Thursday, August 25, 2011

Where I am right now...

  Self must die. I am a believer, I passed the test of 1 John*, but there is still much flesh to mortify in this life of mine.
  Leviticus-- My reading today was on the uncleanness of and cleanness of leprosy (a flesh disease that kills). When you are unclean you must live alone, outside the city. If your clothes are unclean they must be burned. Being unclean wasn't pitied or tolerated, it was severed. When being pronounced clean there was a ceremony that the priests went through. The right ear, right thumb and right big toe of the individual being pronounced clean was smeared first in blood (death) and then in oil (Spirit), and then they were clean.
  Our unclean flesh cannot be lived with, cannot be tolerated, it MUST go to the Cross.
  I picked up "Born Crucified" and the chapter I am at just happens to be "The Cross and the Flesh". So many good things are in this chapter. The hardest though is the list of ways the flesh is still alive in believers, the list of fleshly things that MUST yet be killed.
The victorious believer will become aware of many forms of self which must yet be dealt with. We shall discover:
- in our service to Christ, self-confidence and self-esteem;
- in the slightest suffering, self-saving and self-pity;
- in the least misunderstanding, self-defense and self-ivindication;
- in our station in life, self-seeking and self-centeredness;
- in the daily routine, self-pleasing and self-choosing;
- in our relationships, self-assertiveness and self-respect;
- in our education, self-boasting and self- expression;
- in our desires, self-indulgence and self-satisfaction;
- in our successes, self-admiration and self-congratulation;
- in our failures, self-excusing and self-justification;
- in our spiritual attainments, self-righteousness and self-complacencey;
- in our public ministry, self-reflection and self-glory
Finally, in our life as a whole, we will discover self-love and selfishness. The flesh is an "I" specialist. ... Vast areas of the flesh must yet be crucified. We must become Christ-like. As an old black Christian in Africa put it: "The Cross of Christ condemns me to become a saint."
  And in Acts 7 (the other chapter in the Bible I read this morning) you'll see the flesh hates being called out by the Spirit. The two are at enmity with one another. The Flesh stoned Stephan, but the Spirit lived on. Stephan's last words were a prayer uttered for the lives of those flesh-controlled men: "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge." (Acts 7:60)
  Romans 8 is a beautiful chapter of over-coming truth, powerful grace, and glorious freedom in Christ in the midst of a world that hates the Spirit and will hunt us down to kill us because we possess it (the Spirit). "To live is Christ, to die is gain." Do you think the flesh utters such words? Lord, mortify my flesh through the thousand daily choices I make. I must decrease THAT You might increase. How will I live to suffer and die if I won't even die to fleshly desires?
[Journal Entry]

*(take the test)

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