“My people perish for lack of knowledge,” the Lord makes clear in Hosea 4:6.
Knowledge is the tool to learn the process of dying in the spiritual sense. God calls every Christ-follower to “die to the flesh” which, simply stated, is recognizing the mankind was crucified with Christ and buried with Him. Crucifying the sin nature or rather, giving up self-will for God’s will in all things, is a matter of rendering the lusts of the flesh inactive, immobile, irrelevant. We are not called to harm the physical body as many would believe. The “flesh” is the nature of Adam that draws one to act sinfully; to act outside the perfect will of God.
Dying to the nature of the fleshly man ushers rest to the believer. Dying is the epitome of true rest; death is the deepest level of rest. Where many Christ-followers are about more work, what God calls us to is the opposite. Christ calls us to more rest. In such rest, Christ is allowed permission to manifest His completed work through our mortal bodies. We are to turn all over to the life of Christ. In this, “working hard” to be Christ-like is no longer an issue. We have given Him access to our mortal bodies so as to bring the Kingdom of heaven down to the earth. The burden of work is removed because Christ already fulfilled the Law with His life, death, burial, and resurrection. Having established this, our “six days of work” are over and we can now enter into the “seventh day of rest.” Christ our Sovereign is the Rest. His yoke is easy, and His burden is light.
Have you ever known a Christian who is all about, do, do, do and go, go, go and don’t, don’t, don’t? We have to do this, and we have to do that, and we can’t do this or that. If we don’t follow certain denominational rules, we aren’t a faithful follower. The problem with this is that this activity wears one out very quickly and easily. When we sacrifice our flesh and allow Holy Spirit to move through us, Holy Spirit flows freely and with great ease out of His people as would water from a waterfall. Witnessing is then no longer a grueling chore – we are the witness because the True Witness is doing the witnessing, so to speak. People in the world, and in the church, will begin to be drawn to the power and authority with which we now think, speak and walk.
The message of Christ doesn’t change, but the ease and method of presentation does. Either we force God’s Word out of ourselves due to obligation and law, or we allow Christ the liberty to transform us into a heavenly being so as to allow Him to do the convicting in those around us. It is the difference between “Jesus lives in my heart” and “Jesus is my heart and life breath.”
Alexys V. Wolf