A Life That Pleases God
"For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit." Romans 8:5 (NKJ)
The Tennessee Women's prison has an unusual baptistery in their chapel. It's a coffin. For these women, being baptized in a coffin is a powerful visual of their death and burial with Christ. Thereafter, the coffin, which is a permanent fixture in the chapel, becomes a daily reminder that they are no longer slaves to sin and enemies of God. Their old way of living is dead, buried, and gone; and they are now free to live a life pleasing to God.
This is such an awesome truth in ours lives that Billy Graham says, "We should meditate on the truth that we are dead to sin and alive to righteousness, until returning to the old way of living is unthinkable."
While it is true that we are dead to our old life, staying dead is another matter. Often, our dead flesh will raise its ugly head and try to influence our thoughts and actions. If we listen long enough to its demands, we suddenly find ourselves at the graveyard fervently digging up our old flesh, so that it can perform its sinful deeds.
Christians have a responsibility to put to death their old nature through daily surrender or else they cannot live a life pleasing to God. They will begin to think only of themselves again and ways to gratify their flesh. However, those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit will live a life of righteousness free from sin. Those who follow the Holy Spirit will not think about fulfilling the desires of the flesh. Their thoughts are occupied by God's Word, His ways, and purposes.
The Bible tells us in Philippians 4:8, "Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely an admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." So, what dominates your thoughts?
If we only think of ourselves, what we want and our rights, then eventually we'll find ourselves going down the wrong path, one that leads to a stinky life. On the other hand, thinking on things that are pure and worthy brings forth life that is pleasing to God and a witness to others.
If you are in Christ, then the flesh no longer dominates you, my sister. So stop visiting the graveyard. Instead be led by the Holy Spirit by dying daily to your old way of thinking and living. Then, the Spirit of God can create in you a pure life that releases a sweet, pleasing aroma.
Dear Lord, I confess that I often visit the graveyard to free my dead flesh. Help me to keep that person in the grave by yielding solely to Your Holy Spirit so that my life will be pleasing to You, in Jesus' Name, Amen.