There is within man an innate instinct for survival. When life is threatened, we do whatever is necessary for self-preservation. Science calls this the fight or flight response. Whichever method we employ, we do so with the sincere belief that it is the best option for our survival.
I find myself employing the same self-preservation tactics even as I attempt to lay down my own life on an altar and die. My flesh resists. I continually fight or constantly run. I fight against the death of my flesh even though it is my desire to lay it down that my LORD may live through me.
Why is it that I lay my life: my problems, my fears, and my sins on the altar only to find them clenched in my firm grip once again?
Because dying is hard to do.
The Spirit in me knows this flesh must die but my flesh is fighting for its life, fighting for its desires. This battle between flesh and Spirit is constantly raging. Paul described to us the difficulty of dying by telling us that it is something he had to do on a daily basis.
I die daily. – 1 Corinthians 15:31
Wow! If Paul, the great apostle and writer of much of the New Testament, if this Paul had to crucify his flesh afresh on a daily basis, then dying must be hard to do.
So here I am at the altar. Before I had hoped that I would crucify this flesh and the battle would be over; but it wasn’t so. My flesh is fighting for survival and the Spirit in me is fighting for Life. Once again, I am laying it all on the altar. I am dying to my will, my selfish ambitions.
I will do it again tomorrow. Because dying is hard to do.
But I am finding that it is possible. And, oh, the joy I find when I am crucified with Christ!