“The mind of sinful man is DEATH, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is LIFE and peace… ” (Romans 8:6).
Some spiritual concepts, usually the ones which seem so simplistic are in actuality the most complex and by far the most crucial to understand. The relation between Death and LIFE is one of those concepts; but it is impossible to comprehend the relation until one fact is clear: YOU DO NOT BECOME A SPIRIT AFTER YOU DIE, as some believe. The fact is you are a Spirit RIGHT NOW.
You are already a Spirit even as you sit reading this. You are a Spirit who resides in the comforts of a flesh and blood human body. Your body was custom-made through a nine-month long incubation process specifically for you to inhabit. Another way to look at it is to consider that the flesh and blood sitting in your chair, typing on your computer and using your mouse is possessed by a God-manufactured Spirit named YOU (whichever way draws a clearer picture).
Now that I’ve made that clear, I can reveal to you that you, a Spirit, are involved in a power struggle. In fact, it is more than a mere struggle; it’s an intense WAR. This war is quite literally the battle of your human existence and it is waged between two powerful spiritual forces that are related, as I mentioned above: Death and LIFE. Since you’ve chosen to read this article, the latter of the two is likely winning the fight. But pay close attention; understanding the relationship between these two forces can potentially save your LIFE
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THE POSITIVE FORCE: LIFE
The positive of the two forces, LIFE, comes directly from God. It is purely spiritual, yet it convenes with you on both a spiritual and physical level. In Greek, the word used to describe LIFE is “ZOE” which means “complete life; i.e. life as God originally gave it”. The book “Grammar of the New Testament Greek” by G. Milligan defines “ZOE” as “Life in its absolute sense… ” and further “… Life as God has in Himself.” When God breathed into mans nostrils, He breathed a powerful spiritual force in its absolute sense. This force we call LIFE not only is from God; it is GOD.
LIFE is a supernatural power whose job is to bring “unification”. LIFE is what unites your spirit with your body. LIFE unites an idea with the resources to accomplish that idea. LIFE brings a goal from being in “view” into reality. When LIFE is present, we place the label “Live” on the container which houses it and refer to whatever it is as being “A-live” until it no longer shows signs of LIFE.
THE NEGATIVE FORCE: DEATH
The negative force is DEATH. This force is also a spiritual force that interacts with both your spiritual and physical being. But this force is the exact opposite of LIFE. This force is a power that separates. DEATH’s power is to sever processes within you. DEATH specifically attacks those processes that were meant to empower you. For example, DEATH is attacking your physical body’s functionality right now. It is slowly severing your body’s ability to regenerate itself. DEATH can assault a mental process such as one to strengthen the body in a certain area. DEATH interferes with thought processes as well. It’s been said that DEATH has captured some of the world’s greatest ideas. DEATH can sever a process as mundane as a routine to keep one’s teeth free of plaque to avoid decay.
When DEATH conquers a thing, we consider that thing “Dead”. Eventually, this powerful force will end your LIFE physically separating your Spirit from this world completely. But the ultimate goal of this force is not to end your physical life; it wants to end your life spiritually by separating you eternally from your maker, the GOD of all creation.
These two spiritual powers are in conflict at every moment. They are seeking, reaching, urging, persuading and pulling for the soul that is YOU! They are pressuring you; each wants your interest; each wants your fellowship; each wants to win you from the clutches of the other. You stand divided in-between the two both day and night.
This war has been waged since the creation of mankind and continues to this day with advocates on either side beckoning the spirit of your soul to submit to LIFE, or surrender forever to DEATH. The war is fought almost entirely by the decisions you make; specifically, decisions surrounding one critical emotion: Desire.
Desire is rooted deep inside of your flesh; right down to the core of your heart. The reason desire is so deeply rooted is because flesh is not a “spiritual” force; that is to say flesh is not spiritual. It knows nothing but needs and wants. It does not reason, it only begs everyday for satisfaction. Essentially, your flesh wants to feel good and never feel bad (which is another fact that is so elementary, bible study groups neglect to point it out).
Desire is the key component in the war because at times it can be more influential than anything else the body experiences (some would argue it is indeed more influential than pain). Desire can make you do what you’ve consciously decided not to do. Some admit proudly that they have dedicated their life to the pursuit of what they desire. For them, satisfying desire is their only agenda. When someone is totally devoted to their desires, that person often uses the power of DEATH to satisfy their flesh; because, coincidentally, nothing but nothing satisfies human flesh like DEATH.
