Okay, time for me to play a bit of catch-up!! Life is more than manic at the moment, so blogging may be more sporadic than usual, but I wanted to share some thoughts on Revelation 3:1-6, from staff devotions on Thursday.
Verse 2 reads:
“. . . you have a reputation for being alive—but you are dead.“
How often is there a difference between the reputation/ appearance which we have and the reality? How much do we try to hide? Why?
It’s easy for us to pretend that everything is fine, it’s easy for us to appear to have it all sorted. Especially when it comes to God and church because we just throw ourselves at more activities and say the right things at the right times and everyone assumes everything is hunky-dory when the reality is uncertainty, frustration, turmoil. I certainly know that I’ve been there and done that. A lot.
God tells us here though what we should do in those times when we feel distant, dead:
- “Go back to what you heard and believed at first” – I think we should regularly return to that: to those passages we think we know, those blog/ journal entries from all those months ago. We should continually remind ourselves of all that God has done for us. And we should strip back our faith to the basics, remove the theology we get bogged down in, and remember that first time we experienced the love of God, the first time we understood Christ’s sacrifice, the first time we responded to Him.
- “hold to it firmly” – sometimes it’s all you can do to hold on. I know there have been times when I’ve clung to my faith by my very finger tips. But if we cling to the fundamental knowledge that God loves us, and don’t give up on that, God will pull us through.
- “Repent and turn to me again” – we can make ourselves think that returning to our first love is complicated – like the Israelite’s rituals of purification or something – when the reality is simple. We have turn to Jesus with sincerely repentant hearts and he will lift us out of the darkness.
Sometimes even we can lose sight of the reality, find ourselves wondering who on earth we are and what we’re doing. We go along with whatever reputation we have or appearance we’ve put up because we have nothing else. When those times arise, though, those times when it feels like your drowning, or stumbling around in the dark without a flashlight, those times when even you don’t know who you are anymore, it’s helpful to remember that God does, that he always has and always will:
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
I love verse 4 in Revelation 3 as well:
I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine.
Isn’t it amazing to think that Jesus will declare before God and the angels that we belong to Him. He claims us as His own. The mind boggles!
Maybe that’s where we should turn when we have our crisis of identity: to the identity we have in Christ; remembering that new name He carved into our white stone.