Tyranny is a wretched thing, for not only does it deprive us of all rights and privileges, but exposes us to its consequences of suffering which are immeasurable. These tyrants of destruction are sin, self, the world (the system), and Satan. David, when he was given the choice of “consequences” for a wrong course of action he took, chose not to “fall into the hands of men.” Why? Because of the tyranny of the fallen nature, and what that nature could inflict upon him from his enemy. Paul declares that the “wages of sin is death.” What a solemn realization of “sin’s” dominating effect. “The world,” the system, with its pride, lust, and covetousness, is passing away (another way of saying that it will be destroyed), all being under the domination of Satan. What a list of tyrants, whose end is destruction…and waste!! BUT, there is good news, even wonderfully GREAT news. The Cross of Christ is the declaration of our freedom from these tyrants…for on that cross, Christ conquered them ALL, breaking their hold, and control on us. How then does this work? What is the practical out working of such knowledge?
Jesus said in Matthew 16:25, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it.” How can a person “lose” his life, and yet still exist? It is when we realize, as Paul did, that the believer has “…been (and IS) crucified with Christ..,” that he can truly live. All that pertains to a life outside of Christ, especially the pernicious preoccupation with, and subservience to “self”, is dealt a deadly blow at the cross. The person who truly wants to know his freedom must come to grips that he DIED in Christ to that old self, in order to live unto God. He has been made free from the domination of “his self-centered life.” He has “lost” his life, that he might live another, according to the fact of a new creation, new beginning, new principles. It was Jim Elliot who penned the following, inciteful words: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” The cross is the declaration of God, of Christ, that the tyrannical hold of self, the world, sin, and the devil, has been broken.
Jesus makes it very clear that if we are to follow Him, we must “deny ourselves, take up our cross (daily), and follow Him.” We are called to believe God concerning Christ’s work on the cross, and to enter into it BY FAITH. God cannot lie, and the work is more certain than the sunrise. And so, we HAVE, by the Holy Spirit, the power and authority to “ignore, and forget” ourselves, our lives, “take up the cross,” embracing fully the reality of our death with Christ to live unto Him, and then to “follow Him,” setting the Lord before us always, and running this race looking unto Jesus.
One last word…The One that enables us every day to take such a position of faith, where we have lost our lives to live unto Him, by Him, and for Him, is Christ by His Spirit. He pours His power into “strengthless souls,” and enables them to lay hold upon the eternal truths that govern our lives on this earth. We have been called to freedom from the tyrants of God’s enemies, a freedom that has been won for us, and that beckons us to enter into the full realization of it. So, today, may we trust Him for grace to look nowhere but unto Christ for all, believing Him for the full out working of His purpose and will in our lives, rejoicing in the FACT that He is with us, to reveal Himself to the heart, mind, soul, and body. And that through us, His life will be known. Why would we ever want to hold on to our lives, and not live wholly, only unto Him?