Delivered from the Dead Life
Romans 8: 9You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.10But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. (ESV)
9-11But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about. But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells—even though you still experience all the limitations of sin—you yourself experience life on God’s terms. It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s! (The Message)
Clearly, I sit close to death. My tent pegs are set in the valley of the shadow of death. My campfire struggles against the icy blasts of the grave . . . but it does not go out! For the past few days I have been looking at my surroundings and asking, “Why have you placed me here Lord?” I question, not out of complaint, but out of a genuine desire to understand God’s purpose. I want to fully participate in his plan of salvation.
God is delivering me from the dead life by causing me to die completely to self. I know, weird right. But, think about this, when a surgeon is doing a heart surgery they most often stop your heart in order to repair or replace what isn’t working. God operates on our bodies in much the same way.
In this valley of the shadow of death, God is removing all fear. I have some hardcore fleshly reflexes that hinder my spirit from living life to the fullest. God is using my near death experiences to open my eyes to the power that heaven has here on earth, right now.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven . . . (Lord’s prayer)
I’ve said that phrase almost 2,000 times since my birth and I only have a cursory understanding of its meaning. I’ve met men and women who bridge the divide of heaven and earth. I’ve witnessed their discipline and drive towards obedience to the Lord’s will. This is not just a “because he is Jesus” prayer! He invited his disciples into heaven’s activities, which means that it is possible for the rest of us. There is no elite Christian team! We are all ragamuffins, capable of bringing down giants when we die to self and live for Christ.
Lord, reveal heaven to me and may I have the eyes to see your glory on earth. Amen!