The apostle Paul says, “I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death [handed over to death]: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men” (1 Corinthians 4:9).

Simply put, when godly saints full of the Christ-life are led into death situations, it's never a private matter. Scripture says we are on display to three different intelligences: angels, devils and humankind.

At times you may feel all alone in your struggle, but you are not involved in some secret battle taking place in a dark corner. On the contrary, three realms are watching you with great interest. Devils are watching you, angels are watching you, and people are watching you. And they are all wondering, “How is this servant of God going to respond to his trial?”

What are such spectacle-trials all about? Why must we go through these deaths? What is in us that God is after? Our heavenly Father knows that certain unredeemed areas in our lives hinder the full manifestation of Christ's life in us. He knows our stumbling blocks, our fears, our ambitions, our lusts—everything that blocks a full shining forth of Jesus. So He allows us to be put into “death situations” to rid our hearts of these hindrances.

If your hindrance is a fear of man, God may lead someone into your life whose presence paralyzes you with fear. Everything that person says or does adds to your fear, until it becomes unbearable.

I have seen such fear cause physical pain to God's saints. Some have ended up hyperventilating over the "hard person" in their life, literally losing their breath. Why does God allow such a man or woman to become involved in your life? It happens because your loving Father is handing you over to death. He's telling you, “Your fear of man hinders the precious flow of the Christ-life in you, thus it cannot produce life in others. This fear in you must end. You have to die to it!”

Your cry to Him may be, “Lord, get me out of this!” But God responds, “No I'm going to let death do its work. I have arranged all of this so the life of Jesus might be manifest in you!”