He was wearing a long robe with a gold sash across his chest. His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And his eyes were like flames of fire. His feet were like polished bronze refined in a furnace, and his voice thundered like mighty ocean waves. Revelation 1:13-15 NLT
One of the blessings of deciding to read the bible through in a year is your find yourself reading in places that your natural mind wouldn’t take you. I have always been a bit hesitant to believe that I could actually read the book of Revelation with any kind of understanding. But, once again I am trying as I release my faith, to ask the Holy Spirit to help me receive what He wants me to receive from it. It has been different. Each day, I gain some new insights, some are comforting, some are challenging.
Christmas is a time of celebrating Jesus’ amazing birth story. It is filled with awe and wonder and of course the miracle conception and fulfillment of God’s promise, but (I know these are not “new” thoughts) if we leave him in the manger we lose sight of who he is now. Parents often have trouble allowing their children to grow up. But, one day, it happens they are grown men and women and we begin to see who they really are! Reading through the gospel story, we understand this babe grew to a man so despised he was cruelly crucified on a cross, dying to become our Savior. We celebrate his resurrection over the power of sin and death in our lives.
John, isolated on the isle of Patmos had an encounter with Jesus that changed his life, and through his writings, desires to change ours. Jesus reigning with his father, demands our honor, respect and obedience. Not because he is a cruel taskmaster, but because of who he really is. He is Lord. He is Sovereign and he reigns. So many of us, as his children are so flippant to his words, we take them as optional. I think if we, like John saw this Son of Man, complete with eyes like flames of fire, feet like polished bronze and a voice thundering like ocean waves our response to him, might be different.
In 1968 I was a student at the University of Washington I had an encounter with the Lord. It was a cold, rainy day in Seattle. I spent several hours walking the streets praying and allowing the Holy Spirit to touch my heart. My final revelation that day: Jesus is my Savior, now would I allow him to be Lord? I can still remember that encounter. It was so real. I bowed my heart to him that day. I simply said, yes. It began a journey that continues, with many more opportunities to test my decision that day.
As I have grown and matured I have a different picture of my parents, than I did as a child. I believe as we grow and mature as believers, we also see our Heavenly Father, Jesus, his son and the Holy Spirit with more maturity. One day when Jesus returns, it will be the Son of Man, John saw. There will be no question of who we bow to, then. I believe we will see so clearly who he really is. I know I don’t always see him or relate to him as the Lord of Heaven’s armies, but I want to. In Revelation chapter 5, John sees him as Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. (Interesting picture, right?) I think we need to pray for a clearer revelation of who he really is. He is both the Lion of Judah and the Lamb of God. He embodies them both. When we choose to accept him as Savior, we also need to understand his lordship. It’s part of growing in our relationship with him.
Father, we need your help in understanding who you really are. Our natural minds conjure up meek, mild mannered man which nothing seems to bother. But you do get bothered. Reading about your attitudes toward the seven churches, shows us your concerns. Help us Lord, to really see you, at least in a way we can handle. Forgive us for taking your gifts (like salvation, forgiveness, mercy and hope) but not being willing to take your orders. In Jesus’ Name, amen.