Give Me That Mountain

Dead but Alive

A Change of Mind. Day thirteen...

“I can't live without my _____?” What would you put in the blank?

  • Cell phone?
  • Music?
  • Dog?
  • Chocolate?
  • Job?
  • Ice cream?

We say things like, “I just couldn't live without my coffee,” in a joking sort of way. But taking away coffee would be no joking matter for many people. Taking anything off of our lists is no joking matter.

lots of coffee

While we don't seriously think that we would die from being deprived of some of our favorite things, we might act like it if they were actually taken away.

This is our human nature speaking.

This is our flesh (as the Bible describes it) speaking.

Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:36‐41 ESV)

Jesus went to Gethsemane with eleven of His disciples (Judas was off betraying Him). He told eight of the men to sit and wait on Him. He then took Peter, James, and John aside and told them to sit still and watch with Him. And Jesus went a little ways farther to pray by Himself.

When He returned from praying it appears that everybody had fallen asleep. I don't know if being up past their bedtimes had something to do with it, but I do know, from Luke 22:45, that the main reason they fell asleep was because of the sorrow they were feeling.

Have you ever been under so much pain and grief that you just fell asleep to escape it?

Would you ever criticize someone else for falling asleep because he or she was just emotionally wrung out? Well, Jesus did. Jesus criticized this response in the disciples as weakness of the flesh (human nature).

Whenever we want to say, “I'm just going to die if I can't sleep this off,” or make any other concession to our flesh (human nature), we don't think we have any other choice. But Jesus tells us we do have another choice.

We give in only because we are controlled by our flesh, and our flesh is weak. We are not, however, just flesh. We have a willing spirit within us. Jesus wants us to to take control of our lives by the willing spirit within us through the power of His Spirit.

If you want to better understand the difference between the flesh and the spirit I encourage you to study the entire series titled “Understanding Identity.” At the least, take a look at this article.

While we might think we're going to die if we don't satisfy our flesh, God says just the opposite. He says we'll die if we do.

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. (Romans 8:13 ESV)

With all this in mind let's take another look at what Paul wrote to the Galatians:

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 KJV)

What a strange concept to the human mind! When I die to my human nature I'm actually still alive—but not like I used to be. I am joined to Christ. It is Christ who makes me truly alive.

Have a good day,
Mike

Image credit: Joe Wolf

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