The Secret of Being the Living Sacrifice - Giving - David Mitts

""For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."  Joh 3:16 (NASB)
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Clearly, we are in unprecedented times in our lifetime. Never before have we seen so clearly the power of the fear of death stop the world. Man, who has in one way or another rejected the love of God, has replaced Him, in many cases, with the fear of death.  The fear of death has a distortion effect on reality as perceived in the mind and heart.  It shifts our faith. The voice of the fear of death causes us to draw in and treat other people as a threat or a potential threat. You have only to walk into a grocery store during the crisis to feel, see, and sense the avoidance and extravagant grip that fear has on people.
Why is this happening? Is it the correct response to the virus? Is this how God would have His sons and daughters respond to this threat? What is the strategy behind this for the enemy? What is the strategy behind this for God? How are we to live in these times? What is our prophetic mandate?
In the book of Hebrews, the author of the fear of death is identified:
"Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives."  Heb 2:14-15 (NASB)
The scripture tells us that the devil has the power of death and operates it by fear. The fear of death produces slavery. What is slavery? How do we know if we are in slavery? 
If we look at obvious slavery like the sex trade, we see slavery involves the dehumanization of women, primarily from a place of being unique and special children of God with a destiny and a unique purpose to a common identity as an object of lust. What drives that process? 
Well, you might answer lust and greed. Well, certainly those are the most immediate drivers. BUT what is behind lust and greed? Why do we lust? Why do we have an insatiable desire to possess? What hole in our heart is driving it? Who is driving it?
I want to suggest to you that it is the fear of death and that it is a devilish strategy to rob God of His inheritance, His children.  The fear of death is not just an emotion but a force from the devil’s kingdom.  Yeshua rendered it powerless but like anything that has a hold on us, it is like the unlocked prison door that we have to walk through. If we don’t know that there is a door or if we don’t know that it is unlocked, or if we don’t know that we have to decide to walk through then the door might as well be shut.
I’m going to attack something head-on, here. The fear of death is the power generator for the world’s system.  This virus is not an attack on the world’s system. It is the expression of the world’s system like the polish on a car.  The polish isn’t the car, but it reveals the glory of the car.  This virus isn’t the fear of death, but it brings a shine or glory to it.
Its objective is slavery, a birthing of an age of darkness and isolation run by fear.  The question is, where is God in this? And how can we live as the children of God in this hour? Also, let’s ask why is this happening and why now?
Lots of questions and I’m not pretending to have all of the answers, just a voice of one in the wilderness of sin crying out, prepare the way of the Lord!
Ok. Let’s unravel this a bit. First, let’s agree that every response we have seen is rooted in fear, specifically the fear of death. Social distancing? Why? To avoid spreading the disease. Why avoid spreading the disease? What if spreading the disease was the key to repentance and a turn from wicked ways? BUT, you say… people would die. Yes, they would, but I don’t know if in your lifetime you have noticed, people die all the time! Why? Sin. 
Let me ask you a question. When did avoiding people change sin? It has been tried many times. It is the strategy of religion. Keep your children from the wayward ones and maybe they won’t become wayward. As the song say, …teach your children well…. Nothing wrong with teaching your children well, but they still have to make the right choices on their own and they still have to deal with their own inner rebellion to what is right.  Their identity as your children or my children is no real protection against themselves.
"For there is no partiality with God. For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified."  Rom 2:11-13 (NASB)
This is also true for us! We can hear the scriptures and be just as judged by our own actions as anyone else. If we operate according to the fear of death, then we, although free by God’s declaration, are just as much in bondage as those who have never received Yeshua.
I believe this situation is a crucible, a potential reformation of the body of Messiah! The clay is being melted and reformed. This is not the first time the world has been turned upside down to act as a potter’s wheel to reform the people of God.  Let us look at Romans 9 for some insight. Paul is facing the existential reformation of God’s people and it is breaking his heart.
"For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises, whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen."  Rom 9:3-5 (NASB)
Like now, God was transforming the outward expression of His people through the crucible of the fires that the cross brought upon the world.  Up to that point, God’s sons and daughters were such based on an expression known as Israel.  The goal of that expression was the revelation and manifestation of Messiah.  Everything was to reveal Him and to be the birthing chamber for Him. This was the glory, the covenants, the Torah, and the promises. Like a mother, Israel was groomed from birth to birth Messiah. The birth of the Son of God transformed not only the identity of Israel but like a natural mother, it transformed their life after that point.
I believe this virus, although nowhere nearly as significant as the cross is a sign of another monumental shift in the identity and destiny of the children of God, or it can be anyway.
