A well-known pastor in Romania looked out his front window as a military car drove up. Armed officers jumped out and rushed toward his front door. He was expecting them. They arrested him and took him to the police station. There they began their interrogation of Dr. Josef Tson.
They demanded, in harsh and angry voices, that he retract the paper he had written about Christianity, and they threatened to kill him if he refused to comply with their demands. He just looked at them with a great big smile. They asked, “Why are you smiling when we tell you we are going to kill you?”
He explained, “Your supreme weapon is to kill me, but my supreme weapon is to die for my faith! You see, my sermons are all over Romania. If I die, I will sprinkle each tape’s message with my blood, and people will listen to them with new dedication. I will conquer Romania with my death, and I will also go to glory.” His enemies realized the truth of his words and declared, “We will not let you be a martyr!”
The greatest power you and I have as believers is the power we have over death. Many people live paralyzed by the fear of death with their emotions, mind and will crippled by the reality of death.
Jesus has conquered that fear as the writer of Hebrews tells us: “…that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”
(Hebrews 2:14-15) We can live in confidence and without fear of anything including death because of the life of the Lord Jesus Christ Who lives within us! What a glorious thought!
But here is the paradox – the life of Jesus Christ cannot fully come until there is a death. It was through His death that life was brought to all of mankind. Likewise – I will never be able to walk in fullness of life until I die out to myself. The moment I crucify my desires and will, and allow the desires and will of God to live within me is the moment true and abundant life takes over.
The great irony is that I am never more alive than when I “die” in surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ!
That is why Paul could say “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20)
Are you truly alive today? Become alive in Christ by dying to yourself. That is the moment you will know what abundant life is all about!