Every person begins life as an infant focused totally on self. The uncrucified flesh will retain this selfish focus. It will not be possible for us to fulfill the plan of God without first putting our “self” nature to death.
24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Unlocking the plan of God will require us to first crucify our flesh. We will find that things which previously hindered our walk with God no longer do so when we have died to our flesh nature!
Let’s think about the concept of crucifixion for a moment. Jesus was alive when they nailed Him to the cross. He was a corpse when they took Him off. People did not survive crucifixion in the Roman era.
Have you ever seen a corpse? Can you imagine spitting on one and having it jump up to defend itself? We could kick it, call it names, or any number of horrible things and it would not react! The corpse wouldn’t react to being spit on because there is no life in it!
We need to be prepared for persecution. There will be people who will oppose us while walking in the plan of God. This will not affect us if we’ve taken the time to prepare ourselves spiritually and have crucified our flesh.
1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
The Christian life is compared to running a race by the author of Hebrews. We have an audience in this race that is composed of heavenly witnesses cheering us on from the grandstands of heaven!
I never fully understood this verse until shortly after my father passed away. The church my family attends has prayer an hour before each service.
I attended the prayer service about one week after my father’s death. A staff member opened with an encouragement to lift our hands and spend a few moments worshiping prior to praying.
Something happened when I lifted my hands. The presence of God seemed to envelop me! I cannot explain how but God allowed me to see into heaven as I worshipped! My father was aware of what I was doing and stopped to worship with me.
The people around me were unaware of what happened. The Holy Spirit reminded of Hebrew 12:1-2 at the end of prayer. He showed me that people in heaven are not interested in our natural pursuits but are aware of the things we do while pursuing the plan of God.
23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
The act of crucifying our flesh is not a one time event. Jesus tells us that we must “deny” ourselves and “take up our cross” every day.
The cross was a tool used to execute criminals. Can you imagine what must have been going through the disciples minds when Jesus told them that His followers would have to carry one?
I believe the most important key needed to unlock the plan of God is presenting our bodies as living sacrifices. This is not a one time event because it will involve the death of our selfish desires. It is something that must be done on a daily basis.
Many people struggle with the plan of God. They pray and beg Him to reveal it but never seem to be able to discover it.
God is not hiding His plan from us. It will not be clear until we have successfully crucified our flesh and gained victory over our flesh nature.
We must develop the discipline of nailing our selfish desires to the cross every day. This will require us to present bodies as living sacrifices. The end result of this discipline is a surrendered life that can be trusted with the plan of God!
18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:18
We could say that the things which are “seen” consist of anything perceived by our five physical senses. The majority of Chrisitians are dominated by those things perceived by their natural senses because they have not presented their bodies as living sacrifices to God.
The unsurrendered life is one that is easily offended when it is criticized. It craves to be the center of attention. This is not a life that God can use.
If our lives are consumed with fulfilling our goals and satisfying our selfis desires, they will be empty and meaningless. Victory will always be over the horizon and any success achieved will not bring us satisfaction.
Satan desires for us to live lives dominated by our five physical senses. He knows that we will never fulfill the plan of God if we do.
Unlocking the plan of God will require us to crucify our flesh. This will not be pleasant as it will require us to put our plans, desires, and goals to death. The end result will be a life able to complete the race God has called us to run!
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