Tuesday, November 21, 2006
No Longer Flesh Bags, Pt. 3
(What follows is part 3 of my series, “No Longer Flesh Bags.” I pick up with the last paragraph of part 2.)
With centuries of practice it is now common for men and women to live by the flesh and call it normal – it’s all they know because it’s all they have. But get alone with someone and they might admit that life isn’t at all satisfying and that it doesn’t work. You and I know it’s because, having been designed for something more, all they have is flesh. They’re left to walking “in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God,…” (Eph 4:17,18 NAS)
No one can live like that.
Living without God’s life is impossible; it’s a caricature, a perversion and cruel joke of life. It’s the sad lot of Pinocchio, who, while walking and talking and interacting with the world around, had not life. That he one day realized it was the gift of an irresistible itch.
For us, Pinocchio’s itch is answered in Christ - thank God. Since Jesus, “the way, the truth and the life,” made His entrance into us, we’re not flesh bags anymore! "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:6
NAS, italics mine.) Jesus has successfully made us spirit, new creations now filled with God, now filled with life! Remember? That’s why He came in the first place, “that you might have life.” (John 10:10; 1 John 5:12)
While I know who and what I was born - a pagan-natured flesh bag - I know who and what I have been born a second time – a godly-natured spirit, a son filled with life. Where at one time I was by nature an object of wrath (Eph 2:3), I have become by nature an exalted son! (Eph 2:6) What a miracle.
You and I know that while I still have a monster (flesh), and can walk in the manner of a monster (by the flesh), I am not a monster! I have an enemy, but I am not an enemy of God; the enemy is not me. God has a problem, but it is not me. I am not God’s problem anymore. Without making excuse for sin (more about that next time) if I believe I am the problem, if I believe I am the reason for my stumbling, for my sinning against God and against you, I am deceived. (And the natural course of deception is that I’m off course but don’t know it.) I’ll usually make war on sin, which, in my thinking, usually means I make war on myself. If I think “I’m bad,” or “I’m the problem,” then where does my attention and where do my efforts go? Right at me…or the “me” I think I am. And that forces me into a double life.
Luther Price wrote: “Be what you is, not what you ain’t; ‘cause if you ain’t what you is, you is what you ain’t.” In other words if you believe you are something (the flesh) when, in fact, you are not, the life you live will be a false one. You won’t live as you really are and have become because you’ll believe you’re something else; you’ll live as you ain’t.
And that’s a mess. But you’re no mess. You’re better off than you think.