by Kathy Lay
This Week’s Verse: Romans 8:13, “For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”(NKJV)
I recently experienced a ceremony in which I died to a part of myself.
In this powerful demonstration of faith and sacrifice, each participant took a piece of bread, held it up to the Lord and named a sin, habit, belief, whatever—a part of her flesh that she wanted to put to death. She then threw the bread into a basket to symbolize giving it to God.
I knew immediately what I wanted to put to death: fear and anxiety. I am continually praying for deliverance of these joy-stealers, but to paraphrase Paul, even though my spirit is willing, my flesh is weak. I still find myself dry-heaving or crying whenever my anxiety kicks into overdrive. I can’t seem to control it. As much as I want to, my physical body betrays my heart and my will. So that was it; I’d made the decision to die to fear and anxiety and I cried them out to God as I threw the bread into the basket.
After each person did this, the leader held up a full basket brimming with aspects of our lives we wanted to put to death. And then she poured juice over the bread to illustrate the sins and ugliness being completely saturated with the blood of Jesus Christ! You should have heard the whooping and hollering and amening when she claimed those sins covered by Jesus! It was freeing and empowering and every face simply glowed with hope and restoration.
As warned in John 10:10, however, the thief came back in to steal my peace and destroy my assurance that Christ had it covered. It wasn’t a full two days after the mountaintop weekend was over before I was back in a pit of restless nervousness and worry about some idiocy at work. I wondered to God how this could be since I claimed dying to this very thing in Jesus’ Name. How was I still struggling with it?
Jesus whispered to my heart, “Kathy, remember? I’ve got it covered. My blood covered it just like the juice sopped all through that bread.”
“But Lord, then why was I a nervous wreck this morning to the point that I couldn’t even eat?”
“You don’t need to know why. You just have to trust that I’ve got it covered.”
See, instead of the physical “won’t-feel-anxious” resolution I was looking for, The Lord showed me a new perspective of what it means for Him to cover the sin. For one thing, He covers it in His way. He may deliver some folks from the sin instantly and completely, never to confront it again! But He also may cover it continually over time. I know that my anxiety was not only covered the instant the cry left my lips, but it will continue to be covered every time I’m confronted by it again.
Whatever we battle, God may continue to use it to some degree to help us become the best conquerors we can be. But He will be with us, covering the battle with His blood on our behalf. We just have to place our complete trust and faith in the fact that He really does have it covered!
Lord, thank you for having it all covered! Thank you for pointing out areas of our lives that keep us from living in the fullness You want for us. And thank you for the privilege of dying to them and turning them over to You. Increase our faith that Jesus’ blood covers them, once and for all.
Can you identify one particular area of your life that prevents you from living fully in abundance? Give it to God and pray for His governance of it under Jesus’ blood. Promise not to take it back, but rather to live in the faith that it’s already covered.
Romans 5:9, “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him.”(NIV)
1 Peter 3:18, “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit.” (NASB)
Romans 4:7, “Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.”(NIV)