by Jason Reynolds
I found a “revelation” this morning while reading Revelation 12 and the heavenly battle with the devil.
Verses 7-11 grabbed my attention.
Michael and his angels are battling the devil and demons in heaven. The devil loses and he and the demons are kicked out of heaven and fall to earth.
Here is verse 10: “Then I heard a loud voice in heaven saying, ‘The salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the ruling authority of his Christ, have now come, because the accuser of our brothers and sisters, the one who accuses them day and night before our God, has been thrown down.”
Verse 11: “But they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.” (NET)
The chapter then mentions a call to rejoice in heaven but woe on earth since the devil is now there.
One of the devil’s names is the accuser. He accuses us day and night of our sins, telling this to God and to us, to try to drive a wedge between us and God.
Anyway, that’s a whole other topic.
I want to talk about the insight I gained into verse 11.
The phrase about not loving their lives jogged my memory and I researched and found it on BibleHub.
John 12:25 says “Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” (NIV)
The Bible has a great deal to say on this topic.
Biblehub provides cross references.
Jesus Predicts His Death
…24Truly, truly, I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a seed; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25Whoever loves his life will lose it, but whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, My servant will be as well. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.…
Other references are: Matthew 10:39 and 16:25; Mark 8:35; and Luke 9:24, 14:26 and 17:33.
So, it’s mentioned in all four gospels. That means it’s really important.
This talk about losing your life does not always mean a physical death, although it can. Christians are being murdered around the world by Muslims and Hindus and socialist dictators for not renouncing their faith in Christ.
This mention of losing your life also means not being afraid to let go of your sin, your fleshy desires, things like selfishness, greed, sexual desires — the things that keep you distant from God. These are idols, things you put before God in your life. God does not want you to have any idols; He wants to be first in your life. This process is called sanctification.
Letting go of these things is hard. I still struggle with this. In the 11 years I have followed Christ, it has been a process that ebbs and flows. That is what Christ meant by picking up your cross and following Him. He does not expect you to be perfect in this life, but he expects you to work toward it.
Do not worry when you stumble in this journey. Pick your cross back up off the ground and walk toward Christ once more. Rinse and repeat, to borrow an analogy.
By doing this, you will have defeated the devil in the way God has called you to fight him. Imagine the power of millions and then billions of people over the centuries putting God first, thus thwarting the devil’s plans.
Christian, journalist, author, lover of chocolate and coffee.