"Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
- Romans 8:37-39
An aged lady left Melbourne by boat for Tasmania to visit a daughter. A terrible storm arose, and the passengers, fearing death, gathered for prayer. But the aged lady seemed quite unconcerned. She sat praising the Lord. Some of the passengers, after the storm subsided, became curious to know the reason for the old lady's calmness. They gathered around and asked her secret. "Well," she replied, "It's like this. I had two daughters. One died and she went home to Heaven; the other moved to Tasmania. When the storm arose, I wondered which daughter I might be visiting first."
To be able to say that, she had to overcome the fear of death.
How did she get to that point? Being unconcerned with death is easier said than done, isn't it?
Our remarkable scripture gives us an idea of what fears we need to overcome to arrive at death's door and say, as did this woman,'I am not afraid to die.'
Our Scripture says we are MORE than conquerors. So what do conquerors do compared to us? What do we need to conquer?
Our conquering is mainly done on two very powerful enemies of our Lord, each residing within.
1. Our own rebellious spirit, which prevents the Lord from reigning in our life continually as he should. We, therefore, live a life of spiritual ups and downs.
2. Fear. Fear grows up in us from a child in direct parallel with our self-interest.
Scripture informs us that nothing shall separate us from the love of God. This is fine IF that is our greatest desire. However, when it comes to fear, we find it's often not! The fear of other things slides the love of God into second place behind that fear. Our concern for being separated from the thing the fear brings is greater than our fear of separation from God.
If we walk in him, nothing separates us from him. He is our co-traveller, walking beside us through the good and hard treks of life, through all disappointments, through all fears. We must believe that!
What are some of those fears?
1.that neither death, (this is what the lady overcame. If God said her time was up, she was fine with that, and did not fear it. Her strong belief was that Christ removed the sting of death.)
2.nor life (Living to a ripe old age with all the pleasures cannot separate us either, depending on where our desires are.)
3.nor angels, (good or bad angels cannot separate us, as Christ has power over each domain.)
4.nor principalities, nor powers, (these may be hidden spiritual beings, or kings, presidents, prime ministers, the UN, banks managers, as well as police, judges and others.)
5.nor things present, nor things to come, (Here, we fear the loss of things with us now, as well as things to come such as our superannuation, marriage, or lifestyle by the sea)
6.Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature (The Lord is telling us that no matter what the size (height or depth) of our problem, or anybody or anything else (any other creature) he is beside us through it all if we would only believe).
When we continue to choose to obey the fear instead of God, we remain infants in Christ if in him at all. We may have the head knowledge, but we haven't grown our faith as we are asked.
Sometimes, we just need to let God in more, like the ageing lady. She had learned by experience that giving all her problems, fears and disappointments to God, allowed the Holy Spirit to remove everything in her life that prevented the freedom obtained by her abiding in him even unto death.
Nothing shall be able to separate us from the love of God.
Today's prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for this promise. Sometimes in my ordeals, I forget you are there and I start to fear. Thank you for the strength to overcome these instances of doubt, so I can be victorious in spirit regardless.
(Photo by Henry Hiustava)