image courtesy of the World Wildlife Fund
Thinking about the post Heaven is Where God Is, I was taken again to Jesus’ statement that the spirit is willing but the body is weak (Matthew 26:41). A couple week’s ago we looked at this in the post about What Motivated Gethsemane. It highlighted Jesus’ desire for prayer at that time.
Our Spirit is Strengthened in the Presence of God
Our spirit is strengthened in the presence of God. This is why staying in God’s presence is so important for ministry, prayers, and life. Important decisions need to be made in God’s presence. Our prayers need to be made there. We want our spirit as strong as it can be because it is the part of us that is always desiring agreement with the things of God.
To take this further, God deliberately takes us to greater levels where we need less body and more spirit. This is how He encourages us to die to ourselves and take up our crosses (Luke 9:23). God’s ways are not our ways and as long as we trust in our own abilities, we will be in danger of being led askew (not necessarily toward evil, just away from God’s plans).
We Need to Die to Anything Apart from God
We need to die to anything that keeps us from saying yes to God. We need to hand all of our fears over to God. Nicodemus was afraid that God would ask him to give all of his money away, and that fear kept him from following Jesus. He just might call you to live in the bush of Africa; He might ask you to seek money from others; He may send you to Iran to hand out Bibles; He may nudge you to give your car to someone; He may tell you that you need to vote Democrat (or Republican). We need to die to our rights to these things. Why is it important that I die to my rights to these decisions? Because each death is a statement of faith that God’s ways are better than ours. And, with each death we get closer to the resurrection.