Author of Caught Between Life and Death, Lee Ann Assing, offers an important reminder to believers about what which paths lead to life in its fullness.
Have you ever thought you could find yourself caught between life and death? I think of this as the point where you come to believe in God and accept Jesus as Lord, but find yourself stuck between two roads. I call these life and death road. They represent our spiritual nature and our sinful nature. Scripture says: “When we let our sinful nature control our minds, it leads to death. But letting the spirit control us leads to life.” Romans 8:6 NL.
Why do we find ourselves stuck? Perhaps it’s because we want to carry baggage from our worldly living onto the path of life, which has a “no baggage” check point. But our baggage includes some things that have comforted us in the darkest times of our lives. It’s hard to think about leaving it behind, especially when we don’t know what will comfort us and give relief like those flesh pleasing activities. But I can tell you, it’s hard and impossible, to carry that baggage and try to carry God in our hearts too. As Scripture says: “Jesus said we must deny ourselves and pick up our cross and follow Him.” Matthew 16:24 NLT.
We must deny all that we have been deceived into thinking are good for us and put down the baggage. Death road has nothing good for us, its only purpose is pleasing the flesh. But pleasing the flesh and letting it control us, leads to death. The things we want at the root are not bad, but we have been giving them to ourselves in all the wrong ways.
We must choose and stay on the road of life, where the spirit guides us. Our sinful nature is still present, but the spirit sits on the throne, and the flesh submits to it. We must continuously strengthen our spirits, like an athlete trains and strengthens their body for competitions. Afterall, two natures are competing for control within us.
We must fight back when the enemy attacks, by taking up and utilizing the “Armour of God” (Ephesians 6:14-18). These include the:
- Belt of Truth
- Breastplate of Righteousness
- Shoes of The Gospel of Peace
- Shield of Faith
- Helmet of Salvation
- Sword of the Spirit - God’s Word
We must learn how to use our sword (scriptures) and our shield (faith), to fight especially against negative thoughts planted by the enemy.
The journey of easing off death road and onto life road, takes time. It is a process to progress. We must be patient, because after all its a fight against ourselves and our sinful nature. We might stumble and fall in weak moments, but we must get up, turn back, and strive to keep strong, keep trying and keep fighting. Remember the bigger picture, life road leads to eternity, so choose life, because: “This world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.” 1 John 2:17 NLT.
Lee Anne’s book Caught Between Life and Death: Courage For Struggling Believers is out available here.