You probably raised an eyebrow just then, but it’s true and it’s no secret. You see, desire is really an attempt to release endorphins in the brain. An exciting activity; a happy situation; a positive outcome; being loved; making love; all these things release endorphins which the brain recognizes as pleasure. You actually need pleasure endorphins to release periodically for the health of your psyche. The brain’s inability to naturally release pleasurable endorphins is a condition known as clinical depression. But, human flesh desires access to pleasure endorphins at every moment. When this pursuit to release pleasure endorphins goes beyond the “hosts” control, it is a condition known as chemical addition.
What I meant by “nothing can satisfy flesh like DEATH” is nothing can release those pleasure endorphins faster and in greater amounts than activities related to DEATH. Being in a “risky” relationship, bungee-jumping over concrete or racing down a public highway can trigger an adrenaline rush far greater than reading a book about such activities. The satisfaction of biting into a fresh, crisp apple pales in comparison to the smooth sensation of a nicotine rush to a smoker. An indulgent “Thanksgiving” size dinner full of empty calories is so pleasurable it can leave partakers with grins for almost an hour after the feast. But the blissful utopian state an addict enters when he injects his preferred drug leaves him unresponsive to the point of near comatose for half a day.
You can act as if you have no idea what I’m talking about; but I know you can relate. Maybe you’ve never killed brain cells with a narcotic or puffed the end of a cigarette. Maybe you’ve never even tasted a single drop of liquor. But you HAVE tasted a rush of endorphins and I doubt it came from doing something spiritual. You’ve enjoyed a “vice” somewhere in your past and those who say they have not are clearly struggling with the guilty pleasure of lying.
My point is you know the delectable satisfaction of DEATH. You know the instant gratification this tool has in it. Access is always easy and the effects are always pleasurable. DEATH is so easy and so pleasurable that one can completely ignore its long-term effects as they consume it.
But the long-term effects are separation. DEATH severs processes that have begun within you. Households; relationships; entire futures can be severed by DEATH. Worse, if you continue to indulge, DEATH will take you down a path that ends in spiritual DEATH; complete and utter separation from GOD for eternity; otherwise known as Hell. Satisfying desires with DEATH can lead to the ultimate Death of one’s soul.
Romans 8:6 says,
“The mind of sinful man is DEATH, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is LIFE and peace… ”
You have to choose: LIFE or DEATH? I mean this literally. You have to look at what you are doing moment by moment and decide, “Is this in the arena of LIFE, or is it dragging me to an area full of DEATH?”
Here’s how to judge your life. Imagine there was a giant scale and you could somehow put all of your activities that supported your desires on one side and all of your activities involving things such as purpose, responsibility, faith, etc. on the other. Which side of the scale would instantly slam to the floor drastically out weighing the other?
Also, judge your environment. How much LIFE and how much DEATH do you have in your surroundings? How many items in your house promote LIFE and how many are of DEATH? Is there a gun or illegal possessions in your home? What themes are the most prominent in the music you listen to? How about your close friends? How many DEATH habits do they have? How about your job? Are the people you frequently associate with completely consumed by LIFE or DEATH?
Want another indicator? Look carefully at what you have been saying. In a rough percentage, compare how much of your talk is bright, vibrant and full of LIFE verses the amount that is negative, distasteful, rude and clearly obsessed with processes that are DEAD?
I don’t know exactly what elements are in every person’s life, but I can tell you this; if you smoke, you’ve got DEATH in your life. If you drink liquor excessively, you’ve got DEATH in your life. If you eat saturated fats excessively, you’ve got DEATH in your life. If a portion of your income comes from an illegal source, you’ve got DEATH in your life. If you’re in a sexual relationship with someone who is in other sexual relationships, you’ve got DEATH in your life. Truth be told, every person reading this has some DEATH hidden in a closet somewhere.
The real question is how much DEATH is too much?
That’s easy. The next time you go to a funeral check out the person in the casket. That person has experienced too much DEATH. Every process within that person has come to an end. They are completely and utterly separated mentally and physically from this Earthly realm. But if that person had a relationship with Jesus Christ, they are not separated from their maker spiritually. (Romans 5:17).
Maney of us must look at this subject seriously… and soon. Because we are walking around with way too much DEATH in our life and eventually; one day; one hour DEATH is going to win the battle! Do not be one of those who are intelligent enough to recognize the DEATH in their life but don’t have the will power to do anything about it. Start appreciating the value of LIFE and begin the process of choosing LIFE over DEATH with every decision. Chose LIFE on a consistent base beginning NOW and you will witness what living a life full of LIFE can do for YOU.