The Subtlety of Flesh

 

The Subtlety of Flesh by Frank Rauck
 
            I have recently come to know Frank Rauck and his friendship
            is truly a gift: a
gift that I am very grateful for. I asked his 
            permission to copy this article which is on h
is web site:
            
http://www.lifeoffaith.ning.com. I strongly recommend his
            web site:
very good spiritual intimacy materials! Jack
 
What a subtle trap flesh is! We are redeemed; crucified, dead and buried in Christ; we are raised to new Life in Him; and yet, we cling to the old life as it would pull us down to the depths like a drowning swimmer. This is never more true than with the Christian seeking to hear the voice of God – the man or woman of God looking for what God would call them to do so that they can get busy and do something for God. What is more pathetic than the Christian complaining that he doesn't feel the presence of God? This is self centered; this is flesh. Harsh words, I know, but we all have been there. God wants us to move on.
 
We err when we think we can do something for God. "I am crucified with Christ . . ." (Galatians 2: 20a) Our old man is dead and buried. How could a dead man hope to do anything for God? Yet we know that within each of us "flesh" continues to thrive, putting enmity between us and God. Flesh cannot serve God; God hates flesh.
 
". . . nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20b) No matter how we feel, if we are a redeemed believer, Jesus Christ lives in us. This is the promised "abundant life"; this is the "life of faith"; this is the "resurrected life." "For to me, to live IS Christ . . ." (Philippians 1:21) It is for this purpose that Christ came. This life "by the faith of the Son of God" is there for the taking. It has already been given, ready to be appropriated by you and me. To ask for it to be given is like the child who presents his Christmas list on Christmas morning as the gifts sit under the tree unopened.
 
Our role is to submit (Romans 12: 1); God's role is to live His life in and through us. Our part is easy (or at least it should be). All we have to do is to keep out of the way and let God be God. We rest; He works. That is not to say that our bodies will not be doing hard work; indeed, God may have us digging ditches, scrubbing floors or cleaning out toilets. He may have us preaching, teaching, or even writing blogs. But it is He that ". . . worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." (Philippians 2:13)
 
We don't need to wait for marching orders. We don't need to try this door and that door to see what opens up to us. We don't need to fret about whether or not we are in God's will. I once knew a woman who told me that as she would come to an intersection while driving her car, she would pray, "Now, Lord, if the light is green, I'll turn to the right, and if it's red, I'll turn to the left (hopefully after it turned green again). Now, that's just plain silly. I'm not sure how she ever made it home at the end of the day. But it's the kind of game many of us play as we try to figure out God's will for our lives. Our role is to submit; His role is to live through us. Usually, we don't realize it when it's happening. Sometimes we look back and see how God worked through us. Sometimes we never know how we've been used. Only flesh demands to know.
So as you go to work, to school, to the grocery or to Home Depot, present your body as a living sacrifice for God to use any way He wants to. Greet your co-workers with a smile; they'll see Christ smiling at them. Extend your hand to your classmate; they'll feel the touch of Christ. Give a kind word to the store clerks. they'll hear the voice of Jesus.
 
We don't need to hear the voice of God or to feel His presence in order for Him to work through us. We only need to be available. Anything more is flesh.