But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy.Philippians 2:17 (NLT)
The fear of death is what keeps most of us alive. There is something which triggers inside of us when we’re faced with a decision that says, “Nope!” Trying to jump over the Grand Canyon on your BMX bike. Nope! Jumping out of an airplane without a parachute. Nope! (Or with a parachute for some of you!) Asking that girl/guy to banquet who you’ve always thought was cute. Nope! Well, maybe you can summon the courage on the last one. But you get the idea. We are wired with a Nope! sensor which keep us alive when we follow it.
Of course, then there are those in life who somehow override their Nope! sensor. These are the tightrope walkers who walk across a cable only a few inches wide suspended thousands of feet in the air. These are the motorcycle riders who see how many cars they can jump before they crash and break every bone in their body (if they’re lucky). These are the ones who seem to be fearless about death.
When we look at the heroes of the Bible, these peeps seemed to be fearless too. They took on an armor-clad giant with just a slingshot. They walked on water in the middle of a storm. They defeated an army of over 100,000 with just 300 men. These peeps didn’t seem to have a Nope! sensor. It wasn’t that the sensor wasn’t there. It was that they understood the sensor could be overruled when God called them to a task. In other words, they trusted God more than their fear.
The apostle Paul, who was involved in some crazy fear-invoking ministry, knew this all too well when he penned, “But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God.” Paul was OK with laying down his life, because He trusted the Giver of Life. Paul wasn’t afraid to die because he knew the One who had overcome the grave. Paul was a death defyer. He understood that no matter what happened in this life, His eternal life was secure in the hands of his Savior.
Church, may we be death defyers. Yes, listen to our Nope! sensors (don’t be stupid). But, may we allow God to overrule those sensors when it comes to serving Him.
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