Have you ever noticed how, even though you are a Christian, there are still patterns of wrong behavior that exist in
your life? Even though we are born again as New Creations, all of us still struggle with the flesh, old habits that still
need to be dealt with as we daily pick up our cross and follow Jesus. Often, it is merely the desire for comfort or an easy
life that robs us of living obediently to God. Our western culture drives our generation to live in convenience and ease,
but this attitude of laziness and self gratification contradicts how God instructs us to live in the Bible.
so gracious in His dealings with us, even though every single day we can fail to live full-out for Him, because we don't want
to deny our fleshy cravings. Praise God that He is full of grace towards us, He sent Jesus to die for our sins and rise from
the dead, our guilt has been taken away and our sins are forgiven. God placed the punishment for our sins onto Jesus and removed
all condemnation from us. We have been reconciled to God and all bondage to sin is demolished! All this motivates us to want
to live the life for which He has called us, as Alien Youth in the world. Just imagine how different a people would be who
are not interested in gratifying their flesh, but are fully committed to serving God all the time despite the fact that their
flesh screams out for food, for pleasure, for rest. Even though those things are fine, (we have to eat and sleep, etc.) it
is so easy to allow those things to become the steering force behind our lives, rather than our spiritual hunger for God's
Kingdom advancing. Our fleshiness is ugly next to Gods pure holiness. But when we come before Him with sincerity of heart,
He crucifies all that is of ourselves, cleanses us and restores us, not to the old way we were, but to be more like Jesus.
Paul was an amazing example of someone who knew what it was to deny himself for the sake of the gospel. He said, "...I
have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again.
Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three
times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move.... I have labored
and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been
cold and naked..." (2 Corinthians 11:23-29). Paul was a man who laid down all of his life everyday and put his flesh to death
so that God would be glorified.
We too are here for purpose and every day need to make the most of opportunities to
kill the flesh, (remembering that we were crucified with Christ and no longer live anyway) and motivated, like Paul, by the
grace of God, pressing on as if to receive first prize in a race. There's a bigger purpose for our lives than we often acknowledge,
and in order for God to kill everything in us that needs to die, our focus is not to be on ourselves, but to be willing for
the sometimes painful process of being broken... and then reset again. It is not to become righteous that we live like this,
because we were made righteous by the grace of God when we were born again. Our goal is that we will decrease so that He will
increase, that we become empty vessels so that all that flows out of us is Him, that as we live by the Spirit, we will stop
gratifying the desires of the flesh. Alien Youth will display Jesus through their lives more than themselves as God kills
and heals them continually.