Friday, March 30, 2007

Choked Out

Yesterday I was in a situation where I had to hold my breath for a considerable amount of time. I'd trot out of the room, take a gulp of fresh air and then go back in. With each trip in, I became more and more weak. The oxygen that was getting to my brain was far too short in supply and my body was feeling the result. I was a bit light–headed and dizzy and ready to stop and take some big deep breaths of clean air. Of course, as out of shape as I am, this all happened relatively quickly, but that's insignificant really.

What it did get me thinking however was this. Each and every day, every moment, I must choose to live by the Spirit and not gratify the desires of my sinful nature. Some days those desires are strong, on other days, it seems my spirit is soaring and in complete control. Of course this all depends on the level of my surrendering my will. When I choose to walk as a member of a royal priesthood belonging to God (1 Peter 2:9), I take the necessary steps to choke out the sin in my life that wants to entangle me. Just like the instance where my physical body was being denied oxygen and would eventually die as a result, my sin nature needs to be choked out. If I instance by instance deny my flesh the "fuel" (sin) that it needs to flourish, then I am truly learning to walk by the spirit. A lifestyle of this is in fact, choking out and killing my flesh.

1 Peter 2:24 states, "He Himself (Jesus) bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness…" For those that have embraced the reality of the cross, freedom and power abounds. I'm not who I once was - I'm a new creation being formed into the likeness of the one that came and gave Himself for me. Today, I choose to choke out this rotting flesh that attempts to deceive me into thinking that it's alive and well. In God's presence is life–giving breath that will not just sustain me – it will catapult me into a new level of life yet unseen.

So what about you? Are you willing to eliminate every stronghold in your life and run your absolute hardest after Jesus? (Feel free to discuss what this practically means to you.)

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