I just closed the sweet book of Revelation and felt such finality that I nearly cried. My three consecutive times through this book have brought such emotion. I have wept, uncontrollably, over the horrific events that will take place some day. I have wrestled with God until I received peace and reassurance that by the time His wrath is poured out on the earth, this planet will be in such a complete and unimaginable state of depravity, His saints will be begging for Him to bring justice (chapter 6). I have been comforted by the fact that He withholds His wrath because He loves us so and desperately wants all to come to salvation (2 Peter 3:18). I have stood in reverent fear of the God who sits enthroned above all authority, encircled by a rainbow and twenty four elders with crowns, harps, and bowls of incense, surrounded by innumerable angels, carried about by four awesome living creatures, emitting lightning and thunder, and eliciting non-stop praise from all who are in His presence (chapter 4). I have joined in their praise as I've been reminded that He has freed me (yes, that is significantly past tense) from my sins by the blood of His precious Son, and made us all to be a kingdom and priests (chapter 1). I have laughed in joyful anticipation of the day we find ourselves standing face to face with the One who loves us so and imagining some fellow sojourners finally experiencing enough freedom to let their praise and worship get physical. I have danced in that freedom as I have grown increasingly anxious for the day when every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! My anticipation has been fueled as I read about the great multitude that no one could count in chapter seven, and imagined the awesome worship time we will all have standing before the One Who deserves every ounce of every ounce we have to give. I have become progressively home sick as I've been reminded that I am not home yet. And I am ever-longing for the day that my Bride-groom rides in on His white horse (chapter 19) to whisk me away to the place He has prepared for me, the place where there will be no more crying or pain or death or mourning (chapter 21).
I have chewed on this Revelation of Jesus Christ for at least a year and I have barely sunk my teeth into the meat of this Word. I am infatuated with this book. And yet, I do not dig deep enough. I know what He has to offer, and I settle for probably only one percent of it. I know what God deserves and yet I don't give Him my all.
I wonder, tonight, as I end this third turn through this book...
Has it changed me?
And, just when pride, in one of its subtlest forms--insecurity--threatens to taunt me, to leave me wondering how I could spend so much time studying and still feel like the crazy Tasmanian Devil from Looney Tunes, God speaks a sweet reminder into my spirit...
"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 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." Isaiah 55
Praise His Holy Name! Even when we are faithless, He is faithful (2 Tim 2:13). I am not bad enough to void His promise. I may be a tasmanian devil, but as I chew on the words He sends forth, His purpose is being accomplished in my life. He promises, IT WILL CHANGE ME.
And so, though the ladies in the Naomi class will end our study of Revelation tomorrow morning, His Word will continue to work on our hearts, changing us into His likeness, making us light as He reveals His light to us. As Point of Grace sings, "Day by day, You're coming closer, makin' our way clearer and straighter, turnin' our faces into the Light."
It has changed me. Is changing me. He makes all things new as....
The Revelation continues.