The Christian Walk

Crucifying the Flesh

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

-Galatians 5:24

What does it mean to become a Christian? I know that is a pretty heavy question with a myriad of answers. Is it a way of life? A belief system? A moral compass? Yes, it is all of those, but it really boils down to one single thing:

The choice to dedicate your life to God.

It is not defined by the amount of time you spend at church or in scripture. It is not the good deeds you do. It is not how much money you offer.

It is giving your life to God. All. Of. It.

Christianity is not lived on our terms. It is not about if you feel like doing something. It is not about convenience. It is not about your will for your life.

It is giving your life to God. All. Of. It.

We don’t get to pick and choose Christianity. When we make the decision to be baptized, we acknowledge that our flesh will be crucified and we will go forth living our lives according to the Spirit. Sometimes that is an easy task, others, it is a moment by moment decision.

Galatians 2:20 paints the picture as to how much of a total sacrifice it is.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life that I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.

(Are you singing the song in your head yet?)

I no longer live. When we choose to become a Christian we die to our life in the flesh. It is no longer my wants or desires or agendas. From that point forward, I choose to allow Christ to rule my being.

It is one major decision followed by a constant reaffirmation of that choice. Satan bates us with our human desires. Romans 6:12-13 tells us it is up to us to decide that we will no longer allow for this to happen.

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.

Satan pressures us to choose to live by the flesh and we are caught in a push-pull. Living life by the Spirit is something we have to deliberately resolve to do.

Often, we have parts of our old self which we want to hold onto, the things that connect us with the world around us. Maybe it’s our ego or the money we earn. Sometimes it’s unhealthy relationships we don’t want to sever or a habit we don’t want to part with.

Christianity is not about being a “good enough” Christian. We can’t live our life in two different worlds. Either we are in or we are out. Either we adapt our lives to follow the Spirit or continue in the flesh. In Romans 8:5-6, Paul spells out this battle.

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.

Either your mind is governed by the flesh or the Spirit. Either/or, not both.

I challenge you to examine yourself. What rules your mind? Are you focused on allowing Christ to live through you? Are you holding on to a fleshly desire, hoping what you have given to God is good enough?

When you are immersed, you are immersed into Christianity. Your whole body is immersed. Your whole life is immersed. Nothing goes untouched. The challenge is to continue to hold onto that immersion.

Satan would love to separate you from that. He knows your weakest points. But, by constantly reaffirming your commitment to allow Christ to reign in your body, you give Satan less and less space with which to work.

It takes discipline and commitment. It takes a willingness to sacrifice. It takes a readiness for all Satan is willing to throw at you.

But, the reward is great, far greater than all that might be gained by holding onto our fleshly desires. Always, always remember who you are working for and what you are working toward.

Eternity with our Heavenly Father.

As always, if you have further questions, ideas or want to study, I am available at TheRefreshingWell@gmail.com.

Mandy

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One thought on “Crucifying the Flesh

  1. Pingback: The Offering of Worship | The Refreshing Well

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