Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Dead to the World

Scripture:  Romans 6 v 11 - 13: "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
 12  Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
 13  Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God."

Colossians 2 v 20: "Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances."

Colossians 3 v 2 - 4: "Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 
 3  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
 4  When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory."

Being dead to the world is a common saying that means being in a deep sleep.  But in the Biblical sense it means something altogether different.

We are united with Christ in His death, and in His resurrection, which gives us eternal life now.  When we die we will pass immediately into the presence of God and our Heavenly existence will be all we ever hoped for.

To be sure we can achieve this blissful state, we need to realise and accept that the world must lose its attraction as we turn our eyes upon Jesus and follow Him on a spiritual path.  The world system must become alien to us, and no longer applicable to our new life in Christ.

We are a new creation in Christ, we are no longer only human, but are part of the divine Body of Jesus.  When we are filled with the Holy Spirit it is impossible to break any laws.  We are, or should be, subject to the will of God in everything.

God's ways and thoughts are higher than ours.  We still think on the finite level while He is on the infinite.  He has no boundaries and can magnificently interact with every human, or new creation, at once and constantly.  His love promises us: "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8 v 28.

Everything works together for good when we are fulfilling His purpose!  That is the secret of being a new creation.  We must be dead to the demands, hungers, attractions and principles of this world, and conform to the higher order of His will and purpose for our lives.

It may not be comfortable or convenient or even sensible to blindly obey His commands but He knows what happens next and has the wisdom we lack.  The Bible says that it is no longer I that lives but Christ who lives in me.  This is the huge difference between Christianity and worldly religions.  Take Christ out of Christianity and we have inanity.  That about sums up the world's religions.

Consider this....we are no longer alive because we are seated in Christ in heavenly places.  We are born again and translated to heaven, forgiven and sinless in Spirit.  Our spirit has gone and the Spirit of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, now dwells in us.  Our inner core is Jesus Himself.  He now has to deal with our soul and flesh that still need taming.

We must leave everything in the Lord's hands.  Trust Him with everything and He will never let us down.  We may not see the sense of some actions or decisions, but there is always an unseen higher purpose.  The only danger is when we reject God's will for us and continue to do our own thing.

A dear friend of mine was sent on a mission to Europe during their winter time.  Her trip was extended and it was now summer and she had no cool clothes.  While in a Scottish church she prayed for the Lord to provide some summer clothing.

When she left the church the car she was in had been burgled and her suitcase of winter wear was gone.  One of the ladies from the church meeting invited her to her home.  In a cupboard she had a full collection of summer clothes she had bought to motivate a diet two years before.  She never lost the weight and gave the whole lot to my friend.  God answers prayer in mysterious ways when we are dead to the world and alive to Him.

We need a deeper understanding of being dead to the world.  The world is sinful, unruly, corrupt, greedy, sexually explicit, addicted, warlike, slanderous, and full of disease.  There is no such thing as world peace.  That's an oxymoron.  The world is a war zone with many minefields, traps and hidden menace.

Peace comes from Jesus, who is the Prince of Peace, which is the highest possible type of peace in the universe. The world's peace is a tranquilizer or a bottle of whisky.  That wears off and becomes addictive, but the peace of Jesus remains forever.  

Peace is a fruit of the Holy Spirit and if we have this fruit growing in our lives we can transmit it to others.  Luke 10 v 3 - 6: "Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.
 4  Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way.
 5  And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house.
 6  And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again."

Seek the Lord to find our true purpose.   As we come in line with His will and purpose, He will reveal it to us.  He does not withhold anything, but rather waits until the world has lost its grip and we become dead to its lure.  Only then will He be able to control the circumstances around us, and let us flow into them, to achieve what He created us to be and do.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, open our eyes to the dangers of living in two kingdoms, where we still cling to the world while being a citizen of Heaven.  Let us choose to die to the tempting pleasures of this world so we can find the narrow path that leads to Life.  Teach us to love, give and pray till it hurts.  We are Your children and part of each other.  We want to live the life and purpose You have chosen for us.  In Jesus' name. Amen.