Here is another old article. I'm not sure I would spell things out exactly like this today, but I think there is some good things here. - Josh
April 15, 2005
Living Dead Man
Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: 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.
Mat 10:38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
There is nothing more glorious than a man crucified with Christ. It took the love of the Father, the obedience of the Son, and the drawing of the Holy Ghost to be saved. Then after that, it took the man's obedience to follow completely after Christ. "To be part of the bride you must be divorced from the world!"- Leonard Ravenhill Most people try to stretch themselves in ways they are not meant to be stretched. They try to draw near to God and do everything the world is doing. You cannot do this. You are either of the world or merely in the world, but of God. What I mean by "of the world" is you do the things of the world and are accepted by them because your life does not oppose that evil which they do.
To be crucified with Christ means to completely die to all self-motives, self-ambitions, and self love. You do not live for yourself but for Christ alone. He is your all and in all that you do. Your heart beats to be obedient to Him. You can truly say "I shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from you, Lord." Many people try to use God as a way to get health, wealth, and happiness. This is far, far from the mindset of the true Christian. A true Christian does know about the blessings of God, but also knows the severity. A true Christian lives holy and wholly for God to be glorified. "There are benefits but that is not my focus. My focus is to glorify God. Any thing I receive of Him is wholly for his glory, to show his endless love." This is the mindset of a true Christian.
I personally see 3 steps to being completely crucified with Christ, to be completely dead to the love of self. Although I am not completely where God is calling me to live, I praise him that I see what to reach for. Faith comes by hearing. You will never know the depths of God if you have never heard of the deeper Christian life. These 3 steps deal with the 3 parts of man (Spirit, soul, and body.-1Th 5:23). Your spirit is your inner man. You must be born of spirit and of water (John 3:5). The spirit is what is born again. You commune with God through your spirit. Your soul is your mind, will, and emotions. The body is the casing of the other 2 i.e. your physical frame.
The sinner seeks to pleasure first, the body, secondly, the soul, thirdly, the spirit. They do all that they can to make their body feel good. This may be done by drugs, alcohol, sex or numerous other things. They also seek to feel excepted, be educated (not for the glory of God but so that they may be exalted), and that what ever they will(desire) should be done. The sinners that do religious activity it is not for the glory of God but merely to ease their conscience. This is not spiritual but carnal. Carnality revolves around self.
When a person is born again the roles are reversed. Christians are spiritual. Not some mysticism, but a divine spirituality that seeks God. The order of what is pleasurable has changed: spirit, soul, and then body. This is the battle of the Christian: to allow the spirit to be in control not the soul or body. Before I begin with the steps let me say that I am not prescribing some set way of religious steps but of just what I have observed looking at my own life and others.
The first thing the Christian must do is to cut off those physical habits that you know are bad. This was the first step for me, I had to, as my convictions increased, drop off those physical things that seemed pleasurable at one time but I now see as sin. Really this is the easiest step, hence it is the first. Anyone with any logical sense will want to stop drinking, parting, and sleeping around when they come to the realization that it will kill your body. Keith Green said something like this" Anyone with any sense would give up their wrongs...but what we have to do if give up our rights." That is not an exact quote but that is the majority of what he said.
The second step is the longest and hardest. It deals with the soul (mind, will, and emotions). God sees your every move and every thought. To some this is comforting but others terrifying. We must fill our minds with good things. We have to have such a longing for the Word of God. It should be our meditation and fill our minds continually. The will is something that must also be broke. Most people deal with reputation. They think that reputation is everything, that the must look like something. I don't know of any of God's prophets or apostles that were worried about reputation. Do you think John the Baptist was at all concerned? No, he was set on glorifying God. The self-will digs deep into us we have to allow it to be broken and fully live in Christ. Many people are ran by emotions. Some feel this way, some feel that way, and some don't feel anything. Here is something that has been pounding in me: don't go by emotions, go by truth. This is how we must live. Let me say that I am by no means saying that the body or soul is bad. What I am saying is that is must be under control and governed by the word of God and the Holy Spirit. Emotions are good, especially in prayer and preaching, but we cannot try to appeal to people through emotions, but by the spirit. I think you understand what I mean.
The place where we all must strive to be is walking in the spirit. Those that worship God must worship him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). This is the place where you are not ran by emotions, physical pleasure, or ungodly gain, but you thirst after the living God and leave everything else behind you. Think about John when he was on the isle of Patmos. Look at everything that has happened, he was thrown on an island. Was he ran by the physical or soulical? No, he was in the spirit on the Lord's day. This is where we must strive to be.
One thing I must warn is that you cannot be crucified with Christ without faith. If you try to do the things above on your own, you will fail because it is not God who is glorified, but you. Self-righteousness is no righteousness at all. It is a walk of faith. You must believe that you are crucified with Christ and he lives in you and you can go where he is calling you. Let us all strive to be obedient to Him and be willing to forsake all and follow him!