Are you dead enough? by Joy Pollard

Friday, September 25, 2009

Are You Dead Enough? by Joy Pollard

We began the Bible study with a volunteer lying on a table covered with a shroud.  Joy stated things to the “dead” body – “You are ugly.  Nobody loves you.  You are stupid.  You are bad.  You are nothing to me.  I don’t love you.  Hurry, hurry, hurry, there is an emergency.”  After each of these statements the “corpse”  did not move, respond, or answer back.  Why?  Because it was dead.

Colossians 3:3 AMP For [as far as this world is concerned] you have died, and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God.

If we are dead enough there won’t be any hurt feelings, alarm, wounds.  But none of us are dead enough. Things still affect us.  We need to move from death to life (in Christ).  Man had to die to go from death to life, but you don’t have to die to get into life.

Romans 5:19-20 AMP For just as by one man’s disobedience (failing to hear, heedlessness, and carelessness) the many were constituted sinners, so by one Man’s obedience the many will be constituted righteous (made acceptable to God, brought into right standing with Him). But then Law came in, [only] to expand and increase the trespass [making it more apparent and exciting opposition]. But where sin increased and abounded, grace (God’s unmerited favor) has surpassed it and increased the more and superabounded,

Grace is more than unmerited favor.  Grace is the power to change, to live the resurrected life.

Romans 6:1-2 AMP WHAT SHALL we say [to all this]? Are we to remain in sin in order that God’s grace (favor and mercy) may multiply and overflow?  Certainly not! How can we who died to sin live in it any longer?

Are you dead enough?  Are you dead to sin?

Pastor Leon Forte’ told us once, “You can’t be distracted by anything that’s not an attraction.”  He said that if the parking lot at church was filled with a convention of the world’s best yodelers it would do nothing to stir his interest.  But as a lover of barbecue, if there was someone out there making barbecue, he would be attracted and distracted by that.

You can be taken off course and distracted by anything connected to your sin.  If you have a powerful magnet, it can magnetize another metal by changing the polarity.  A compass can be pulled off course by a powerful magnet and need to be realigned.  It isn’t always black/white, good/evil, true/false, but often it is what is familiar or unfamiliar.  But we can’t direct our lives by these types of feelings.

Joy told us that she had a woman in counseling who used to constantly be attracted to really dangerous types, and she kept picking that type for a relationship because it was familiar to her.  One day she came in and told Joy about a new relationship that made her feel uncomfortable.  As facts about the person were uncovered, it turned out that this was a “safe” relationship, not a dangerous type, and the discomfort the woman felt was because she had never been in a safe relationship before and that feeling was unfamiliar to her.

How can we who have died to sin live in it any longer?  We hold onto our sins.  We can’t be resurrected unless we first die.

Often people would come to Jesus and want Him to do things because it was an emergency.  Mary and Martha sent to Jesus regarding Lazarus, stating that he was dying.  Jesus did not get to the scene until 4 days later, after Lazarus had died.  In the natural Mary and Martha thought Jesus was late and did not respond to the emergency, saying to Jesus, “If you had only been here, Lazarus would not have died.”  But Jesus was right on time to do what God wanted Him to do, raise Lazarus from the dead, to the glory of God. Jesus was dead to the flesh, to the alarm, the blame, the accusation, guilt, and did not respond to any of that.

Many of us spend our lives responding to the roller coaster of our emotions.  We all have areas in our lives that we are more dead in than others.  Those areas we are not dead in are the issues in our lives.  Our issues have the power to distract us, they serve as an attraction to put us on that roller coaster of emotions.  Some people are addicted to the thrill, they would rather have the polarity and excitement of the emotional challenges instead of seeking peace and pursuing their dreams.  We want to die to sin.

Romans 6:3-4 AMP Are you ignorant of the fact that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?  We were buried therefore with Him by the baptism into death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious [power] of the Father, so we too might [habitually] live and behave in newness of life.

We want to habitually live and believe in the newness of life. Instead of being attracted to drama, worry, hurt, we want it to become a habit to be attracted to the resurrected life.

Luke 2:52 AMP And Jesus increased in wisdom (in broad and full understanding) and in stature and years, and in favor with God and man.

This passage came after the incident when the 12-year-old Jesus stayed behind after the Feast Day to discuss the Word with the Priests and Levites in the Temple.  After 3 days, His parents who were traveling in a large party, discovered that Jesus was not with them.  They went back to the Temple and said to Jesus, Luke 2:48 AMP And when they [Joseph and Mary] saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, Child, why have You treated us like this? Here Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You [distressed and tormented].

