Love and Life - Session 15 - Living the Overcoming Life - David Mitts

"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. (Rev 12:11 NASB)



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Giving Opportunity Message
Givelify

 We have pressing in for breakthroughs in how to live in confusing and destructive times. We know that we wrestle not with flesh and blood but with spiritual realities that seek to enslave us or liberate us.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

Wrestling is a unique sport in that is often not about strength but about balance and technique. In order to succeed in a wrestling match, we need to be able to anticipate the moves of our adversary and wait for openings which allow us to shift the balance of power into a strategic advantage.

Weight is a huge advantage in wrestling. In scriptural terms, weight is described as glory. The Hebrew word for “glory” is “kavod” which comes the root verb “kavad” which means to add a burden to someone. The “glory” of the Lord is a description of His weightiness, His splendor and majesty. When the Apostle Paul describes the type of warfare we are engaged in, he speaks of it in spiritual terms. The battle is in the heavens.

Heavens is not a description of outer space or even of the sky above. The Hebrew is the word “shamayim”. “Sha” means over there. It’s a locator prefix, giving us an indication of where to look for something. The second part of the word is “mayim” which indicates the “waters”.

Waters are the key to unlock the battles that we are engaged in. There are battles raging in the waters. What do I mean by that?

Let’s look at a statement of Yeshua that will perhaps give us an insight.

“Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:5-6)

From this verse, we can see clearly that there is a choice of 2 kingdoms with 2 different and distinct kinds of births. All are born of the natural waters of life, but there is another birth through the heavens, the waters of eternal life. Natural waters represent the birth into the natural life. This life is ruled by principalities and powers, rulers of the darkness of this age. These waters generate power for the spiritual hosts of wickedness itself.

Wickedness is the Hebrew word, “ra”, which is made up of 2 characters, “reysh” and “ayin”. Reysh is the character for head, or authority. “Ayin” is the character for seeing. Together these speak of a way of seeing things or life that under a separate authority than God’s.

In this sense our battle in the heavens is about how we see ourselves and life. Wickedness is a perspective that represents an illusion driven by a spiritual agenda. What is the agenda?

To kill, steal, and destroy. Yeshua brings us the opposite possibility, the abundant life.

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)

The root of this agenda is lack. This lack is all about perspective which is the authority of wickedness operates. The question is how to ensure that we are living the abundant, overcoming life.

Revelations 12:11 gives a key:

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” (Revelation 12:11)

This chapter, we are focusing on the last tool of overcoming, not loving our lives unto death. The simplest understanding of this is not being afraid to die for our faith. In this perspective, we know we are eternal beings and even if we die in our mortal existence, we know we will be eternally with the Lord.

“For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:1-7)

No question this is an eternal reality. We cannot truly die.

Yet, the verse doesn’t seem to only imply that our overcoming isn’t about not truly dying but seems to indicate that it is more an issue of what we love.

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” (Revelation 12:11)

It seems that our overcoming is more about how we see our lives and what we choose to love in that scenario.

Love determines everything. Loving our lives unto death is a statement of a reality where death is the focal point of life. This doesn’t mean that we value death above life, although it could easily become that way, but that we live in service of the power of death.

How do we live in the service of the power of death? First, we come into agreement with laws of death. What are the laws of death? Look with me at Romans 7:5,

“For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death.” (Romans 7:5)

There are sinful passions which when aroused bear fruit unto death. What are the sinful passions that have this effect?

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2:15-17)

There is an illusion that powers the “things” of the world. Let’s dive a little deeper.

Loving death and loving the world are the same.

The lust of the flesh. What does flesh lust after?

“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:16-21)

This is a picture of the world. Adultery, the forsaking of covenant boundaries. Divorce, remarriage, seeking a reality of “marriage” that exists outside of the love of God. What fuels this “lust” of the flesh? It is an illusion, a mask, a veil that disguises itself in a cloaking of the truth of love and replacing it with a form of godliness but denying the availability of the true reality of oneness.

Paul spoke of this illusion as an attack in the last days:

“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

This is the life of the flesh, the life of the world, the life of death. I know we are just beginning to touch on this powerful illusionary life this chapter. It is such a wrestling match with such a heavyweight opponent that we need time to unravel its mystery and we will with patience.

One final verse and then we will close with an activation:

“For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,” (2 Thessalonians 2:7-11)

There is a grand illusion that the love of death brings to the world. It causes us to become competitive with the finish line of death looing big before us. Every eulogy of the dead harmonizes with the message that our time is coming to an end, and we had better redeem the time.

Yet against this cacophony of screaming voices chanting the death chant to steal our hearts, another One who has conquered death whispers a stronger message. He speaks eternal life to the lie of death.

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."” (John 16:33)

Activation: Overcoming the world, part 1. The world tells us that time is short. The world tells us that we can be cancelled at any moment. The world preaches a gospel of death and fear of death. The voice of the world shouts to us to hold onto what makes us feel good. It screams the message of lack and death. The Lord tells us a different story. He tells us the message of abundance and life, eternal life. He makes that evident to us through the lens of gratitude and honor. Think and pray about what you are grateful for, what can you bring honor to. What you are grateful for you will appreciate and add value to. Resist taking things or people for granted. Instead add eternal life to all that you have and watch increase come!

 

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