DayBreaks for 11/16/16: The Flesh Will Not Die Quietly
From the DayBreaks archive, November 2006:
In my capacity as a pastor and as a former associate chaplain for the police department in the town where we used to live, I have had the occasion to be present at several deathbeds to watch people die and leave this world behind. Some have been old, others young, some of the deaths were expected, some were not. But one thing that never ceases to amaze me is how hard the body fights to continue to live. Even those who are dying of horrible diseases, who have suffered tremendous indignity and pain for years untold, seem to have the same thing happen when the time actually comes: the body fights to stay alive. The flesh seems to have a mind of its own at those moments. I know that some of those who I watched die would much rather have departed and gone a long time ago, but the flesh would not die quietly. I think it is because we were not made to die in the beginning – and it is a vestige of that fact that makes the body fight to the bitter end.
We will all die someday, and we all hope our passing will be peaceful and calm – and quick. But Paul, the great warhorse missionary, put it in a different perspective in 1 Cor. 15:31 when he wrote: I die every day–I mean that, brothers–just as surely as I glory over you in Christ Jesus our Lord. In what sense did Paul die every day? I believe he was stating his goal, even his desire, that each and every day he would die to himself, to his wanting his own way and desires more than he wants those of the Lord. And certainly, it is true that THIS part of the flesh doesn’t die quietly. It fights to the very end to dominate our spiritual selves. Paul understood something that we may not yet have grasped: that if we want to have life after this life, we need to die before we die.
You know the verses as well as I: if we strive to save our lives, we will lose them, and if we lose our lives for Jesus sake, we will find real life. Other verses talk about putting to death the old man, the old nature that is fleshly and out of alignment with God and things of the Spirit. The flesh dies hard. But it must die if we are to be fully pleasing to Him.
PRAYER: Father, when pride fills our hearts about something we’ve done, please let us glimpse Jesus. Let us see His glory and be put into a proper sense of perspective that we may be truly humble before You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.