“6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Romans 8:6-7
Many who attempt to live this Christian life outside of God’s Prescribed Order which is faith in the Cross of Christ, daily walk in enmity against God. With the sincerest of hearts they worship Him, yet with all of THEIR might they daily attempt to live for Him in their flesh. For them there is no life nor peace but an ever ending condemnation of death; spiritual death.
“And He said to them all, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23
One cannot follow Christ Jesus until they deny themselves. Self efforts, self will, abilities, talents and education are laid to utter waste by the Cross of Christ which divides asunder the soul and spirit (Hebrews 4:12). Because so many of those who truly love the Lord have not the understanding of denying ourselves, the cross of which we bear is heavy…too heavy.
“28 Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
The Cross of Christ was a place of great suffering for our Lord Jesus but for us it is a place of great blessing. All that we receive from God comes through the Cross of Christ. Jesus Christ is, was and will forever be the Way, the Truth and the Life. His eyes roam the earth to and fro searching for those whose hearts are perfect toward Him; to strengthen them for His Glory and not our own (2 Chronicles 16:9). The finished work of Jesus is sufficient for whosoever will believe. Precept upon precept and line upon line, His strength is perfected in our weakness and our faith authored when humbly submitted unto God through faith in His Prescribed Order for our Salvation AND our Sanctification…Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
“And He said unto me, My Grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
The good fight of faith, faith in the Cross of Christ, is not just for ‘others’ but for you, for me and for every Saint of God who draws breath. This is not a one time fight at Salvation but a fight to be fought daily. No, we don’t get Saved daily. No one, no not a one, can pluck us from the Palm of God’s Hand when our faith remains in the Cross of Christ. We must, however, deny ourselves daily, pick up our cross and follow Jesus which requires that this fight of faith must be ever present within our lives…otherwise we will be carnally minded and at enmity with God. God forbid no!
“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto you are also called, and have professed a good profession before many witnesses.” 1 Timothy 6:12
Sinners are called to believe and Believers are called to follow Jesus. I would like to kindly remind my Brothers and Sisters in Christ that we cannot follow Jesus until we have denied ourselves. We must all prayerfully consider daily whether we have denied our own abilities to walk in the footsteps God has ordered for our lives or have we embraced our abilities while on the mountain only to be stricken with fear while in the valley. The yoke of which we carry is better recognized in the valley. Trials and tribulations will remain but so too will the peace which passes all understanding when we follow Christ Jesus and partake in His Yoke and His burden…for it is easy and light. Recognize the yoke.
-Donna Clark Warren