Thursday, February 20, 2014

Dead or Alive?

You died, which means that your life is hidden with Christ, who sits beside God.  (Colossians 3:3 CEV)

All of us were baptized into Christ Jesus. Don't you know that we were baptized into his death? By being baptized, we were buried with Christ into his death. Christ has been raised from the dead by the Father's glory. And like Christ we also can live a new life. By being baptized, we have been joined with him in his death. We will certainly also be joined with him in his resurrection.  (Romans 6:3-5 NIrV)

Have you ever watched a sports competition of any kind?  I've watched many.  I enjoy watching people square off against one another using all their skills and preparation to determine who is best in their field.

I'll tell you what I don't like, though.  I don't like it when you can just tell who is going to lose before the contest even begins.  Sometimes you can see it in their eyes, their body language, or hear it in their voice during the pre-game interview.  They're already defeated before taking the field.  They've lost because they know they've lost.  It's like watching somebody who just knows "their dead."

All too often I see the same thing in God's people.  They look defeated - like they know they've already lost.  I will hear them use phrases like these: "I thought things were going to be different." "What's the use, I'm just going to screw up again." "I'm tired of fighting."  They start out their day, week, or walk with God already defeated.  They know "their dead." 

God tells us that is true...before we come to Him.  After we turn to Him, though, nothing could be further from the truth.  We were weaker than our opponent.  We were defeated because of our screw-ups.  We were going to lose.  We were dead.

Now everything's changed!  The same power that raised Christ from the dead now raised you from death as well.  You were weaker than your opponent, but now you have the very power of God.  You were defeated because of your screw-ups, but now the mess-ups are dead.  You were going to lose, but now the power of God makes you unbeatable.  You are alive and seated with Christ in the heavenly realms. (Eph. 2:6)

So how are you going to live today?
Will you be defeated and dead - seeing only the power of your opponent and the mess of this world?
Will you be victorious and alive - seeing the power of God and the heavenly life He designed for you?

You have been raised to life with Christ. Now set your heart on what is in heaven, where Christ rules at God's right side. Think about what is up there, not about what is here on earth.  (Colossians 3:1-2 CEV)