Today we continue our series entitled, “The Benefits of Prayer and Fasting,” with an emphasis on “The Power of Prayer.” Yesterday I dealt with fear. We saw how fear negatively impacts our prayer life. This message will flow in the same vein. Last night I taught on fear at my church and one of the scriptures I used was Hebrews 2:14,15. Let’s take a look at it.
(Hebrews 2:14,15 KJV)
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; 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.
I consider the fear of death to be the ‘Mother of All Fears!’ The fear of death literally incapacitates a great number of people every day. The sad reality is that many Born-Again believers live with an overwhelming fear of death. Don’t think for one minute that this fear will not hinder your prayer life. I talk to believers all the time who are afraid of getting on an airplane, or a cruise ship, or a helicopter, or etc.. Many flat-out refuse to do it. Those who live this way have allowed their fear to get to the point of terror. Remember, the Bible says, “Fear has torment” (1 Jn 4:18). If you allow fear to run rampant in your heart, it will literally TORMENT you. Many people, even believers, are terrified of getting on an airplane, or an elevator, and etc. This is definitely not God’s will for His children. The Father wants us to have and enjoy life in Him, but you can’t enjoy life to the fullest if you allow fear to keep you bound.
In our text, the writer of Hebrews explains who Jesus was and what He came to do. One of the things Jesus came to do was to destroy the one that had the power of death – the devil. We also learned that Jesus conquered death so that we could be delivered from the fear of it. Why is this so important? It is important because the text says that many have spent their lifetimes in bondage to the fear of death. The word bondage here means: slavery or involuntary servitude; the state of being bound by or subjected to some external power. The fear of death causes us to be a slave to it and it gives death power and control over us. If you are subject to fear, then it will cripple your faith while you are waiting of the manifestation of your prayers. Said another way, if you allow fear to rule over you, then you will give up on your prayers well before they ever get fully answered in your life.
In an attempt to get a better understanding of these two verses let me share them with you from two other translations. The Contemporary English Version says, “We are people of flesh and blood. That is why Jesus became one of us. He died to destroy the devil, who had power over death. But he also died to rescue all of us who live each day in fear of dying.” The Message Bible says, “Since the children are made of flesh and blood, it’s logical that the Savior took on flesh and blood in order to rescue them by his death. By embracing death, taking it into himself, he destroyed the Devil’s hold on death and freed all who cower through life, scared to death of death.” What do we learn from this?
- The devil had (past tense) the power over death.
- Jesus came to take the power of death BACK from the devil, and He did.
- Jesus conquered death so that we could do the same.
- The fear of death entangles us in bondage and Jesus died so that we could be free from it.
So what does this mean to you today? A few things.
- Jesus died to give you eternal life. This is true. But He also died and rose from the dead so you could have abundant life while you are in the earth (John 10:10). You don’t have to wait ‘til you get to heaven to enjoy what Jesus died to give you. You are supposed to enjoy life NOW! Which is why you must release fear. Fear keeps you in bondage. Fear inhibits you from having and enjoying abundant life.
- Jesus died and rose from the dead to take the power of death from satan. He did this to deliver you from the fear of death once and for all. If Jesus died so you could have something, then shouldn’t you want it? Some of you may say, “Yes, I want it, but how do I receive it?” The answer is simple, by faith! By faith you must receive freedom from the fear of death. Do not allow the fear of death to keep you in bondage another moment.
- People who are afraid of flying (or anything else like it) are actually afraid of dying. Don’t let this be you. Fear will cause you to live in bondage, it will rob you of any true power in Christ, and it will destroy any confidence you have in your prayers coming to pass. Jesus died so you could live FREE from fear.
Father, this is a season of expectation for me. Your Word is clear that the fear of death leads to bondage. Once I am able to see, hear and understand a Word from You, I can be converted by that Word. This morning I saw in Your Word that Jesus died to deliver me from the bondage associated with the fear of death. By faith I am converted by the Word I just received. I shall never again allow the fear of death, or any other fear, to rob me of Your best and to strip my prayers of any power. Jesus came to take the sting out of death and the victory from the grave. I receive what He did! I receive it now! I no longer fear death. Fear has no power me! I already died in Christ and that is the only death that matters. I will live forever. I have eternal life and from this day forward I declare that there is NO FEAR IN ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!