Live like a dead person

I know… controversial right? What came to your mind when you read this title? Isn’t death the end of living? Or is it…?

What comes to your mind when you read the following verse?afterlife-743492

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life,appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” – Colossians.3:2-4

What if I told you the first verse in that chapter says: Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

Death in its physical term is the state of being unconscious, unaware, not listening, not watching or understanding about what is going on with you or around you. If you are dead you don’t feel the pain or hurt that some body caused you, neither do you take pleasure in the good things that happen to you or around you. We have all heard of the saying that “We only value what we have only when we have lost it.” And so I think we understand living better only when we die. Not die as in the physical terms but die to all material and worldly things that we hold dear. Why? Because, these are the very things that keep us bound, the very things that enslave us and the very things that stop us from true living. 

When we die to our old-self that was very self-centred, proud and all-about-me kind of person and start to live with the new-self that Christ gave us, which is Christ-centred, humble and all-about-Christ kind of person, then true living, true freedom begins. 

Once I read an awesome book called ‘Secrets of Victory’ by Brother Zac Poonen (You can read for free here: Secrets of Victory). In this book Brother Zac talks about how when our pride is ‘deflated’, the opinion and insults and back stabbing of others will never matter to us. Because In Christ we know who we are and all other opinions fade in the light of that truth. 

When I first heard of the term “a pebble in my shoe”, I thought about how this so small pebble can be soo irritating that at times you have to stop your walk to take it out of your shoe. I’m sure we all have these ‘pebble in my shoe’ moments every day of our lives. Small irrelevant ‘problems’ or even inconveniences that just irritate us so much because they are not how we want them to be. But what if we were running, what if there was something more important in our mind than that tiny pebble that’s making our journey a little uncomfortable? If our minds are ‘set on the things above’, these small petty things become so irrelevant and insignificant. Then we see our foolishness in getting so caught up with them. Then the fact that someone misplaced our book from its usual place, or the train was delayed a couple of minutes  or the fact that it rained when we didn’t want it, become so minute in the grand vision of what GOD has placed before us. 

Changing our perspective heavenwards in times when we are tempted to focus and be gripped by those situations will free us from unnecessary bitterness and time wasted arguing in things that don’t have eternal meaning. 

“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” – Philippians.1:21

No comfort by the graveside

lazarusSaul was once a man of God. He obeyed God and banned any idol worship and witchcraft. Yet, when he realised the Lord wasn’t with him, he thought of no other way than to turn to his old self and things that he once despised to find answers and comfort (1st Samuel.28). He awakened Samuel’s spirit, only to receive his curse and the worst things that lay ahead. 

We, like Saul were once children of darkness, waking in ways we thought best before our eyes. But, when Jesus came and gave us light, we died and were raised to a new life. Our oldself buried in Golgotha, while we walk in the freedom of the new Jerusalem. 

“For if we have been united with Him like this in His death, we will certainly also be raised to life as He was. We know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be rendered powerless, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.” (Romans.6:5-6)

So why is it from time to time we visit the grave of our old-person, hoping to find comfort? Is there peace or ease in death? I once heard a lady in church give a testimony. She said, “Although I’ve been a Christian for a long time, I find myself putting back on and dragging the chains Christ had already broken and removed from my life.”  It sounds strange to wish for the worst and harmful, when we have already seen their devastating and captivating effects. Yet, that’s what sin does…it waits close by and in your moment of weakness, it drags you from your home of grace back to the grave of your old-self. 

“If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” (Genesis.4:7)

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1Peter.5:8)

The Christian life is a war, a battle of the mind and heart. Evil intentions of the past against the righteousness of the new spirit. To win, we must train hard (pray), know our battle strategies (the Word of God) and above all learn the voice of our Commander. So that in the midst of the chaotic battle, we may learn to understand His guide. 

“For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.” (Galatians.5:17)

“So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death. Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans.7:21-25a)

********* “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians.5:1) **********

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