Whenever I share like this, I have a dual
aim of what I hope will happen.
First, I would love to see other believers
built-up and encouraged by the specific lessons from God’s word that have already
blessed me in praiseworthy ways.
Second, I would love to see other believers
engaged with God in his word daily so all of us would have a testimony of what
God has taught us, how we see him working those things into our lives, and how
we are joining him in his work.
With that in mind, here are some thoughts
from Jesus’ letter to the lukewarm Laodicean church in Revelation 3:14-22.
The phrases, “you say,” and, “not realizing”.
17 For YOU SAY, I am rich, I
have prospered, and I need nothing, NOT REALIZING that you are wretched,
pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.
This sent me into a time of examining
myself to consider whether there are things my sark/flesh says about me that
are smugly self-satisfied simply because I don’t realize the true condition of
my soul. It included a consideration of how dissociation and self-protection
hide things away from us so we can play roles that are different from who we really
are and what we are really like.
To our self-protection and sarkiness there
will be some kind of message telling us what we “say” about ourselves that is smugly self-satisfied. However, the
only reason we could believe such things is that we don’t realize what God sees
inside us, especially on the other side of those walls of self-protection.
2. The phrases, “I counsel you,”
and, “so that you may…”
18 I COUNSEL YOU to buy from
me gold refined by fire, SO THAT YOU MAY be rich, and white garments SO THAT
YOU MAY clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness MAY not be seen, and
salve to anoint your eyes, SO THAT YOU MAY see.
When Jesus shows us that we are smugly
self-confident in our sarks/flesh because we don’t realize the mess they have
made of our lives, he comes with counsel that would change us. If we continue
with the smug self-confidence that is dissociated from reality, he spits us out
of his mouth.
But he comes with the very counsel that would give us the things we thought we
had but don’t.
The parallel between the
phrases “you say,” and, “I counsel you”.
Obviously, to whatever extent we are saying
anything about ourselves that is false, we need to turn to hear whatever the Spirit
is saying to us so we know the counsel Jesus would give us.
This is the way I have viewed my time with
God for a very long time. First, I want to present to God what I am thinking or
feeling about anything in order that he can examine it for me. Then, as I seek
him in his word, it is so that he can counsel me on how I should think about
myself and anything I am going through. Our daily time with God will
consistently confront us with these differences between what we say and what Jesus
would counsel. It is always good to change our minds to his, but it may follow
the pattern of Jesus telling us what we say that just ain’t so, and what he
counsels us to do about it.
The parallel between the phrases,
“not realizing,” and, “so that you may”.
This is where there is so much hope. No
matter how deluded we are because of what we don’t realize about ourselves, Jesus
presents the very things that would lead us to truly experience the exact
things we don’t have.
For example, Jesus shows us the negative,
sinful, discouraging, false things we think, believe and feel that we don’t
even realize are problems with us. However, he does not show us these things so
that he can condemn and reject us, but “so
that you may” experience his blessings in real life.
When a dissociative person thinks they have
peace, but in reality they are merely a peacekeeper who tries to keep everyone
happy so there are no troubles to face, Jesus brings them to the end of their
peacekeeping by letting all kinds of impossible-to-handle situations come up in
order that they would discover that they did not realize how poorly they were
doing deep inside.
Once he has us there, where we can see what
we did not realize about ourselves, he can then show us how we can have peace
with God through him in a way we would never experience it in our own strength.
He changes the mind of a peacekeeper into the mind of a peacemaker.
This is a humbling Beatitudinal picture.
If we keep thinking the lie that we already have as much as we need of the work
of Christ, we are putrid in our lukewarmness so he wants to vomit us out of his
mouth. On the other hand, if we admit to the impoverished condition of our
souls exactly as he describes us, and mourn that the inner reality is so
contrary to our outer role, and meekly admit that we will never fix this
ourselves so that we allow ourselves to hunger and thirst for the wealth of
righteousness that can only be experienced by faith, we can come to Jesus for
everything we do not have and receive it all as a free gift.
In other words, only when God brings us to
the place of admitting we do not have the righteousness, joy, and peace of the
and we allow ourselves to hunger and thirst for what we do not have, will he
then pour out his grace to do in our lives what can only happen through faith.
Conclusion: we must let the Holy Spirit
examine us and tell us the truth of what we are like and how we are doing in
order that we can earnestly repent (change our minds to match his) and open the
door to Jesus’ gracious knocking.
Of course, a daily time in the word and prayer would do just that.
© 2018 Monte Vigh ~
Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8 ~ email@example.com
noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible,
English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway
Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)
 This is seen in the Beatitudes of Matthew 5:1-12
 In the Beatitudes of Matthew 5:1-12, the peacemaker is someone who
has already seen their poverty of spirit, mourned the sinful and sarky
condition of their souls, meekly accepted that they cannot fix themselves,
hungered and thirsted after the righteousness they did not have, and so were
satisfied by the righteousness of God by grace through faith. This makes them
into a merciful person with a pure heart who now wants everyone to experience
peace with God through the gospel, so much so that they will even consider it a
blessing when they are persecuted for doing so.
 The “grace through faith” of salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9) is the
same grace through faith that leads us our whole lives.
 This is what Jesus tells us to do in Revelation 3:19-20