Loving Not Your Life

Revelation 12:10-11

10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “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 has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. 11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.

Revelation 12 gives us a vision of epic events happening in history. We symbolically see the first coming of the Savior. We see the devil, depicted as a dragon, plotting to devour the Son of God, the promised one, before the plans of God can come to fruition. And we see that, no matter what the devil tries, he is incapable of conquering the people of the Lord.

Notice how the people of God have defeated the schemes of the devil in their lives. As verse 11 says, “And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.” How do the people of God survive the evils of the enemy? More than mere survival, the people of God conquer the evil one by three things. We conquer by the blood of the Lamb. We conquer by the word of our testimony. And, we conquer by loving the Lord more than our own lives, even to the point of death.

I think that the first two things are simple to grasp. The blood of the Lam is the sacrificial blood of the Savior that covers our sin, that frees us from the evil accusations of the devil. The power of the devil to accuse us before the Lord is broken because of the Savior’s life, death, and resurrection. The word of our testimony certainly includes our proclamation of trust in Jesus and his finished work.

I believe that many in the church today would embrace a claim to the blood of the Lamb. Many will happily testify of grace given us in Jesus. But I wonder of how many of us could it be said, “they loved not their lives even unto death.” I wonder if the church is teaching the people of God not to love their lives. I wonder if the church is really helping people in this soft western society to be willing to face loss, hardship, and even death for the name of the Savior.

Look at your own life. What could you do without for the name of Jesus? Be careful before you make a blanket statement. What would you be willing to let go of, were it needed, in order that you would be able to honor the Lord? Picture your favorite entertainment. Think about your kids’ sports team. Think of that vacation you want so much. Think of future financial security. Think of your health. What would you love not if it meant loving the Savior more? Perhaps this will help you to see what might have ahold on your life. Perhaps this might help you imagine where the devil himself can get handles by which he can steer you.

Now, thanks be to God that we do not save ourselves or stay saved by our goodness. I do not want to present to any of us a Christianity that rings with the cry, “Do more!” I want us to know that our whole hope for our whole eternity is bound up in what Jesus has already done—it is finished! But let us see that victory in this powerful vision was found by those who rested in the blood of the Lamb, who testified of his grace, and who loved not their own lives, even to the point of death.