February 19 2014
The Book of Revelation is not written in chronological order making it seem rather circulatory, overwhelming and with the highly complex symbolism, it is enough to blow the average person’s mind. The story seems more like a tremendously bad trip rather than a book of prophecy from the Bible. It can be viewed as extremely frightening, depressing, confusing and full of more questions than answers.
Knowing that we are in the end days, I have been on pins and needles waiting for the next bombshell headline that will be fulfilling more prophecy because I have been witnessing prophecy fulfill in these present days exponentially. I have difficulty planing anything with my family. Unknown to them, in the back of my mind is the ever-present question, “Will I still be here in a week?”
Well, I’m done being anxious. I’m done being depressed. I’m done being fearful. I’m done waiting for the shoe to drop. I’m done comparing one authority’s opinion with another authority’s opinion to determine the end’s when. I’m done being so focused on the end that I’m not living the present.
This much I do know. That I’m exceedingly grateful that I have mighty Gods’ protection and provisions. Oh, I’m all packed up with provisions but I acknowledge that He is my ultimate Provider. I can only stock and store so much. I have no intimate knowledge of what specifically will happen in my neighborhood or in my city, or in my state. I am prepared for the worse, as best as I can imagine the worse since I’m a spoiled, entitled average American. And as I began to prepare myself physically I realized that I was en-massing all sorts of “stuff” and skills and provisions but that I was still empty with some trepidation on the fringe edges of my goals. If a certain news story broke, potential danger close to home, I began noticing a thread of fear. And if I am fearful, then clearly my faith isn’t at full throttle.
Time to transform fear into faith. Is the book of Revelation all about fear?
God did not reveal the future to John in order to frighten, intimidate, depress, or to stir hopelessness for a bleak and painful end of mankind.
Here’s the thing:
God has been infinitely patient, postponing the ultimate end in order to have more children accept His grace and unmerited salvation. He’s GOD after all, and could have manipulated the end earlier just to be DONE with all the hatred, killing, deception, unfaithfulness, manipulation, greed, selfishness, pagan worship … the list is endless, so I’ll be frank. He could have just worked an earlier end to sin. But He didn’t. Instead He chose THIS GENERATION and is keenly aware of precisely every single person that is among this generation, including the very number of hairs on each of our individual heads.
He never requires more of us than what we can handle. I can either continue to live in a constant wait-mode, in a low-level but present state of fear or I can accept the fact that God wants me here for this time and get with His program. So, when I feel overwhelmed and intimidated I need to pull myself up by the boot straps and flat out soldier-up. I need to pull up my courage and activate my faith because I can do all things through Jesus Christ of Nazareth Who strengthens me. The book of Revelation is abundantly clear that these times are not going to be a cake walk. God in His mercy, tells us in Revelation what is going to happen so that we can prepare mentally, physically and particularly spiritually! God will orchestrate the end His way and no Bible authority on this planet can narrow it down to the exact when or how. We can’t manipulate circumstances to fit our agenda. He has a plan for each one in this generation, we each have a say in how many souls will make it to heaven or not.
Yes, if I am convinced that these are the end times, and they are, then I need to be witnessing to everyone I meet. Not in a crazy, doomsday manner, sandwich board and all. But in everyday regular conversations, at minimum, asking if they know the Lord Jesus Christ. I mean, knowing Him is good news, something that I automatically want to share. Then why am I allowing fear or the desire to “fit in” to hold me back? If I saw a really good movie at the theater, wouldn’t I tell people about it? It’s something like that.
God gave us plenty of signs of the season to watch for and knew full well that that was sufficient. Let’s be honest. If we knew that all hell was going to break loose on Friday the 32nd of the month, then we would most likely live-it-up until then or go spend a ton of money before the banks closed or stock up on whatnot’s before martial law was enacted. He gave us the signs of the season so that we would …
Not goods, foods, or armor. But to prepare our hearts, to prepare Him room in our hard, ugly hearts. We need to soften our hearts as a comfortable place for God and hope and love. To get to know Him before we meet Him finally, Face to face. He desires relationship, to know Him, to love Him. He loves each of us, despite the filthy, stinking garbage rags of sin we wear. He sees us beyond our sinful ways. He sees us in our saved state.
I want to be able to look full into His Face and not be ashamed of my lazy Bible habits, my lazy prayer habits, my lazy praise habits, my lack of evangelism. I want to gaze at Him fearlessly, by His grace, then fall to my knees in abject adoration and thankfulness. Oh, to hear His words, “Well done good and faithful servant.”
The Book of Revelation is a good thing. It is not a tool to instill fear and doubt. Look at what He is saying between the lines. His love, His caring, His warnings. His perfect judgments to the unrepentant hard-hearted rebellious ones.
Look to Him, the Ultimate author of Revelation and every other book that He allowed to be preserved into what we call the Bible. He is the uncreated Creator, the eternal One True God Who offered a piece of Himself in His only begotten Son Jesus Christ of Nazareth to offer salvation to wretched ungrateful mankind. His eternal, monumental and victorious sacrifice at Calvary is for you. For me.
He is the author and finisher of my faith but I need to be willing. He is faithful to build my faith, to calm me to the point of peace that passes understanding by His Holy Spirit. But I need to want it and to focus on Him, not the alarming global events. I need to be about my Father’s business and telling others about Him and His priceless, yet free to us Gift.
The Book of Revelation? It reveals God Himself, victorious King of kings and Lord of lords. That’s the thing.
Dear Holy God, because I am not perfect, I am a sinner that needs forgiveness and I ask You to forgive me. Please remove all deception that I have embraced or listened to so that I hear You only. I believe You are Savior and Lord Who shed Your Blood and died to pay my sin-debt, and rose from the dead; You live forever. I turn from (repent) my sins and invite You, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, God the Messiah to come into my heart and life as Savior and Lord. Please, help me to glorify You in all I say and do. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and personal Savior. I need Your protections and directions throughout my daily life, help me. In the all-powerful Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth I pray. Amen.
Get a Bible; perhaps begin in the book of Mark or John in the New Testament. Get to know your God, Savior. Did you know that He deeply desires relationship with you, God Who formed the heavens, the seas, the Earth and everything good that is within them? Get involved with a Bible-believing and doctrine-pure church, get baptized as a sign of commitment to your heavenly Father God, the triune God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob Who changes not.