7He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
11He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.
17He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.
29He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
I am continually fascinated, awed and most definitely fearful of Revelation. I find that when I’m among a group of believers, all anyone needs to do is mention Revelation and there is a collective intake of breath. . .a gnashing of teeth even sometimes? The atmosphere in the room changes. . .ahhh, we all seem to say, the GREAT book of the Bible. . .the one that no matter what we do or how much we attempt to interpret it, we remain confounded. Yes, even more so than some of the ever so strange happenings of the Old Testament.
And yet, we all want to know what Revelation MEANS, don’t we? If you subscribe to any belief in the Mayan calendar (and you shouldn’t if you are reading this blog and using it as a learning tool in your life! :-)), it would seem that the end of times is more than quite near. Are you prepared? I know I feel some days like I’m not and others as though I completely am. I mean, what does it take to be ready? As a believer, one who professes that through faith I am Christ’s and He is my Savior and the only way to God, I should be ready just by that fact, no matter what time or day it is. However when I read the above verses, what jumps out at me is “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” It is repeated 4 times in Revelation 2. Do you have an ear? Do you hear what the Spirit has said?
My experience is that so many of us as individuals as well as church organizations (and by this I mean the building organization, not the body of believers) focus quite a bit on saying that we “get it.” We profess to have faith. And yet we don’t live it. We don’t live it as individuals, as communities of faith walkers, or as church organizations. For if we do have faith, we fully recognize that we can do NOTHING without God. It is only through Him that our daily tasks should be carried out, our decisions made, our relationships developed, our words communicated.
When you talk to your boss, do you ask God to give you words? As a pastor, when you deliver a sermon, talk to a parishioner, act as a “regular Joe” outside of your job, do you actively seek God’s direction in your words, deeds and actions? Do you do it as a parent interacting with your children? Or do we, more often than not, carry ourselves through our days without first seeking Him in all things at all times?
If you are like me, you find it hard to do that. How different my day would look if I spent more time seeking Him in everything I did! We are not accustomed to that. We spend so much time being taught how not to do that, especially in our culture. We are taught to be independent. . .a do-it-yourselfer. . .”pick yourself up by your bootstraps.” And if we don’t, we are seen as failures. But the Spirit tells us to seek God first in everything, at all times, in all places. Because we can do nothing, we are nothing IN Him WITHOUT Him. He is the only One who can make us perfect – in His time, place and under His ordainment. Do you have an ear?
Dear Lord, I have an ear. . .I profess that it is only through You that I can hear and see, Lord, and it is only through You that I want to see and hear. Lift me up Lord as one of Your chosen. May my faith grow stronger each and every day; may I never let it waiver. And Lord, please allow me to deliver glory to you however You choose. Lord, on that day when your Revelation if fulfilled, I look forward to tasting the tree of life, receiving Your hidden manna and seeing my new name revealed on your selected white stone.