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Spiritual Rigor Mortis


And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

Matthew 24:12

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness, Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, And saw My works forty years. Therefore I was angry with that generation, And said, `They always go astray in [their] heart, And they have not known My ways.’ So I swore in My wrath, `They shall not enter My rest.’ ”

Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

Hebrews 3:7-15

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What is rigor mortis?

Rigor mortis refers to the state of a body after death, in which the muscles become stiff. It commences after around 3 hours, reaching maximum stiffness after 12 hours, and gradually dissipates until approximately 72 hours after death. Rigor mortis occurs due to changes in the physiology of muscles when aerobic respiration ceases.

Muscles are made up of two types of fibre. These fibres have connections between them that lock and unlock during muscle contraction and relaxation. These connections are controlled by a biochemical pathway within the cell, which is partially driven by the presence of calcium ions. The concentration of calcium ions is higher in the fluid surrounding muscle cells than it is inside the cells, so calcium tends to diffuse into the cell. High calcium levels inside the cell drive the biochemical pathway in the direction that maintains muscle contraction. To relax, muscle cells must expel the calcium ions from the cell and this requires energy molecules to pump them across the cell membrane.

After a body has died, the chemical reaction producing these energy molecules is unable to proceed because of a lack of oxygen. The cells no longer have the energy to pump calcium out of the cell and so the calcium concentration rises, forcing the muscles to remain in a contracted state. This state of muscle stiffening is known as rigor mortis and it remains until the muscle proteins start to decompose.

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That’s pretty gross reading, isn’t it? I mean, who enjoys reading of the break-down of a dead body, for goodness sakes!

But I see a spiritual application in this…even in the clinical definition of ‘Rigor Mortis’

Today’s musing is coming from the wilderness. I don’t like it much here, but have come to accept that this is where God has me, many days on this journey. So be it.

The above scripture taken from Jesus’ word’s in Matthew about the signs of the end days, on coldness of heart, are some of the most disturbing for me. Why?

Because its evident that sign is here.

Its also becoming more evident to me daily that coldness of heart can lead to spiritual death. After all, doesn’t the very terms ‘cold and hard’ bring to mind something which is dead? It does to me. Warmth and softness requires life to be present. Not only for the natural body, but for the spirit of man also.

The world around us is one cold hard place in these days which are growing darker by the minute. Most days I can ignore it–today I couldn’t. For its not the condition of the world which concerns me, but that of those who acknowledge Christ as Lord and Savior. Jesus wasn’t speaking about the world…but about those Christians living in the end days before His return..as was the author of Hebrews also writing to followers of Christ. According to the words in Hebrews 3, we, if not careful, can end up in the same position the generation spoken of, found themselves in–not being allowed [hindered by God Himself!] from entering into our rest.

We can go astray by continual un-repented of sin, selfish endeavors, critical complaining attitudes; And refusing to see God’s ‘abundance’ and provision in our daily lives; instead we cry over the leeks and onions left behind in Egypt. All this and more, leads to developing coldness and hardness of heart. And in the end to death..and Rigor Mortis of the spirit and soul. I’m afraid many are already in ‘full rigor’ and don’t know it yet. Sad.

Well, these are just my thoughts today from the wilderness.

Lord, help me to stay soft and pliable in your hands; Let me not forget that to continue in LIFE I must continue to abide in you daily.

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