Swallowed Up In Life

 By Francis Frangipane

Two forces are increasing in the world: the power of life and the power of death. The Scriptures tell us that before Christ returns, Satan will be cast down from the spirit realm to the earthly realm "having great wrath because he knows his time is short” (Rev. 12:12). Jesus warns us in Matt. 24:22 that "unless those days are cut short, no life would have been saved." Prophecy after prophecy warns of these days. Satanic darkness is on the face of the earth, and where the devil is, death and destruction are soon to follow.

At the same time, the sons of the Kingdom should expect to enter ever-increasing degrees of life. Through repentance and faith in God's word, we are seeing more of the Holy Spirit and more of Christ's actual presence restored to the church. I believe before Jesus returns, the church will be as full of life as Christ was when He walked in His earthly ministry.

Paul tells us that a time will come when “that which is mortal is swallowed up by life" (2 Cor. 5:4). At the last trumpet sounds, our perishable bodies will put on imperishable bodies and what was mortal will put on immortality (1 Cor. 15:53). Think about it: immortality, death and decay swallowed up by life! We are not facing death; we are discarding death. We are facing LIFE, abundant, eternal and indestructible!

This is important for us to grasp because I believe that what seems to occur “in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye" (1 Cor. 15:51) is actually the result of years of progressively laying down our self-lives and progressively absorbing and living in Christ's life. The Scripture tells us that "now your life is hidden with Christ in God, but when Christ, WHO IS OUR LIFE is revealed, you also will be revealed with Him in glory" (Col. 3:4). The key to the revealed glory is the hidden life we daily share with Christ. It must be a true statement: Christ is my life – in my home, my hopes, my heart, my future, and in all my relationships. At the same time, we must honestly face the fact that there are areas in us which Christ is not yet our life. And we must do something about it.

The Hidden Manna
There is a mystery concerning life. Although life is obviously within and around us, Jesus said, "Few are they who find it." Most people just exist. They go through their days afraid to live and afraid to die. We need to know that the life Christ came to give us doesn't automatically fall on us like the sunshine and rain He gives us; God hides His life in His will. And if we could find His life, we must do His will.

In Rev. 2:7 Jesus promised, "To him who overcomes, I will give of the hidden manna." The life God has for us is hidden. Jesus called the Kingdom of God, "a treasure hidden in the field" (Matt. 13:44). Even though life is within and around us, we must search for it like fine gold and dig for it like silver.

Additionally, Solomon tells us that even though "God made man upright" he "sought out many devices" (Ecc. 7:29). There is something perverse about the human nature that, even though we love light, we are bent towards darkness. We want relationships with people, but we don't want to maintain them. It is so easy for a man to come home and look at his wife as one of the "things" in the home – there's the chair, the couch, the table, my wife, the lamp, etc. Men must cultivate being sensitive to the person of his wife. On the other hand, women complain that their husbands don't communicate with them. When they finally do talk, instead of making it an enjoyable time, she ruins it by telling him how often he fails to meet her needs. It is so easy to blame others for the failure we have in our relating, but the problem is latent within us all. We desire, but how often we fail to give it! It would be safe to say all of us need God's help.

In the Book of Daniel, the angel Gabriel approached the prophet to give him understanding concerning a vision. Daniel explained his reaction to this supernatural encounter. He said, "Now while he was talking with me, I sank into a deep sleep with my face to the ground" (Dan. 8:18). It is unfortunate, but this is actually how most of us approach the things of God: in a deep sleep with our faces to the ground. Daniel continued, "But he touched me and made me stand upright" (Dan. 8:18). Every time God deals with your heart, every time He touches you, He is making you stand upright. When I see you cry during worship, I know that the very Spirit of God Himself is waking you and pulling your face up off of the earth. And when your heart is burning within you at the reading or preaching of the Word, it is nothing less than Christ Himself making you stand upright.

Don't be afraid of letting the Lord touch you. Don't let defeats or failings or circumstances keep you from remaining open to the Lord. More life is coming! More of His presence is at hand! Stay vulnerable to Him and He will progressively pour more of Heaven's power into your life. And as you continue to seek Him for His life in your relationships, gradually you will see the attitudes which are human in you, become divine. In a moment, in a twinkling of an eye you will see "what which is mortal, swallowed up by LIFE."