It has come to my attention that a glitch in the website caused those of you subscribed by email to get a link to this post that did not work correctly. So, I am trying again today! Here is Take 2…
It’s audio devo day! 2020 has become something none of us will ever forget. However, something far worse has come against us than COVID-19 and societal upheaval. It’s fear. With today’s episode we begin a series on how to decisively conquer this enemy. Be wonderfully blessed as you listen here:
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“Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery” (Heb. 2:14-15, ESV).
One day, while I was in the middle of some mundane activity, Holy Spirit began to speak to my heart about this verse. (He loves to insert Himself into some of the most run-of-the-mill moments necessary to our daily routines! I really cherish this.) What He said that afternoon impacted my life in a significant way, and I think it will yours, too.
He explained to me that “the fear of death” does not exclusively refer to being afraid of dying. Although that is certainly an important part of the meaning, there is more to it. “Death” here is an all-inclusive term. It expresses the concept of absolutely everything harmful that resulted from the fall of man.
“The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). Have you sinned sometime since you were born? Of course you have. We all have. Are you dead? I would assume not, since you are reading this. Clearly, then, “death” here means more than physically dying. It encompasses everything that happened to us and to the planet when Adam and Eve first disobeyed God. This includes:
- Natural disasters
- Demonic oppression
- Spiritual warfare
- Abandonment and neglect
- Relational strife
- Vicious gossip and slander
- Domestic violence
- Physical, emotional, verbal, and sexual abuse
- Racism and other forms of hatred
- Violent crime
- Losing loved ones
- Societal upheaval
- Life-threatening disease and pandemics
I could go on and on. My point, though, is that every element on this list fits into the category of “death.” Everything ugly or painful that you have ever experienced in your entire lifetime does too. None of this was in Eden. None of it was what God longed to give us when He created a perfect paradise on the earth.
And these are the very things that the devil relentlessly tries to hang over our heads. This is where our concept “the fear of death” comes into play. Those four words could be broken down into just the one: fear. Fear is the way the enemy keeps people in slavery. The fear of betrayal. The fear of abandonment. The fear of rejection. The fear of losing loved ones. Plug in any item from the above list into the phrase, “The fear of __________.” All of it is a manifestation of the fear of death, in death’s plethora of shapes and sizes.
Jesus came… and died… and rose again… to set us free from absolutely all of it. Our Scripture for today tells us that He came to destroy the one who has the power of death. Did He succeed on this mission of His? He unquestionably did. He destroyed the devil and violently removed from his claws the keys of death, once and for all.
Having vanquished the adversary, He is fully able to “deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.” He is not only able, but He is also passionately yearning to do so. Are you struggling with fear? You don’t have to live afraid anymore. Jesus the Deliverer destroyed death, and all its vile counterparts, when He gave up His life for you.
He is closer than the breath in your lungs, and He is ready to set you free. He is leaning in longingly, listening for your prayer. With childlike faith, ask and receive that which He already purchased for you… receive perfect liberty today!
“But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore… And I have the keys of Hades and of Death’” (Rev. 1:17b-18, NKJV).
Is there a specific fear that Jesus has delivered you from? I would love to hear about it!