“There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens-
A time to be born and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot.”
Our dog, Champ, struggled for quite awhile with arthritis, dementia and accidents in the house so we knew it was time to let him go. After thirteen-and-a-half years of unconditional love we had him put down. Fortunately, I was spared the trip to the vet because of an out-of-town workshop but in all honesty I don’t think I could have gone anyway. Champ’s sweet chocolate-brown face would have prompted me to wait “just one more week.”
In the same way there is a tendency to cling to our old, decrepit sin nature for “just one more week.” Instead of allowing it to lay down in submission to the death of Christ we entertain the thought that it’s really not that bad. Ironically, death is the very essence of life in Christ. Jesus tells us to deny ourselves, follow Him, take up our cross and live in agreement with Him that our “old man” is dead. So, like a seed, the only way to truly live is to die (John 12:24).
Also, if grief and love are experienced in relation to one another, the more I love my pet the harder it is to say goodbye. In the same way, the more I love my flesh the more difficult it is to let it die. The fact is that we ARE crucified with Christ and no longer live, but Christ lives in us. (Galatians 2:20) The rest of the verse says, “The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Because of this I believe that God is grieved when we allow ourselves to be separated from Him by not divorcing ourselves from sin. Allowing our loving God to meet all our needs in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19) is THE WAY God has given us to live in complete freedom. Because we are set apart for Christ as His bride we are to be continually set apart from the flesh, living moment by moment in the reality of its death.
Thankfully, though I miss my dog, I don’t miss my flesh and wish I could live every minute in freedom from it. For now it’s dead weight but in eternity you and I will be completely free from the presence of sin. Thank God for His perfect timing and for giving you the courage to let go of what He says is dead and cling to His promise of abundant life in Christ.
“In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Romans 6:11