The book of Revelation is written to believers; the very first verse confirms it. 1Rev 1:1 NIV The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. Some say we are close to the time of Jesus’ return. No one knows the day or hour however, we can be sure of one thing: we are closer with each passing day. 2Mt 24:36 NIV But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.3
Mr 13:32 NIV But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Even If Jesus doesn’t return in my life time, I need to be prepared to meet Him.
Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.4Rev 2:4-5 NIV
Was the Holy Spirit impressing me with the importance of returning to my first love? Have I forsaken my first love?
Honestly, I don’t think my relationship with God has the simplicity it used too and I don’t think I truly rely on Him with the same dependency as I once did.5Mr 10:15 NIV “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”6Lu 18:17 AV “Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.“ The fact is, I used to do things, as a new believer, that I don’t do anymore.
My Prayer: God, thank you for calling me back into a deepening relationship with you. I remember, I used to steal away moments, during the course of the day, to delight in your word; back then I wrote down your word and carried it with me everywhere I went. Now that I have your word in a host of translations and commentaries at my finger tips; have I taken it for granted? We used to go on those long walks, now I don’t have the time. Please forgive me, thank you for reminding me of the first things and giving me the grace and desire to return to you, my first love. Amen.
Remember, God does not forgive us because we are worthy; he forgives us because of who he is.
God gives us what we need to lighten the load, the enemy gives us things to weigh us down. Condemnation crushs us under the weight of sin. Conviction is God simply asking if we want to agree with him so he can shoulder the burden.
My Confession: Because I love my sin, I find myself going down this road over and over, seemingly without change however, in faith, I trust that God is working.
I developed a love of my sin over time, perhaps it may take time to develop a hatred for that same sin.
Hatred for sin comes through continued agreement with God by confessing my sin every time I partake of it.
For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.7Ro 7:11-13 NIV
Revelation: That’s it! The reason I struggle is because the sin in my life is becoming utterly sinful –my love for sin is but to death by agreeing with God. Yes, I’m a sinner. No, I don’t deserve mercy. Yes, I need a savior.
My Prayers: Lord, thank you for dying on the cross in my place. Please forgive me; please give me a hatred for sin. Thank you for having mercy on me. Change my heart, my thoughts, and my ways.2Isa 55:7-13 NIV Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thorn bush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the LORD’s renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed.” Transform me into your likeness.32Co 3:18 AV But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Lord, I have struggled so long, this seems impossible, please give me the faith to believe again, with my lips I can say, “I do believe”, but my words ring hollow; please help me overcome my unbelief.4Mr 9:23-24 AV Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
My word for today is that what may be impossible for me is not impossible for you God!5Mt 19:26 NIV Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”6Mr 10:27 NIV Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”7Lu 1:37 NIV “For nothing is impossible with God.” Please open my eyes that I can see you at work and be encouraged.82Ki 6:17 NIV And Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes so that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all round Elisha.
I’m about to drown! Lord, where are you? 9Mt 8:23-27 NIV Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
When I’m surrounded by turmoil and struggles, sometimes it feels like God has abandoned me. No doubt this is testing of my faith however, in the moment, it would be nice to know that it’s only a test. Is that the root of my problem, not recognizing that testing is normal?
If I took God at his word; truly believed what his word says, that he is faithful even when I’m not, that at my worst he sent his son to die in my place, wouldn’t things be different?22Ti 2:11-13 NIV Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.3Ro 5:10 NIV For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Now that I’m thinking about it, isn’t everything a test with varying difficulties? Do the simple tests of everyday life form the foundation for greater tests?
Perhaps it’s similar to the muscles of a person who doesn’t move; muscles that don’t move atrophy. (i.e. a person in a coma) Once those muscles atrophy, even walking, a normal everyday activity, can become a struggle.
My Prayer: God, please give me the grace and the will to exercise and strengthen my spiritual life; I need You to get me through the struggle. May I never turn away from You and continually delight in Your presence. Thank you for loving me and not giving up on me.