Why do I say that? Because of the upheaval that has happened. This is a huge transition time. I think everyone feels that which is why people are so frustrated. The scriptures call transition tribulation. In tribulation, something new is being born.
Look at Yeshua’s words as He planned to leave the world and birth the new covenant age:
""I came forth from the Father and have come into the world; I am leaving the world again and going to the Father." His disciples *said, "Lo, now You are speaking plainly and are not using a figure of speech. "Now we know that You know all things and have no need for anyone to question You; by this we believe that You came from God." Jesus answered them, "Do you now believe? "Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home, and to leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. "These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation but take courage; I have overcome the world.""  Joh 16:28-33 (NASB)
In order for the new covenant age to be birthed, He had to be rejected, to be alone. Notice that the disciples were scattered each to his own home. Sound familiar? The second stay at home order. The first was Egypt at the Passover, establishing Israel.
"Now the LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, "This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you. "Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, 'On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers' households, a lamb for each household."  Exo 12:1-3 (NASB)
This was the first lockdown. Then came the Yeshua lockdown. And now… a new lockdown to birth a new reality. With each came a tribulation, a birthing pain.
"And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel." To the woman He said, "I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.""  Gen 3:15-16 (NASB)
The pain of childbirth, the labor is the travail, the tribulation. It is all about the birthing of the new seed that comes to transform government, the system that runs the world.
Remember Romans 8:18-22
"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now."  Rom 8:18-22 (NASB)
Let’s read this carefully! 
  • Sufferings of this present time.
    • This the word root pathos from which we get the term pathology or disease agent. This implies some kind of physical assault on the people.
  • The pathology, the symptoms of disruption are nothing compared to the “glory” which is to be revealed to us or through us, either is current. What does the glory that is to be revealed to us or through us mean? Glory is the word for identity or nature.  There is a new revolutionary identity coming to the children of God that is precipitated by the pathology.  This crisis that was meant for evil actually turns out to bring forth a breakthrough in the Body of Messiah. The whole body? Sadly, no! Not all Israel is the Israel of God.
  • The next verse speaks of an anxious longing but a better way to say it is an eager expectation. What for? A revelation, a new vision for who are the sons of God.  There is a birthing coming of a new reality of the children of God.
  • This revelation is so new and so powerful that it impacts the creation, the natural order, and births a new heaven and a new earth.  This is where we are.  Like Israel, we are distracted by the power of Pharaoh but he is nothing compared to God’s plan for a transformation.  This tribulation is a sign of a new birth, a new age of a new reality of the Body.
What will it look like? It will look more like the Father than ever before. You think Egypt was big?  You thing Pentecost was big? Get ready for a huge move of God. 
It will be known by giving.  God has repeatedly defined Himself by His giving. He warns us that those who will not trust Him will find themselves controlled by fear of loss. All of that is run by him, the devil through the fear of death, him who subjected the creation, to the pathology, the source of the accusation of the brethren. The futility is the frustration that comes in the birthing process. Labor is not usually as short as anyone wants it to be. Labor can also be very traumatic.  Yet the new birth is the result.
We are at a place of travail, or labor.  A new birth is about to come forth for the children of God. What has been in darkness is being revealed. The accuser of the brethren is about to be thrown down.
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. "And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. "For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time." (Rev 12:10-12 NASB)
This is a time pregnant with possibility. Will we be like the disciples who scattered each to their own homes or will we bring forth a new and more powerful and relevant expression of Messiah?  We stand at the valley of decision and need to think and act outside of the box. The key will be our love.  The key will be how we treat the least of these. The key will be in our giving. The secret of living is giving!
Activation: I know these are scary times. Childbirth is scary for everyone! Yet, a new child of destiny is coming forth. Like Israel in Egypt, like Israel ruled by Rome, we have given our identity to a world system.  We have become slaves again. How can I say that? We allow not just our outward behavior to be controlled by the ruling class of the world, we also allow them to define us and non-essential. Church has become non-essential! We are less essential than the pot store, the alcohol store, the drug store. Why? Because we have no glory, no power. They view us through their own thinking, and we have allowed it. We are so desperate to be approved to be legitimized by our numbers and influence. We love being the Christian right! It is hogwash. It is not the currency of the kingdom that Yeshua gave His life for. He wasn’t trying to build a new government organization or even an NGO! No! He was building a Church that would hear the voice of the Father and be the voice of the Father. It is time to open our ears again and press in for the Father’s voice. This week really journal and listen. Look for your blood on the lintel moment. Look for you all together in an upper room moment. Do not allow people to relate to you through what you say you believe, like a set of principles but through the love you show in action. 


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