Monday, May 26, 2008

To Be Crucified

No one takes it away from Me. On the contrary, I lay it down voluntarily. [I put it from Myself.] I am authorized and have power to lay it down (to resign it) and I am authorized and have power to take it back again. These are the instructions (orders) which I have received [as My charge] from My Father.
~John 10:18 (Amplified Bible)
Today we honor the lives of those who have served our country and died for our freedom. Today we remember the lives of our family members and friends who have passed from this life to the next. But God laid on my heart a different type of memorial we might want to consider today...the crucifixion of our self. If you are anything like me, it is a daily battle-my flesh side against my spiritual side. I am reminded this morning of Joanna Weavers written drama portraying what it is to crucify our flesh from her book 'Having a Mary Spirit: Allowing God to Change Us From the Inside Out'. I quote from the 6th chapter intro:
"Having acknowledge the existence of Flesh Women, I'm finding that she is becoming more and more real to me. Perhaps too real. This afternoon, for instance, as I pondered how to open this chapter, an idea suddenly came to me in high-definition color. A big-budget blockbuster film complete with soundtrack, closeups, and highly entertaining trailers. (I told you she might be getting a little too real).
The lights go down, the title appears on the screen: Flesh Women Crucified.
The the subtitle: And You Thought Getting Your Weight Under Control Was Hard...
The film opens with Flesh Women slowly making her way through a crowd on the way to her cross. a 683-pound sumo-wrestler chick squeezed into a purple-sequined evening gown. Her flushed but carefully made-up face framed by a cloud of feather boa. Pausing now and then as the background music swells, she waves to all her fans lining the path. Black-mascara tears course down her cheeks as Frank Sinatra sings "I did it my way."
"Wish you didn't have to go!" Gluttony calls from the crowd. Laziness and Procrastination agree, weeping in each other's arms. "Yeah, it hasn't been the same since you left the throne. (Sob!). We're having a tough time getting a break."
"I know, darlings. I know. But as they say, all good things must end." Flesh Women throws her final kisses to her dearest friends. But she's overcome when she see's the crossbeam lying at my feet and the hammer I am holding in my hand.
"Really, my pet," she says, reaching to stroke my arm. "Is all this necessary?"
"I am afraid so," I reply, firm in my resolve and anxious to have it done and over. "Please lie down. It is time."
"But...but...but..." she sputters as I pull her towards her demise. "We need to talk."
She puts up quite a fight, but I am determined. I know I will never have any peace until I obey. "Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires," Paul said in Galatians 5:24. He made it sound so easy. I wonder if Paul had to brawl with a sparkling eggplant in his fight against sin.
With a knee on her chest and one oar pinned to the cross, I attempt to fasten her down. "Think of all you'll miss," she says, struggling to get up.
I try to ignore her, to concentrate on what I must do.
"All these things I do for you!" she adds with a pout.
But I grit my teeth and begin to hum "Have thine own way , Lord have thine own way..." and suddenly He is there.
Having problems? Christ asks.
"Quite a few," I admit. "But I am willing, Lord. I want You to rule and reign in my life."
"What are you talking about?" Flesh Women screams, frailing wildly at the sight on my Master. "I give you everything you want! I make sure you get your own way! Nobody loves you like I do! she wails.
"Here, Lord" I say, stepping back and handing Him the hammer. "I guess it's more than I can do on my own" Christ takes the heavy mallet and kneels down beside my thrashing, frantic flesh.
Be silent. He says (Zechariah 2"13, KJV). And Flesh Women obeys. For all flesh fall silent before the Lord. The music stops; all is still.
Flesh women glares at Jesus. Then, subdued but not yet conquered, she turns to look at me. "Don't you know?" she ask, her eyes narrow and cold. She draws out her words in an effort to draw me in.
"Don't you know? When you kill me, you die too."
The camera closes in on my face. I turn to look at Jesus, then I look back at the pitiful women I once adored.
"Yeah, I know," I smile. "In fact, that's the whole point."
And the screen goes black. Curtain. The end. Finito.
At least for today."
Dying to live....
And He said to all, If any person wills to come after Me, let him deny himself [disown himself, forget, lose sight of himself and his own interests, refuse and give up himself] and take up his cross daily and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying also].
~Luke 9:23 (Amplified Bible)
It means we must choose to believe that the work of the cross is enough to give us freedom from our sins, our past mistakes, our future mistakes...
Even so consider yourselves also dead to sin and your relation to it broken, but alive to God [living in unbroken fellowship with Him] in Christ Jesus.
~Romans 6:11 (Amplified Bible)
It's awakening daily to self examination, verses self condemnation, of who we are in Christ, not who we are in our self...
By this we shall come to know (perceive, recognize, and understand) that we are of the Truth, and can reassure (quiet, conciliate, and pacify) our hearts in His presence,
Whenever our hearts in [
tormenting] self-accusation make us feel guilty and condemn us. [For we are in God's hands.] For He is above and greater than our consciences (our hearts), and He knows (perceives and understands) everything [nothing is hidden from Him].
~1 John 3:19-20 (Amplified Bible)
It's the burial our self in order to live in faith and in honor our Master.

May our "self" rest in peace...

In his Graces~Pamela


Yolanda said...

Girl, isn't that a tough one? Self-examination vs self condemnation?

And a great thing to leave at the Cross.

Lord, help me; Lord, help Pamela.

Love ya!!!


tiggerdaisy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tiggerdaisy said...

I feel almost speechless. Stunned. Wow--that hit home.
Thank you for sharing this. I'm printing this post out and putting on my desk to ponder throughout the week. I especially like the visual you included. It made it so very real; so very real.

Blessings my friend.


jesuslegaleagle said...

Thanks for your encouraging words on my blog. Are you sure our hubbies don't work for the same company? :)

We'll be praying for you also!

LynnSC said...

Hi Pam,
Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. I just had to come over and meet you... and I am glad that I did.

My Flesh Women was out in full force this morning... I took her to God's Word and after a while she finally decided to be silent and allow God's Word to heal my heart and my attitude. What a wonderful God we have.

The killing of self... is a daily process. Maybe I will need to come back and read this everyday... or maybe just print it out and put in on the fridge. Thanks so much for sharing. I will be back. Lynn

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I love Joanna Weaver's book, "Having a Mary Spirit"...perhaps more than her first one.

In particular, her take on flesh woman is something I can relate to.

Dying to self means freedom in Christ. It's a tough truth to take hold of, but once its within the grasp...

it won't ever let go!

PS: Thank you for being such a faithful reader. You're a great encourager to me.

God Chaser said...

great post- killing the flesh is a 24/7 battle. a battle often lsot because of failure to give it to Jesus.