Thursday, October 4, 2012
How to Deny Self; the Phantom Limb
In this current age, almost every person has a phantom limb. Is there a gadget that is not part of you yet you never leave behind it behind? It is your cell phone. Scientists have described it as a phantom limb. We must have them at the bedside, on the table during dinner, in the car and even on the bathroom window to extremes. Man can live without a phantom limb, right?
Well, Jesus described self as a phantom limb, a nuisance, a pain in the neck. And he said to them all, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." Luke 9:23. What you can deny yourself, you definitely don't need to survive.
However, please notice that Jesus did not say "let him deny himself alcohol or drugs or illicit sex," He just said, "deny himself." Period. All one is really required to do is to say no to self-nature which is resident in every one of us. Since self is behind every sin, this victory will bring all other victories with it.
Yielding to the demands of that egocentric nature is to participate in the same sin that actuated Lucifer and later led to the death of Jesus on the cross. It is the constant subduing of that lower, carnal nature which distinguishes the children of light from the children of darkness. Even though conversion does not remove that phantom limb- selfish nature- , it does bring a new spiritual authority into the life that overpowers the propensities of evil, bringing them under the sanctified control of a surrendered will. When we heed Christ's bid to "come and die," he will amputate even the phantom limb. He's the Great Physician.
It is also worth noting that a continual life ore death warfare is being waged in every born-again Christian. The ever-present nature will always be in conflict with the spiritual mind. And you what? The phantom pain is usually worse. For example, where do you scratch when it itches? It has a spiritual 'mind element'. We must choose which of the two shall rule our life; the fallen nature or the spiritual mind!
Jesus declared, "Ye cannot serve two masters." It must be either self or the Saviour. But many overlook the fact that we are responsible for saying no to self. Jesus said, "Let him deny himself," not once, but daily. Everyday we have to choose what we look at, listen to, smell, feel and taste. The five senses are the doors that give access to the influences that either sanctify or pollute us. The mind automatically conforms to whatever we allow to enter through the sensory perceptions. It follows the crowd. For if they say that "three is a crowd," what of five!