Wednesday, April 22, 2020
And I heard a loud voice in heaven proclaiming,
“Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers (and sisters) has been hurled down, who accuses them day and night before our God.Revelation 12:10-11
And they conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives, even unto death.”
If you were to condense and distill the whole Book of Revelation down to just two verses, here you go. If you were to memorize just two verses from the Book of Revelation, may I suggest these two?
The reason I would suggest these two verses is because they are immediately actionable. Do this: Testify. And that: Love not your life, even unto death. Do this and that, and in the end, you shall conquer; you shall triumph. Here is the secret. Here is the key.
This approach to victorious living only works, of course, if God is God. Otherwise, it is sheer craziness. We know from childhood traumas that this approach is not how you win on the playground. You do not win by consistently affirming what is true. And you certainly do not win by loving not your life, even unto death. Instead, it sounds like a guaranteed way not to win. It’s a sure fire way to get taken advantage of.
But we play by different rules in the Kingdom of God. And God is looking out for us.
One of the biggest intended takeaways from the Book of Revelation is that the triune God actually reigns, that our triune God is still seated supreme on the throne, unassailable, and sovereign, even when circumstance would seem to shout the exact opposite.
A close corollary is that through the grace of God we can triumph, even in extreme adversity. We can triumph when it looks like we are defeated. But we triumph counterintuitively. In this world, we triumph over the coercive, seductive powers by following Christ’s example of faithful martyrdom.
Again, as stated in a previous post, I mean martyrdom in both senses of the word, the original sense of the word and the latter. We triumph through faithful witness. And triumph by “loving not our lives, even unto death.”
What does it mean for you to be a faithful martyr today?