The Death Grip

skull on top of Bible

FOLLOWING THE GPS WITH the full expectation of reaching my destination early, I noticed I was almost back where I began. That’s when I pulled into a parking lot to take a look at the map and soon realized I was going to be late. 

 

That’s when I felt the grip of Death. 

 

The problem always begins out there in the physical world but quickly moves into the immaterial part of your existence. It is as if you had been sleeping through your day when suddenly you are awakened by alarms only you can hear.

 

You’re knocked off balance; you may hold your breath as your body begins to sweat, and if there’s too much noise out there, you’ll shut it out so you can hear the words inside. Fully conscious, you must recover. 

 

Otherwise, you will die. 

 

That’s what you’re thinking, isn’t it? I’ll die…if I miss that appointment. He’ll kill me…if I’m late.  

 

They are words that chase you up and down the corridors of your mind when you become afraid. 

 

This is when the tension between hope and fear awakens you to the very real possibility that Death is at your door, ready to rob you of something dear.

 

The moment before, you were in control and now you are lost, and worse, you are vulnerable to the words that are systematically draining you of your energy. 

 

It is not typically on Sunday morning in church that you need Jesus, but it is likely that you’ll need him at some time during the other 167 hours of your week. For if you know Jesus the same way you know your best friend, you’ll hear his words when Death strikes. 

 

It is a promise from God that if you know Jesus, you’ll know his voice, a phenomenon that I believe to be the single most important reason to know him this side of heaven. 

 

Furthermore, if you know Jesus, you will never be left alone to navigate through the words Death uses to gain control of your life, but instead, you will witness a battle. 

 

A battle that rages between the unseen spirits of Hope and Fear. 

 

Until you know better, Death tries to act like your friend as he speaks to you in his benevolent voice with his warning of the danger ahead and what you must do to save yourself.

 

His words are always reasonable, just like the words you might use in trying to help a friend in danger, so you will naturally be tempted to listen. But unlike the advice you may give to a friend, Death’s advice is never free.

 

And the cost is high. 

 

You will pay Death with your time, the only thing you possess that he wants. It won’t seem like a high price because all he wants is your time today. This very moment.

 

Today he wants to take you on a journey into your future, and if you are willing, he will transport you right out of the time and space you occupy at this moment.

 

The longer he is with you, the farther into your future he will take you, and because it is a future he designs, you will become paralyzed by the fear of what you see. 

 

If you notice, Death will always focus on the people, possessions, power, places, and position you covet. And in the very clear vision he shows you, these things are gone and your hope for the future is shattered. 

 

Overwhelmed now by anxiety, Death will encourage you either to do something to save yourself from the heartbreak, shame, and humiliation that comes from loss or better yet, he will advise you to take the rest of the day off, doing whatever you do to escape reality. 

“Go ahead,” he says. “Take the edge off, and I’ll see you in the morning.” 

 

We covet the people and things we think we need, and Death knows the firm grip we have on what we think we need. 

 

This is why God wants us to have a firm grip on nothing, not even our lives, so we will not fall into Death’s plan for robbing us of today where we surrender our soul to him. 

Jesus said, “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:35-37)

 

The best definition I know of fear is this: Future Events Appearing Real.

 

The emotion of fear is God-given, designed to alert you to the possibility of death where you are standing at this moment.

To be used as an alarm and not a spirit, fear was not intended to make you anxious; the result of the fear of the unknown future. 

 

Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are commanded to be anxious for nothing, but to trust in Him who holds the future in his hands.

The Spirit that God gave us does not make us afraid. His Spirit is a source of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7 

For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.

O death, where is your victory?

 O death, where is your sting?” I corinthians 15:53-55 

1 Peter 5:8-9, James 4:7, Ephesians 6:11-16, Joshua 1:9, John 10:10, Luke 12:22-26, Matthew 10:28, Ezekiel 18:32, Philipians 4:6-7

As always, it is my intent and hope that my words may encourage you wherever you are in your journey.

If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.–Jesus (Mark 4:23)

 

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julesmcelreath@gmail.com
August 15, 2020 6:36 am

This is so spot on Mable. I let fear control my thoughts too often without taking them captive to the obedience of the Lord. The fear of loss or what will happen in the future are on my mind a lot. Thank you for taking this apart and reminding us what true freedom in Christ is all about. ❤️

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