Natural relationships are of God, but it’s corruption is not. God created male and female, but Satan has spoiled normal relationships. God has given us these natural relationships to enjoy. Hence we do not neglect our bodies, which would be suggested by the thought of being dead to nature, which sets these relationships aside.
In Christ we have a relationship with Him and the Father, but we recognise that these relationships are not natural ones. We have died with Christ, and our life is hid with him. Hence we are dead to sin, and the rudiments of the world. Our old man is crucified with Christ. We are ‘dead to the law by the body of Christ’ (Romans 7:4).
Being dead to nature is quite unknown to Scripture, and falsifies the bearing of death to sin and the world. Death to nature is not devotedness: if I talk about being dead to nature, I am occupied with it. The thought of being dead to nature would It is legality and maintaining this is not of the Holy Spirit.
Christ is our life and He is not of the world. We have a new relationship with the Father, based Christ’s being in heaven. The Spirit of God is the source of all our thoughts in or desires for Christ to be our life. We eat, we drink, and we enjoy our relationships here. At the same time, we pray and give God thanks.
Substance of a letter by JN Darby 16 August 1878. From ‘Death to Nature’ – Notes and Comments Volume 2 page 259.