A couple years ago during a visit to my son’s home, he urged me to watch one of his favorite television shows, “Walking Dead”. I reluctantly sat through a couple of episodes, looking away when the zombies would actually try to eat the living people. Eeeuuwww!! A few months ago, I had a nightmare about zombies trying to kill and eat me. Boy, this zombie stuff is scary! The living people are always in defense mode, postured to slay the zombies whenever they come back to attack… and they always seem to come back!
As a Christ-follower, I certainly identify with the Apostle Paul (who formerly ordered the execution of hundreds of Christians before his own conversion). Paul lamented, “For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war …and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (From Romans 7:19-25)
Paul recognized that his only hope of changing was to daily “put to death” the evil deeds that his flesh still, at times, longed to indulge in.
Paul’s humbling yet triumphant proclamation reminded him of who he was now, as a new person re-created by the Holy Spirit dwelling within him: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
The power to experience lasting change in our lives is only accomplished through God’s grace, accessed through a daily, moment by moment communion with God, being filled and fueled by the Holy Spirit and His Word (the Bible).
“Since… you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived… [but now] put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” (From Colossians Chapter 3)
So how can we not act like a blood-sucking, self-serving ZOMBIE, devouring everyone around us? Only with God’s help. Our own “flesh” is doomed to fail us (and hurt the ones we love) every time. We need divine intervention from the One Who made us.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” (Colossians 3: 12-14)
The song “Come, Lord Jesus” talks about this “wrestling match” that we each face, and our longing for redemption, now and with Christ’s return. It released to over 3,000 radio stations in Jan. 2016, from the album, “Before the Throne: Worship & Hymns“. Hear it HERE.
A real-life prayer: “Lord, help me respond with love and patience when I’m frustrated and falsely accused. Help me be kind and reply with softness and wisdom when my spouse (or boss/ co-worker) acts badly. Keep the “zombie” of my old person DEAD, and let the LIFE of Christ rise up in me and change me into who I need to be, day by day, moment by moment, as I surrender to You. Amen!”