Post details: GraceHead Trusting: Vanquishing the Shadow


Permalink 05:55:47 pm, Categories: GraceHead teaching, By Pam, 1206 words   English (US)

GraceHead Trusting: Vanquishing the Shadow

Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

When Eve bit into the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, sin and death entered the world and the shadow of death has hung over the entire Creation ever since. When we are born, we are born into a world subject to death. Every breath that we take is taken beneath that shadow.

I have known many things in my life, but what I have never experienced is good health. I now see that as a blessing for all of my life, I have been aware of the shadow of death and it does not surprise me. I was born into sickness and have awoke most every morning to the adversary of death sitting upon my chest. Every day is a struggle between he and I to see if I will rise. Most days, I win; I rise and I live despite the constant shadow of death. Some days, I am not able to rise and he has partial victory. I have not been able to rise for weeks at a time and was near to giving up hope in the battle, but God raises me again to walk and to serve. Before I knew God, death was allowed to fully swallow me, but God had determined a certain number of days for me and allowed doctors to revive me.


Psalm 14:5 Since his days are determined, The number of his months is with You; You have appointed his limits, so that he cannot pass.

Our days are numbered by God and the agent He uses for that numbering is death. Death limits the time man is allowed to live in sin apart from God. Without death, there would be no time. It is death that sets the cycle of life and death that is time. It is our life subject to death that moves us through time. Mortal life is always shaded by the shadow of death and will someday, be wholly swallowed by the shadow; for it is of the shadow and belongs to it. Even mortal life however, is stronger than death; when one thing dies, such as a seed, life is multiplied and life rises again in new forms. Life can't be held down long by death.

As a Christian, I have passed from mortal life to eternal life. Though my physical body is still mortal and the life in it subject to death, my spirit,has been quickened by the Holy Spirit through the gift of eternal life that I have received from Jesus. My physical body, an agent of sin, remains a part of the shadow of death that hangs over all; but my spirit has been made alive by the Spirit that is God. I am in Christ and He is in the Father; Life is in fullness in me.

Though I am fully alive and my spirit no longer mortal, I still awake to each morning's battle with death. This battle is the physical suffering that I endure in this life but I know that death is but a shadow and when it passes so will the suffering. In Christ, my days are not numbered. In Christ I have passed from the numbering of days to days without number, eternal life. Though my flesh is still undergoing that painful numbering through the agent of death, death can't hold me. The day that I put off this earthly tent is the day that the shadow will have fully dissipated. The final day is not a day to be feared but a day to be embraced with joy.

Romans 8:5-7 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.

These verses are most often applied to our battle with sin but sin and death are inseparable and these verses apply very much to our battle with the shadow of death. There is nothing that can draw us into the full power of sin more than sickness. Pain and suffering can draw us away from Christ-centeredness to self-centeredness. Illness has the power to draw our focus away from Christ. Illness can cause us to fear the shadow of death more than we trust in the fullness of life that is Christ within us. Physical suffering can bring us to a place of enmity with God by overwhelming us with our own carnal nature and fear. The complete swallowing of death is the point of complete enmity toward God. A carnal person lives as a part of the shadow of death and his end is to be wholly consumed by that shadow.

Christians are carnal and we are immortal. In sickness, we too can be drawn away into sin by our pain and suffering and fear of both. Jesus suffered as a man, in like manner. His body also was carnal and swallowed whole by the shadow of death. Christ however, was not held by death, for Jesus fully trusted His Father and He passed through that shadow of death and arose transformed. Jesus did not live according to his flesh but according to His father. We too must live according to Jesus so that we will be spiritually minded. Even though our bodies betray us, Christ never will. It is in sickness that Christ in us is most fully revealed. It is in sickness that Christ in us becomes stronger as our bodies grow weaker.

Even Jesus, at His moment of greatest physical weakness, feared that the Father had forsaken Him, and experienced the full weight of being totally forsaken in physical death. He was not forsaken however, for death was but a shadow that He passed through and then He picked His life back up again.

Jesus lives in me and I too will pass through the shadow. I will not be swallowed by that shadow as I once was before I knew Jesus. God allowed me to be revived not only to live out this mortal life, but that I might come to know His Son, Jesus and know eternal life in Him. My daily struggle with death continues and is in some ways amplified, but though my flesh is growing weaker, my hope is not in the continuing of that flesh. For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. I am not afraid of shadows for shadows are all dissipated in the fullness of light. I am a child of light. As I continue to walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will not fear but instead, trust God and press on toward the light. I am not of the shadow and will not be consumed by it. I am of the light and will be fully consumed by Life.

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Comment from: Lisa [Visitor]
wow--this is very intense, very deep. I had to read it a couple of times before I could absorb it all.

I had never looked at death in this manner, but it makes sense: Death is a controlling factor in 'time'. We live from the point of birth to the point of death. Our carnality doesn't go beyond the point of death. (from an earthly view, if you will) Our bodies are born, they grow, they die.
Because of one mans' sin, death entered into the world. Because of Jesus, Life entered back to the world. To those who will recieve His Life, death is nothing more than a shadow that we pass through. We pass through this death into Light everlasting.
Our mortal flesh can become very depressed when thinking about death. Either the death of our loved ones, or the death of ourselves. ironically, the first thought on my mind this morning were my parents. I still have both of them with me, but, as naturally happens, their health is starting to fail them as well--just by product of age combined with years of chain smoking, I suppose. I don't know why that was on my mind, but it was. Then to read this post, concerning death.
Christ in us, is our Hope of Glory. He is our Light, and in Him there is no darkness :) No fear of death.
Very thought provoking article, Pam, thanks for sharing it with us.
Permalink 07/15/06 @ 11:38
Comment from: Pam [Member]

It takes some maturity in the Lord to view death as a positive for a Christian.

My two grandmothers were very different people. One was a Christian, one was not (though I still hold out hope that before she exhaled her last breath, she turned to Jesus)and as a young Christian, I was forever changed by the differnce in the way they faced death. My Christian grandma had cancer and her last days were in and out of consiousness but there was no fear in her. She had dreams or visions in her unconcious state and in her concious state, would tell us all how wonderful it would be in heaven with Jesus. Though she was so ill, she did not have the palor of death, she glowed.

I was much closer to my grandma who didn't know the Lord and it was so difficult watching her struggle with her own mortality. She was very intelligent, a writer and had much knowledge but none of it did her any good in those last days of her life. The last time I saw her, she was closing the screen door and upon latching it she said, "I've got to lock this so no one steals me." Death stole her from me but I still hold out hope because all things are possible with God through Jesus Christ. I loved her very much and I know that Jesus loves her much more than I.

We must never give up hope. Hopelessness belongs to the shadow of death it does not belong to those who walk in the light.

Permalink 07/15/06 @ 12:21
Comment from: Trent [Member] ·

One of the things that churches say, that puts alot of people into bondage, is that God means for everyone to stay well, and lack-o-faith and sin is what ruins your health. Is that true? Was Jesus ever sick?

"... I was sick ... " - Jesus (Matthew 25:43)

These religious abusers have thier minds on comfort and not on Jesus. I suppose I have little tolarance for it.

Keep it up, sista. I think you have inspired a few blogs that will be forthcoming from me on the topic as well.

Ripening still,
Permalink 07/16/06 @ 10:35

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