“Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.”
1 Peter 4:1-2
Christ’s resolve – while here on earth – which climaxed in his obedient death on the cross, was to do the will of God. Time and again, consistently, the Lord Jesus declared and demonstrated by His actions that He lived for and did the will of God His Father.
“Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.”
“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.”
The Lord’s entire life and itinerary on earth was nothing but the Father’s will. He emptied Himself of His own will and desires and in place of them chose and embraced the Father’s.
“Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’”
And every time we arm ourselves with Christ’s mindset we too are empowered by God to do His will in our lives and in our generation. Every time we consider ourselves dead to sin and the passions of the flesh, we are choosing God’s will over the desires of our fallen natural self. The flesh will of course – inevitably – suffer in this process as it gives way to the Spirit.
Choosing God’s will equates with denying self. The two cannot coexist. It’s a fallacy and deception to think they can and utter foolishnes to attempt to make them so. They never will – not while we are still in this fallen nature. God’s will is done and His work accomplished in our lives in the rich soil bed of self-denial, nowhere else. The purposes of God and His will for our lives will never be accomplished where self is aggrandized and glorified, respected and appeased. Self has to die – in every department – if God’s will is to prosper. Self-gratification and the will of God, in our current context, are permanently incompatible. God’s will is and can only be accomplished on “self’s” deathbed – nowhere else. For where self is alive and allowed to thrive (again, in any department of our lives), there God’s will will most certainly suffer setbacks and defeats.
Our self and its desires pose the greatest of enemies to the successful accomplishment of God’s will in our lives for which we were created. Dying to self is an essential prerequisite to accomplishing God’s will and purpose in our lives. So do a “self-check” regularly, every now and again to see how much “self’s” desires are in the driving seat of your life. For if they are, you will never make it to your destination – the accomplishment of God’s will in your life here on earth.
Check what is driving your choices and decisions in life – self-gratification or God’s glorification? For only that which is God’s will for our lives brings glory to Him, not what we desire for ourselves.
“I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.”
A life of self gratification, fulfilling its whims and desires, is irreconcilable with a life that desires to champion God’s will. Hence the reason why the flesh/self has to be dealt with in the same manner as it was by Christ – death. Take on Christ’s suffering for sin, make His death yours too, stand along and identify with it and appropriate his suffering for yourself.
“For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”