They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. Revelation 12:11

In this verse we are given three ways of overcoming the devil, yet often we concentrate on two, by “the blood of the Lamb” and “the word of their testimony”. The third way is not to love our lives “so much as to shrink from death” which we probably associate more with martyrs yet there is an important truth here for us.

We become an easy target for the devil when we cling too tightly to the things of the world. We easily forget this world is not our permanent home and we are only “aliens and strangers on earth” (Hebrews 11:13). We have a tendency to hold onto those things which give us comfort and security, like our homes, our jobs, our friends, our health, our possessions, our ministry at church or in the community. If we want to overcome the devil we need to hold these things loosely. When we are not shrinking from the ‘death’ of losing things which are precious to us, the devil is defeated. He cannot attack us with the fear of losing things because he knows we have nothing to lose.

Spiritually it is not easy to get to the place where we have nothing to lose. Firstly we need to have a firm belief that God is truly Sovereign. Nothing happens without his knowledge or permission. Secondly we need a strong belief in God’s intrinsic goodness. God is good regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in.

Our comfort and security needs to come from knowing we can’t lose the thing which is most precious, that is our relationship with God.