Left unchecked, your flesh will try to run you over, take charge of your emotions, and promote laziness in your life. It will tell you that you’ve done too much; that you’ve already done more than anyone else; that you don’t need to do any more than you’ve already done; and that you’re not as appreciated as you ought to be. Your flesh will advise you to kick back, take it easy, and cut yourself some slack. It will scream that if anyone deserves to do nothing for a while, it’s you.
Your flesh always tries to take everything to an extreme. If you allow it to control you, it will carry you into a state of laziness that sedates your whole outlook and destroys your productivity. You’ll lose your joy, hope, victory—even your very reason for living. In the end, you’ll become weak, powerless, and devoid of the desire or energy to pursue anything, let alone the high calling God has for your life.
When your flesh rises up and tempts you to be slothful about your dream, your business, or your relationship with God, what should you do? Or when your flesh coaxes you into believing you are too poor, too stupid, too ugly, too uninteresting, or too “run of the mill” to be used by God, how should you respond?
Should you cry and complain that you’re just not as talented as others? Should you grieve that you’re not as skinny as someone else? Should you whimper that you weren’t born into a more prestigious family? Should you lament that you were never able to finish your education? Will your complaining put a degree on your wall?
It’s time to tell the flesh to shut its loud mouth! Then grab hold of the power of God to change you and the way you are thinking. As long as you allow that rank, stinking flesh to produce a “poor me” mentality, you will not make any significant contribution to the world. And that’s such a pity because God wants to use you! Instead of letting the flesh rule you, it is time for you to do as the apostle Paul ordered in Romans 6:11 when he said, “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
The word “reckon” comes from the Greek word logidzomai, which means to consider, to think, to deem, to regard, or to count something as done. This means the verse could be translated, “Once and for all, deem yourselves to be dead to sin….” But it is important to note that the Greek tense means this reckoning must be done on a continual basis. With this in mind, it could be translated, “Once and for all, deem yourself dead to sin. After that, keep it up! Keep counting yourself as one who has died to sin…”
The word “dead” comes from the word nekros, which is the Greek word for a human corpse. It is the picture of an actual dead person, whose lifeless body has no heartbeat and no breath in his lungs. This person is declared clinically dead; he is now a corpse. By using the word nekros, Paul tells us that we are to deem ourselves as dead—non-responsive to sin. We are to be just as non-responsive to sin as a dead person is to life! Dead people don’t respond to anything because they are dead!
These powerful words in Romans 6:11 could be interpreted this way:
“Once and for all, deem yourself dead to sin. After that, keep it up! You have to keep counting yourself as one who has died to sin….”
When I served as an assistant pastor in the Southern Baptist church, the senior pastor wanted to teach me how to conduct funerals, so he took me to funeral after funeral. He wanted me to learn how to conduct myself in delicate and difficult situations. One funeral I attended was an unforgettable experience. Even now I can vividly see it as I write about it. It was a funeral conducted for an unsaved family whose son had tragically died in an accident. The sorrow and remorse in that room was so thick, it could almost be cut with a knife.
Nothing is sadder than a funeral with a family of unbelievers. They have no faith and no hope. When they lose a loved one, it is truly a catastrophe because their lack of hope overwhelms them. But even worse than attending such a funeral is to be called upon to conduct one!
I watched as the mother approached the casket to tell her son goodbye one last time. She was so overwhelmed with grief that she crawled into the casket! She clutched and held tightly to her son’s dead body, pleading, “Talk to me! Talk to me! Don’t leave me like this!” Funeral-home workers had to pull the mother out of the coffin and escort her to the limousine that awaited to take her and the rest of the family to the cemetery for the burial.
That early experience is etched forever in my memory. I’ve never forgotten that pitiful sight as the mother gripped that dead body in her arms and begged it to speak to her one last time. But that body was not going to talk to her. It was dead.
The empty shell that lay in that casket was the deceased, expired, finished shadow of a young man who had once lived but was now gone. There was no heartbeat, no breath in his lungs, no pulse to feel in his wrists. The clock had quit running for that man’s life, and there was no turning back the clock to make it start ticking again. It was a “done deal.” This man’s life had expired. His body was mortified.
Well, your flesh needs to be mortified in the same way. As Paul says in Romans 6:11, it is time for you to reckon, deem, consider, regard, and count as a done fact that you are dead to sin and to its lying insinuations! To continually count yourself dead to sin, you may have to speak to yourself often and take authority over your flesh. Command your flesh to shut its mouth, and remind yourself that the flesh lost its power at the Cross and no longer has the right to rule and reign in your life!
You don’t have to allow the flesh to lord itself over you any longer. You don’t have to let your flesh and emotions give you the run-around. Instead of focusing on what you can’t do, it’s time to start thinking about what you can do when you become yielded to the Spirit of God.
That’s why Paul went on to say that you must now start looking at yourself as one who is “… alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” You see, sin is no longer your master; now you are the servant of Jesus Christ! When your body, mind, and emotions are submitted to Him, you cease to be a slave to your body and emotions. Instead, your body and emotions become your servant—instruments of righteousness to help you achieve the dreams God has put in your heart.
The only way you and I will ever accomplish what we were born to do is to put aside the lies of the enemy; tell our lazy, complaining flesh to keep its mouth shut; take charge of our emotions; and yield ourselves as instruments unto God. Then as we start speaking the truth of God’s Word, drawing upon His power that works in us and through us to do His will, we’ll start seeing supernatural results and achievements!
God has something awesome for you to do. Absolutely nothing can keep you from doing what He has put in your heart—not your education, status in society, political affiliation, or physical appearance. None of these factors will have any impact on God’s call on your life.
The one factor that does impact God’s ability to use you is your own obedience to Him. Your heart must be willing. You must take authority over the flesh that would take you down a lazy path. And you must yield your body to God’s Spirit as an instrument of righteousness. That’s when you’ll find yourself on the path that leads to being used by God!
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, I reckon myself dead to sin! It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me! Since this is who You have made me to be, I ask You to help me say no to my flesh and to temptation and then to count myself alive unto You! Holy Spirit, energize me with Your strength and power to walk in the resurrection power of Jesus Christ!
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I boldly declare that I reckon, deem, consider, regard, and count as a done fact that I am dead to sin! I take authority over the flesh and command it to shut its mouth, and I refuse to give it the right to rule and reign in my life! I am alive unto God through Jesus Christ. Sin is no longer my master; now I am the servant of Jesus Christ!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- Are there areas in your life that you haven’t yet reckoned to be dead? What are those areas, and what are you going to do about them? Are you going to allow those unyielded areas to keep calling the shots, or are you going to count them as dead and powerless in your life?
- Do you have any sinful habits that used to be non-active and non-responsive and are now trying to wake up again? If yes, what are you going to do to “remortify” those areas of your life so you can stay free?
- In what area does your flesh try the hardest to speak to you and to rule over you?
Absolutely nothing can keep you from doing what God has put in your heart—not your education, status in society, political affiliation, or physical appearance. None of these factors will have any impact on His call on your life.