Wednesday, October 05, 2011
Lifeless Pinocchio got it right.
With centuries of practice since Adam and Eve’s exit from the Garden of Eden, 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—Something’s not right about me!—is answered in Christ. Jesus, “the way, the truth and the life,” makes His entrance into us, and 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 successfully makes us spirit, new creations now filled with God, now filled with life! That’s why He came in the first place, “that you might have life.” (John 10:10; 1 John 5:12)
While you know who and what you were born—a pagan-natured flesh bag—you know who and what you have been born a second time—a godly-natured spirit, a son filled with life. Where at one time you were by nature an object of wrath (Eph 2:3), you have become by nature an exalted son. (Eph 2:6) What a miracle!
You and I know that while we still have a monster (flesh), and can walk in the manner of a monster (by the flesh), we’re not monsters! We have an enemy, but we are not the enemy of God; the enemy is not us. God has a problem, but it is not us. We are not God’s problem anymore. Without making an excuse for sin, if we believe we are the problem, if we believe we are the reason for our stumbling, for our sinning against God and against others, we are deceived. We’ll usually make war on sin, which, in our thinking, usually means we make war on ourselves.
If you believe “I’m bad,” or “I’m the problem,” then where does your attention go and where do your efforts go? Right at you. . .or the “you” you think you are. And that forces you 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. Like Pinocchio, you’ve received life—only yours isn’t simple animation. Your life is God Himself.