Day 11

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A Warfare of Rest – Day 11 – Living Martyrs

In the battle to enter into rest and rid our lives of unbelief, some of the biggest doors we have to close in our lives are doors of fear.  Even as faith is the substance of things hoped for, unbelief is the substance of the things feared. So the only way we can ever be truly free from the rule of unbelief is if we remove the hooks of fear by which unbelief has attached itself to our hearts.

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death-that is, the devil- and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.  (Hebrews 2:14-15, NIV)

What is death in the natural?  It is the ultimate expression of loss.  So that means if we are afraid to lose anything – our family, our possessions, our career, our health, our reputation – we become slaves to the enemy rather than servants of God.  And when we give fear a right to exercise control over our lives, it compromises our ability to hear God and leaves us in a place of confusion and unrest.

Most of us are well-acquainted with loss and disappointment in our lives. The enemy’s strategy is to use these disappointments or hurts to build up sufficient “circumstantial evidence” to cast doubt on the character and trustworthiness of God.  Circumstantial evidence is a theory supported by a significant quantity of corroborating evidence that can be used to convict someone of wrongdoing (produce “reasonable doubt”) in the absence of hard evidence.  The enemy is only too happy to give a "significant quantity of corroborating evidence" to cause us to waver in unbelief concerning the promises or character of God.

The more loss we have suffered – marital breakdown, church splits, relationships blown apart, a child who wanders from the Truth, a business failure, hope deferred and dreams seemingly unfulfilled – the more susceptible we are to the fear of loss working  its way into the very fabric of our souls. 

So how then do we gain the ultimate victory over this fear of death?   By embracing death. 

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.  (Luke 9: 24-25, NIV)

The enemy wants to convince us that God is not trustworthy and so we need to protect that which we hold most dear because he knows that once anything is released fully into the hands of the Lord, his power has been nullified.   So our true freedom comes when we are willing to “lose our lives”, die to our own ways and thoughts, and surrender ourselves wholly into God’s hands.

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one. (John 10:27-30, NIV)

If the enemy cannot snatch us from Jesus’ hand, neither can he take anything the Lord has given us, except by the Lord’s permission.  And in this truth, we can find true rest.

If you would like to be set free from the bondage to the fear of death and loss, let’s pray this prayer together.  “Jesus, thank you for sacrificing Yourself through Your death on the Cross so that I might be set free from slavery through a fear of death and loss. God I want to appropriate the freedom that you purchased by Your blood in every area of my life. I ask You to please expose all the places where the enemy has gained a foothold through ungodly fear and I give You the permission to root it out of my life by whatever means necessary.  Lord, I affirm today that I take up my cross, deny myself and choose to lose my life for Your sake. Help me to be a living martyr, dying daily, that I might enter into Your promised rest.  In Jesus name, Amen!”

On behalf of the Awaken Team

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