It has been a while since my last blog, but I am happy to have some free time to share my thoughts with you once again. Let’s get right to it, shall we? Having already covered the topic of Dying to Self in a blog post from December of 2012, how do we stay “dead”? Not, “play dead”, STAY DEAD!
Well, the truth is that you simply cannot do this in your own strength. There is no amount of human will power that can deal with the corrupting effects of our sinful nature. How many times have you uttered the words, “I will never do that again”, only to do it 1,000 times over. Maybe it’s just me, but when you make a commitment to step away from an unhealthy or sinful habit, that same habit tends to step towards you. Anyone attempting to win a battle over their sinful nature without the Holy Ghost probably brings a knife to a gun fight too.
Here is the definition of dead:
Pay close attention to the 5th definition. I love the wording. Bereft of sensation. The word bereft is the past tense of bereave.
Here is the definition of bereave:
verb (used with object), -reaved or -reft, -reav·ing.
The 2nd definition brings it home as to the mindset we must have concerning our sinful nature: To deprive ruthlessly or by force ANY sensation that does not line up with God’s word.
We do not attempt to do that in our own strength. We do this by God’s strength as we realize that we are no longer obligated to respond to the urgent desires of our sinful nature. It can yell, scream, kick, and pull, but we as Believers are convinced that the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us too! If the Holy Ghost can raise a dead body He can also raise us from anger, lust, and rebellion to peace, love, and righteousness.
It’s His strength, not ours, that makes the difference. I will never forget what the Holy Ghost told me one day in college while battling an intense desire to watch pornography. He said, “Matt, I never told you to live right, I told you to die right and allow Me to live right in YOU”! From that day forward I realized that my problem was never my weakness, it was not acknowledging my strength! In my pride I wanted to use my willpower to stop doing something my flesh loved. I couldn’t.
I needed a will that surpassed mine own. A strength that didn’t come from a place of pride but a place of holy purity. When I submitted to God’s power the Holy Ghost ruthlessly dealt with that perverse sensation I kept having. He didn’t do that one time for me, He does that EVERY time for me. When I choose to die to my will I am alive to His. When I choose to remain alive to my will, I am dead to His.
Staying dead is a choice you will have to make every day. It’s a choice Jesus died for you to be able to make. I am thankful for the choice to die and the grace He has given me to live.
Have a great week!