking to do what was right. He sought restoration with those he had hurt and sinned against, and he wished he could turn back the hands of time to change the decisions he had made.
My friend spent many years away from the Lord and he thought he was living his best life apart from God. He felt God had spoken to him throughout the years, but he simply ignored God and continued living the way he wanted. He lived in the world and his desires were for the things of the world. He did not realize how far he had drifted from God until the day came when God brought him to the end of himself. My friend lost his career, most of his family, friends, and countless things that he cherished. He lived after the flesh, and he felt the bitter sting of death that the flesh brings. I know many may look down on my friend, but I know this danger is real for al of us.
I remember examining my own life as my friend spoke to me, and I realized all the areas of my life in which I was following after my flesh. I was terrified of the consequences of sin as sin always brings about death. I have come to know that sin brings about terrible consequences and it is often ugly and destructive. It was hard to see my friend go though the criminal courts, and it was hard to see him go away to prison. We will all give an account to God for the sins we have committed, and we will always reap what we sow. The positive aspect of that truth is if we will die to our flesh, we will reap the rewards of living for God. My friend is now living for God and experiencing a walk with Him as he never has before. He is experiencing life as God designed it to be, and I am encouraged by His walk with God, even behind bars.
Where are you today friend? Are you living after the flesh? Are you living to satisfy all that your flesh desires and wants? Solomon experienced all that the world could offer and said “all is vanity (useless and vain)”. Will you die to sin or will you die to the flesh with the help of the Spirit? God desires that we live unto Him and experience the victory He has won for us. Will you live according to the flesh and die, or will you “put to death” your flesh, so that you may live? May we live to please the Father, and may we honor Him as we live our life.
Stay in the fight!