The Spirit is Speaking!
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Devotional for Day 10
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches”
Revelation 3:22 (ESV)
The Spirit of God is speaking! He’s speaking to each one of us, bidding, encouraging, correcting, even warning all to hear with a response, receive with an action and to heed with conviction. He’s speaking primarily through the Scriptures to lead and guide into union, oneness and harmony with the Father! Thus, He speaks for our sake, for our wellbeing and for our future. At times He speaks in a still small voice and at other times He speaks with trumpet volume, but He does speak! He affirms and corrects, He admonishes and directs, He speaks to both the young and old, the male and female, the spiritually mature and immature. And, within each book, letter, prophecy or sermon, there is a calling for people to pay careful attention because within the writing, respectively, there is an opportunity and a temptation to both regard or dismiss, consider or neglect, adhere or ignore what is pertinent to the life of self-proclaimed believers.
To reinforce the point, Jesus ends at least seven difficult sayings with, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” It’s an admonishment to receive what may be difficult to digest. And, the same advice is offered as the written prophecy within Revelation begins with warm greetings but quickly highlights the snares in which seven categories of people, who espouse themselves as Christians, must be wary of. The Spirit is indeed speaking and those who have ears, in other words, those who are yielded and vigilant, alert and teachable, will diligently self-assess and correct their course throughout life—never taking the words of Christ or the cross itself for granted, but rather, transforming intentionally and daily into the image of His dear Son.
The Spirit is speaking to people who have assembled because of faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who have believed the witness of those within the first century, who have made a public confession of faith in Jesus as the anointed One, who have believed and spoken or testified to others what they have seen, heard and known of Jesus as their personal Messiah. The Spirit is present to put to death the deeds of the flesh so that the believer can live in a way that is greater than the day they first believed, love in a way that is stronger than natural inclination, and loyally identify with Christ regardless of the cost. The Spirit of God is speaking, offering with sobering reality how life in Christ is a life of surrender and submission to the only Sovereign being.
The Revelation of Jesus Christ seems to summarize for the church what the Spirit is saying in how to overcome; so there is exposition, exhortation, and finally encouragement. And while it would be hubris of me to think that I can offer full interpretation of such a complex book, I do think the Spirit is speaking to each of us, as the church, starting first with those who have replaced a love for God with godly indignation alone (Revelation 2:1-7). He then urges faithfulness amidst weariness and persecution (Revelation 2:8-11). Next, He warns those who compromise allegiance to God through idolatry (Revelation 2:12-17). He exposes the influence that brings contamination of body and spirit and cautions believers to be attentive (Revelation 2:18-3:1-6). Finally, He encourages the faithful with the promise (Revelation 3:7-13) before chiding those who are indifferent (Revelation 3:14-22). With every word to the church—that is, with those who assemble or gather as believers in Christ Jesus--the reader will find the words, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches,” because He does speak.
His words are daunting at best, but I also find the clear directives throughout the Scriptures, particularly those in Revelation, to be a beautiful reminder that I have a choice in life to either prepare for eternal life in a passive or intentional manner. And, each time I consider my options, the Spirit is speaking, nudging me to keep working out my salvation with fear and trembling, to keep growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, to keep striving towards the goal for the prize of the upward call in Christ Jesus, to keep laying aside the weight and sin that would easily beset me; that is, to keep choosing life.
And, when I do, when you do, we are the church, heeding the voice of the Spirit because the Spirit of God is speaking.
Father, I thank You for speaking to the church—I thank You for speaking to me. May I have ears to hear what You are saying and a heart to receive. I repent for every place in life where I have ignored the leading of Your Spirit to do what was right in my own eyes. And I ask that You create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me, that I may live with wholehearted devotion and a willingness towards Your purposes and plans, regardless of the cost. I commit my ways unto You, and pray that You would be glorified through Your Son within the church—that is, within my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.