The Final No

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” –Galatians 2:21

How many times have I quoted this verse without grasping the reality of it? Yes, I want to believe that I have the resurrection life of Jesus Christ living in and through me, but have I undergone the crucifixion? There is no resurrection without the crucifixion.

Let me say it again. There is no resurrection without the crucifixion. Including your own.

“We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that His life may also be revealed in our mortal body.” –2 Corinthians 4:10-11

Paul ALWAYS carried around the death of Jesus in his body. He considered himself to always be given over to death for Jesus’ sake so that the LIFE of Christ would be revealed in him.

When will I really be dead to sin and alive to God? When will my old nature truly die so I can freely live the new life which Christ purchased for me on the Cross? When will this constant struggle with fear, the past, and the old nature truly be put to death so I can move on with my life? When does it ever end?

“To the one who is victorious I will give the right to sit with Me on My throne.” –Revelation 3:21a

“Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.” –Revelation 2:10b

Jesus intends for us to overcome. He does not intend for us to continually struggle with the same sin cycles and weaknesses for the rest of our lives. If that were the case I would still be a depressed alcoholic with an eating disorder struggling to survive. No, Christ came for us to have life and have it more abundantly, to the full, till it overflows. He intends for our weak places to be fortified. For strongholds in our lives to be broken. For sin cycles to be put to death so sin no longer reigns in our mortal bodies. The War will continue until Jesus returns, but He intends for us to win the personal battles we face daily. The Son of man came to destroy the works of the devil, not for the devil to dance circles around powerless Christians in captivity to sin and Satan.

“Awake, awake, Zion, clothe yourself with strength! Put on your garments of splendor, Jerusalem, the holy city. The uncircumcised and defiled will not enter you again. Shake off your dust; rise up, sit enthroned, Jerusalem. Free yourself from the chains on your neck, Daughter Zion, now a captive. For this is what the Lord says: ‘You were sold for nothing, and without money you will be redeemed.’” –Isaiah 52:1-3

God intends for us to rise up. For us to be victorious in His Spirit. I recently wrote:

“How much of our deliverance is dependent upon God and how much of it requires us to rise up? To rise up and fight against the spiritual wickedness of this world and free ourselves because God has enabled us? Free yourself from the chains on your neck. On the Cross, Jesus said, “It is finished.” How much of my bondage and captivity remains because I won’t show up to the battle God has called me to? Or I run in fear? Or I think I have no power to overcome? If I truly believe every word of the Bible is true, then I can do all things through Christ who STRENGTHENS me. If I am clothed in Christ, then I am clothed in His strength. His righteousness. His victory over death. I get to live the resurrected life. I get to have a beauty-full life. I will rise up.”

Fear. It has had a grip on me and control over me for most of my life. Fear of people’s opinions. Fear of rejection. Fear of embarrassing myself. Fear of abandonment. Fear of feeling pain. Fear of suffering. Fear of anger (both my own and other’s). Fear of failure or “doing it wrong.” Fear of not being loved. Fear of not being accepted for my appearance. Fear of broken relationships.

What you fear becomes your god.

Fear has prevented me from reaching out to a stranger to witness to them when God was nudging me to. Fear has prevented me from sharing about what God is doing in ministry because I think people don’t want to hear. Fear has prevented me from loving those in my life more deeply and fully because my heart doesn’t want to feel any pain. Fear, fear, fear. It has bound me and greatly hindered my life, identity in Christ, and ability to become the woman God has called me to be—a FEARLESS warrior for Him.

Recently in prayer God told me, “Go for the root. Go for the jugular. Destroy Fear.”

What is it about fear that is so alluring? Why do I stay trapped in the same patterns and cycles? Safety. Refuge. I bought into the lie that whatever fear is offering me is better than choosing faith. Fear will keep me safe. Whatever it is that I am trying to preserve—be it my dignity, reputation, relationship, money, time, sense of well being by avoiding pain and suffering—that is more valuable to me than obeying Jesus. But Jesus Himself said, “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for Me will find it.” –Matthew 16:25. Luke puts it this way, “Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it.” –Luke 17:33. The very thing I am trying to do, preserve, actually brings loss. But if I lose my life for Christ’s sake, then I will gain even more than what I was trying to preserve in the first place. I will have life and have it more abundantly.

God commands us not to fear. He knows that fear will lead us to sin. Actually, to fear anything but God is just as much a sin as lying, stealing, and sexual immorality. So much so, cowardice is first on the list of those who will undergo the second death.

“But the COWARDLY, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” –Revelation 21:8

coward (adj.):
-lacking courage, very fearful or timid

“But My righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” –Hebrews 10:38

Fear. Must. Die. I must be dead to fear and alive to God. To be alive to fear is to be dead to God. This is how seriously I must take fear in my life. It is life or death for me. Being under the control of fear is a life or death issue. Substituting “sin” with “fear,” Romans 6:2, 6-7, 11-13a, 14a reads like this:

“We are those who have died to fear; how can we live in it any longer?…For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body ruled by fear might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to fear—because anyone who has died has been set free from fear… In the same way, count yourselves dead to fear but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let fear reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to fear as an instrument of wickedness…Fear shall no longer have dominion over you.”

Fear must die. And God requires me to rise up and kill it. He will be there, He will back me, but I must crucify the part of my flesh that gives into fear—that finds any comfort or refuge in it. I must slay it with the sword of the Spirit and choose faith. Choose life. Choose Christ. I must give fear the “Final No.”

“To Paul, the cross that he took up to follow Jesus was this daily crucifixion, and I call it, ‘The Final No.’ When that thing that you toy with, that thing that you flirt with, that thing that you justify, that thing that’s always cropping up trying to take ascendancy in your life. You look at it and say, ‘No, that’s under the sentence of death. There’s no way I can serve Jesus and have this in my life.’ And you have your funeral. It’s crucified. You take the Word of God which is the knife and you slay it! It’s a Final No! No! That’s it! And I’ll tell you when you give the ‘Final No’ and the crucifixion takes place, in floods the life of Jesus Christ.” –David Wilkerson

To die daily means we must crucify the flesh every time it rises up. I must daily crucify fear in my life until this monster no longer has any hold on me. My love for Christ (and His love for me) must be greater than all my fears. I cannot gain Christ and keep my fear too. One must go. And I can tell you for sure, it won’t be Christ.

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” –Galatians 2:21

 

 

One thought on “The Final No

  1. I sense the urgency and excitement in your post of being free of fear, how beauty-full! “Perfect love casts out fear.” It is a wonderful thing to be able to surrender completely to Love.

    Like

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