Often, I feel like my personality is split in two—the good me, and the bad me. I’m like a character in a Saturday morning cartoon, with a little angel on one shoulder encouraging me to do the right thing, and a little devil on the opposite shoulder tempting me to do the wrong thing. Sometimes my little devil screams so loudly I can’t hear anything else.
But this morning I realized something. The little devil part of me is actually dead, having died when all sins died, with Jesus on the cross. When Jesus died, he took with him the sins of the world—those sins died with him. Those sins were the collection of the sinful side of everyone who chooses to believe, the collective of our little devils.
So, the devil that seems to exert power over my words and actions is not actually real, but a phantom, or maybe more like a lingering shadow of the sinful me that once thrived. And that shadow fades the more I let the light of the Spirit of Jesus shine within me.
This morning, for the first time, I see and believe in the image of my little devil as dead, sent to the abyss where Jesus took all our sins. It feels so freeing to say that. I’ve prayed for the death of my sinful self for a long time.
I suspect I’ll backslide, and the phantom shadow will con me into believing it has real power over me. But now I feel armed with the reminder that the little sh*t-disturber is powerless and dead.
Here’s what Jesus and the apostle Paul had to say:
“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” (Matthew 16:24-25)
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20)
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” (Galatians 5:24)
“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin. … In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 6:6, 11)
What do you think about all this?
Oh, and if you’re interested, please check out my soon-to-be-published book, We Called Him Yeshua.