“For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” (Col. 3:3)
If you are reading this and are not saved by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, you should be very worried. If you are saved, my guess would be that in the last two years or so your flesh has been giving you some trouble.
It is one thing to have the assurance of our salvation, it is quite another to try to convince your flesh of that fact. You see, when we die, or are raptured, our flesh will die, it will never exist again. “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.” (1st Cor. 15:50) I do not claim to understand fully what state, so to speak, we will be in when we give our account and are subsequently glorified, but I do know that our flesh will not be there.
The flesh fears death, it fears pain, change and nearly everything else in this world, only those who have been either given over to a reprobate mind or are so deceived by the world do not know fear in one form or another. Pride is a great friend of fear, it believes it can master the circumstances that arrive, and my friends that can include the born-again believer as well if we are not careful and remain in prayer. You see that assurance can also lead to pride, and I may be incorrect here, but my guess would be that at least once since you got up from your knees at the cross you have thought, “God would not let that happen to me.”
Have you forgotten 2nd Timothy 3:12, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” We may be hid in Christ, but that doesn’t mean that we should try to hide from the world, and especially not from ourselves.
The flesh is still us, an enemy now, a despot attempting to drag us back into the pleasures of the world, but still a part of us, and if you do not recognize his ways, you will fall into those traps set by our adversary. I could go as far to say, though I may be overstepping my bounds here, that the flesh is not only a friend of the world but in league with if not a companion of Satan and his ways. Our flesh, the old nature in us does not desire the things of God, and so we hear as well as Peter did, “Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” (Matt. 16:23)
Our flesh savors the things of man, the things of this world, not the things of God. It is our greatest enemy, and he, or she, is with us at all times.
Have you noticed how the flesh ages and begins to fall apart, while those who study to show themselves approved grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord during that stage of life? How, not always of course, so many wise men are aged but seen by the world as useless, how their bodies begin to fail as their spirit begins to grow? “Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.” (Psalm 71:9)
That is the plea of a once strong man watching his body deteriorate, watching as a part of himself still refuses to die, to quit bothering him, and pleading with the Lord to make him useful until his last breath. “Praise God, finally, it is over,” is that man’s cry as he sees the Lord Jesus Christ for the first-time eye to eye. He has finally entered into his rest.
But rest here he will not, the battle does not end as the body begins to fail, in fact, it can grow even more wearisome, for those memories of what he was once able to do begin to plague him, and if he succumbs to them, he can find himself hating the loss of those abilities.
If you are reaching that age, and this battle has begun in you, remember it is nothing more than the last desperate attempts of that part of you that knows it will no longer exist when your final day arrives, and find comfort in this. “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (1st Cor. 2:9)