Jesus was a little bit sassy with them, Luke 2:49 AMP And He said to them, How is it that you had to look for Me? Did you not see and know that it is necessary [as a duty] for Me to be in My Father’s house and [occupied] about My Father’s business?

But then Luke 2:51-52 AMP And He went down with them and came to Nazareth and was [habitually] obedient to them; and his mother kept and closely and persistently guarded all these things in her heart.  And Jesus increased in wisdom (in broad and full understanding) and in stature and years, and in favor with God and man.

Notice that it says that Jesus went with them and became HABITUALLY OBEDIENT.  After He became habitually obedient, then He increased in wisdom and understanding and favor with God and with man.

Romans 6:5 AMP For if we have become one with Him by sharing a death like His, we shall also be [one with Him in sharing] His resurrection [by a new life lived for God].

When Jesus was resurrected there was so much power that 500 graves were opened and those who were once dead were seen in Jerusalem, that was like the leftovers from the power of the resurrection – the crumbs from the tables that the little dogs fed on.

Romans 6:6 AMP We know that our old (unrenewed) self was nailed to the cross with Him in order that [our] body [which is the instrument] of sin might be made ineffective and inactive for evil, that we might no longer be the slaves of sin.

Our old, unrenewed self needs to be nailed to the cross, so that our body is ineffective and inactive for evil – we need to be dead and then evil has no pull over us.  Our feelings will not get hurt, we won’t be anxious, or worried, or mad.

Romans 6:7-8 AMP For when a man dies, he is freed (loosed, delivered) from [the power of] sin [among men]. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,

Colossians 3:3 AMP  For [as far as this world is concerned] you have died, and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God.

Our real life is hidden with Christ in God.

Joy then mentioned the movie the Matrix, where people were living in a world with the appearance of real life, but they were really in test tubes hooked up to a machine and a computer system. These machine and computer produced sensations are what they perceived as life.  Only a few were free and not in the Matrix.

The world is our matrix, and our real life is hidden in Christ with God.  The dead person stays dead.

Romans 6:9-10 AMP Because we know that Christ (the Anointed One), being once raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has power over Him. For by the death He died, He died to sin [ending His relation to it] once for all; and the life that He lives, He is living to God [in unbroken fellowship with Him].

We can have that unbroken fellowship, our relationship secured in Christ. We can be that same creation that death has no power or authority over us.  Jesus took the keys to death and hell, and we only give the enemy power by agreeing with him.

Romans 12:1-2 AMP I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.  Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].

In the New Covenant we willingly sacrifice our fleshly lives, but in the Old Covenant animals were killed and burnt on the altar of sacrifice.  What happens in our lives is that we sacrifice ourselves to God, but we get off the altar of sacrifice too soon. We get off once it starts hurting, not realizing that the nerves are peripheral, and once those nerves are dead, we won’t feel the pain.  We need to stay until it stops hurting.  God wants to say, “WELL DONE good and faithful servant.  God is not interested in medium rare.  Spiritual death is voluntary.  We need to ask God for the grace and power to endure.  By grace we can stick it out.  If it is by our flesh, we won’t be able to.

The wages of sin is death.  If you work for the devil he signs the paycheck, and he signs it one way – death, death to finances, death to peace of mind. Many in the world are working for the devil’s team.  We have a choice – volunteer for God’s team or work for the devil.

The devil will try to get to us, to cause us to feel that something is a necessity, that we need that old way of relating, that old thing.  He wants us to think that we can give up everything, but keep one little part.  Often we are afraid, if we give up that one part, what the alternative will be.  We say, I trust God in all these areas, but I am keeping that one part for myself.  We want it my way, because God’s way seems to be taking too long. It all boils down to who’s in charge.

Romans 6:11 AMP 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.

Our new, real life is hidden with Christ in God.  We break relation with sin.  Sin may show up for awhile, but the connection is broken and you can say, “I’m not having this thing this time.  You can’t run me any more.  See you.  What you are saying, I’m not going for.”

Joy told us that she went through her cancer unsaved.  God healed her, unsaved, so that later he could save her.  After that, once she was saved, the devil tried to bring her cancer back.  The devil will try to repeat every attack that worked in the past, hoping to find a weakness.  On Joy’s 50th birthday she planned to ask Pastor Don to transfer the counseling anointing to her, and right before her 50th birthday the cancer tried to come back.  Joy recognized the attack of the enemy and realized it was trying to take her out and shut her down, she laughed at it and told it that it could not have her.  The cancer left her.

