This is an article that very few of you want to read. No one wants to hear the Apostle Paul when he writes “I am crucified with Christ yet nevertheless, I live. Not I, but Christ who lives in me. “. All we hear is the “Christ lives in me” part s if this is a literal fact. Christ is at the right hand of the Father right now. He lives through us when we start to live a crucified life.
Living a crucified life is that we become trained, habituated in fact, to walk in the spirit and not fulfill the lusts of our flesh. Logically speaking, if the flesh is “crucified” or “dead” then it has no lusts to fulfill.
Here is how the Holy Spirit works to crucify your flesh of soul. I like there word “soul” to explain this because flesh usually refers to the body. It’s in the soul where the work begins, and then the body obediently follows. Every word or phrase that has “self” in front of it is of the flesh, and for this reason—self absorption must be broken or crucified. Self is usually proud. Even in the most soft spoken, congenial, “go along to get along” people, there is a seething fire of pride hidden from view. Even a desire to seem more dedicated to God than others is pride. It must be crucified.
Here is classic, present-day example.
If you are a person who insists that YOUR plan and YOUR course of action is usually correct, and you tend to struggle to have your own way, the Holy Spirit may set up roadblocks, on purpose and by design to intentionally frustrate you. You will find that in spite of all your efforts to succeed and prosper, you end up failing. So you assume from all the wrong prosperity preaching that has permeated the religious world, that you are cursed, in need of deliverance. I hear this story frequently from people who seek my help to cast out a failure or poverty demon.
In such cases, the Holy Spirit has set out to break your desires and your lust for money and personal success.
There are several compatible scenarios both in the Bible and in everyday life today. Several biblical characters were brought into difficult circumstances and situations in order to renew their souls through the breaking or the crucifixion of their flesh. When the hand of the Holy Spirit is upon us to break us, each of us will struggle with Him, based on our particular personality type. Some have temper tantrums while others throw pity parties. Others who are more intellectual will find that they are made to look foolish, even stupid. Intelligence may be broken down and crucifixion is experienced as sheer ignorance in comparison to the all knowing God. Let us not forget people pleasers and the self-righteous. Simply put, all attachments to the world and its pursuits will be broken. Your inner circle of relationships and friendships will grow significantly smaller
As a pastoral coach, the Holy Spirit uses me with those I work with to challenge and confront every word that has self in front of it. Why? Because our souls must be renewed once we are in Christ. As such, whatever your personality type, the breaking is intended to cause you not to rely on feelings and emotions. Breaking or crucifixion cause us to be committed to the intents and purpose of God. Simply put, this is walking in the spirit and not fulfilling the lusts of the flesh.
I could go on and on with the plethora of examples within my own life. Yet I won’t bore you with the years of incidents that I would have to wrack my brain to even remember. Rather, I will simply speak to the results of “dying to self.”
The most outstanding outcome is that out of what seems like nowhere, a breeze will fall upon you and blow peace into you. The result is a lack of stress, even a good 8-9 hours of sleep without struggling with demons all night.
The Lord says to the church at Laodicea, you are so self consumed that you are weak, poor, blind and wretched. And He would spit the lukewarm out of His mouth. To correct this condition, He advises us to buy gold that has been tried in the fire. To be crucified with Christ is to be tried in the fire. The result is pure gold.
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