Years ago, I walked past my grandfather’s dead body as he was laid-in-state during his final rites. I remember how he lay there stiff and immobile. The world around him could not do anything that moved him. He was dead, separated from the human world with all emotions and instincts gone. We all stood there and watched with mixed feelings,but he had no sense for what we felt. He would not have moved even if the building collapsed on his body. He was dead.
Death has a great punch that takes the life out of us. Little wonder, those who have an idea of the implications of death, try as much as possible to live “long and prosperous”. To the dead; the wish is for them to “Rest in Peace”. In other words, humans would wish to live long and prosperous, then rest in peace when they’re dead.
Just as I pondered the effects of death and the importance of a long and fruitful life, the implications of Apostle Paul’s comment in Galatians 2:20 dawned on me. He said, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gavehimself for me.” (ESV). In other words, it is possible to be dead to human tendencies, unmoved by the cares of the world, yet still live by the absolute realities of the new life, through faith in the finished work on the cross. This status is what I love to tag the Living Dead.
The living dead is the person living in awareness of the divine nature, and by this, subjects the desires of the flesh to the grace of God. As such, righteousness, peace and joy always radiates in our dealings (Romans14:17-18). As children of God, we succeed in this world by constantly subjecting the desires of our flesh to the desire of the spirit of God, who lives in us.
It is common to see tales of wars and various forms of anarchy in the news these days. We get various renditions of sexually explicit commercial adverts. There is an escalation in the forms of corruption, from political authorities to organized religious authorities, from educational citadels to financial houses, the list is endless. Also, we find limitless shortcomings in our humanity. As imperfect human beings by nature, we have varying senses of insecurity and a knack to outshine and outdo ourselves. Pride takes center stage as we rate ourselves by our abilities. Accordingly, it is no surprise that our world, made up of humans, is plagued with so much trouble.
As children of God, we have an obligation to live above the intrigues of the human story. To do this, we need to be dead to default human survival instincts, and live by faith in Christ Jesus. Just as my late grandfather lay motionless irrespective of what happened around him, the Christian, who sets their sight on endless life in Christ, will be unfazed bythe daunting requirements of the world (Colossians 3:1-3).
I want to encourage us, as the children of God to always remember that we can do all things by the help of Christ (Philippians 4:13) and all things are possible to them who have faith in God (Mark 9:23). We have been crucified with Christ and we have risen with Him to live a new, impactful, successful and vibrant life through Him (Romans 6:4). This is the heritage of the living dead – full of eternal life and prosperity in Christ.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. (Galatians5: 16-17 ESV).