Nahum 1:9 What do you devise and [how mad is your attempt to] plot against the Lord? He will make a full end [of Nineveh]; affliction [which My people shall suffer from Assyria] shall not rise up the second time.

The cancer could not rise up a second time.

Romans 6:12-13 Let not sin therefore rule as king in your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies, to make you yield to its cravings and be subject to its lusts and evil passions. Do not continue offering or yielding your bodily members [and faculties] to sin as instruments (tools) of wickedness. But offer and yield yourselves to God as though you have been raised from the dead to [perpetual] life, and your bodily members [and faculties] to God, presenting them as implements of righteousness.

Soul – mind/will/emotions.  There are cravings, imprints of power, but we do not have to yield to them, we give ourselves and  yield ourselves to God.

1 Peter 2:24 AMP He personally bore our sins in His [own] body on the tree [as on an altar and offered Himself on it], that we might die (cease to exist) to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed.

Romans 6:14-16 AMP For sin shall not [any longer] exert dominion over you, since now you are not under Law [as slaves], but under grace [as subjects of God’s favor and mercy]. What then [are we to conclude]? Shall we sin because we live not under Law but under God’s favor and mercy? Certainly not! Do you not know that if you continually surrender yourselves to anyone to do his will, you are the slaves of him whom you obey, whether that be to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness (right doing and right standing with God)?

Everyday, multiple times a day, we get to make a choice and determine what will be dead and what will be alive, what things that are buried will we resurrect?

Romans 6:17-18 AMP But thank God, though you were once slaves of sin, you have become obedient with all your heart to the standard of teaching in which you were instructed and to which you were committed. And having been set free from sin, you have become the servants of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in thought, purpose, and action).

We want to conform to divine will.  Anyone sitting in this house (Living Word Chapel) is without excuse, for we are taught well the truth of the Word.

Romans 6:19-23 AMP I am speaking in familiar human terms because of your natural limitations. For as you yielded your bodily members [and faculties] as servants to impurity and ever increasing lawlessness, so now yield your bodily members [and faculties] once for all as servants to righteousness (right being and doing) [which leads] to sanctification.  For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But then what benefit (return) did you get from the things of which you are now ashamed? [None] for the end of those things is death. But now since you have been set free from sin and have become the slaves of God, you have your present reward in holiness and its end is eternal life. For the wages which sin pays is death, but the [bountiful] free gift of God is eternal life through (in union with) Jesus Christ our Lord.

The wages of sin is death and we have received the gift of life everlasting.  The more dead we are in the flesh, the more resurrection power we have.  The slave is a bondslave – in the Old Testament a slave that was well treated by his master, who liked the master’s household, when that slave’s term was up, the slave could choose to remain forever in that master’s house.  He would have a awl pierced through his ear to the doorpost, and that would signify that he wanted to remain forever a servant to his master.

We are slaves of righteousness, and as such, sin does not own us.  It is voluntary, but if we choose to be slaves of righteousness, sin dies.  We need to agree and put our ear to the door. It is your choice to make the commitment.

Ephesians 1:22 – 2:6 AMP And He has put all things under His feet and has appointed Him the universal and supreme Head of the church [a headship exercised throughout the church], which is His body, the fullness of Him Who fills all in all [for in that body lives the full measure of Him Who makes everything complete, and Who fills everything everywhere with Himself]. AND YOU [He made alive], when you were dead (slain) by [your] trespasses and sins in which at one time you walked [habitually]. You were following the course and fashion of this world [were under the sway of the tendency of this present age], following the prince of the power of the air. [You were obedient to and under the control of] the [demon] spirit that still constantly works in the sons of disobedience [the careless, the rebellious, and the unbelieving, who go against the purposes of God].  Among these we as well as you once lived and conducted ourselves in the passions of our flesh [our behavior governed by our corrupt and sensual nature], obeying the impulses of the flesh and the thoughts of the mind [our cravings dictated by our senses and our dark imaginings]. We were then by nature children of [God’s] wrath and heirs of [His] indignation, like the rest of mankind. But God–so rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us, even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation). And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together [giving us joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

As far as the world is concerned, you died.  Your new real life is hidden in Christ in God.

Praying that this teaching blessed you as much as it has blessed me.

Heather

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About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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