I ran across something strange last night--it was a single phrase, printed in smeary, blood-red lettering on a black desktop background:
For a moment, I thought it was just an advertisement for another cliched deathmetal band, but a split-second later, I realized that this phrase had much more meaning.
"For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live." (Romans 8:13 NIV)
Maybe it would seem odd to some, seeing such a bloody and brutal-looking image portraying such a Christian concept; it's intimidating, and it's dark. It's violent. But think about this: murdering the flesh, the sinful nature, the 'misdeeds' is never an easy process. It is brutal and intimidating. It is violent and messy and painful. It's a constant struggle, a battle. A war between our flesh--the sinful human nature--and the Spirit's guiding force in our hearts.
And face it--sometimes we lose. In our humanness, in our imperfection, sometimes we give in, screw up. Sometimes we're just not strong enough to say "no" to the temptations this world hurls at us. Sometimes we fall into pits of weakness that we can't seem to crawl out of. It makes us feel unworthy, hopeless, ashamed. Dirty.
But how do we murder the flesh? It's when we submit to God, lift up to him our addictions and temptations, that we can win the battle. It's when we admit our failure, admit our humanness, admit our weakness and ask that he give us the strength to say "no."
His Grace is enough to cover. His strength is enough to Overcome.
"All have sinned and fall short of God's glory, but all are treated as righteous freely by his grace because of a ransom that was paid by Christ Jesus. Through his faithfulness, God displayed Jesus as the place of sacrifice where mercy if found by means of his blood. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness in passing over sins that happened before" (Romans 3:23-26 CEB)
P.S.: The above image was created by and belongs to The Whosoevers--an organization striving to spread Hope to those who have none. It was formed by former KoRn guitarist, Brian "Head" Welch (really cool dude with a great testimony--check him out!), Sonny Sandoval (the frontman of the band POD), Ryan Ries, and Ronnie Faisst.