February 21, 2016

Revelation 2:11 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.”

I quote the first part of this verse as part of my regular faith declarations: “By the grace of God, each day I am more accurately hearing and obeying the Holy Spirit, for it is written, ‘He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’” (I realize I blend slightly with Matthew 11:15, but this is how I feel the Lord gave it to me.) The point is, the Holy Spirit is talking, and we had better listen! If we look at the whole Biblical record, it is clear the Holy Spirit sometimes says “Go” and sometimes He says “Stay.” We aren’t to be afraid of either, but focus on hearing accurately and with obedience. The world is quite a mine field, and frankly, we don’t read the map very well. The only way we can avoid the devil’s IEDs is to listen to the Holy Spirit, because He can spot every one. We tend to get anxious about temporal consequences: financial loss, physical injury, what have you. This verse reminds us there are far more serious consequences we need to be concerned about, and faithful obedience to the Holy Spirit is the only sure ticket to success.

I say this as a faith declaration, but that doesn’t mean I can follow through in my own strength. I have demonstrated countless times that I am all too adept at deceiving myself, (James 1:22) thinking I’m being obedient to the Word just because I can quote it. My obedience cannot be static; it must be active. I need to keep seeking to hear, not to verify my own agenda but to receive and follow God’s agenda. It is too easy to come up with a desired plan and then ask God to rubber stamp it. As He has made it clear to me, God’s smart and I’m not. Any plan I come up with on my own is doomed to failure at best, but His plans will succeed in the end, whatever the road might look like along the way.

Father, thank You for this Word of comfort and encouragement. You have not taken me on a road of material rewards or of human acclaim, but Your way is good. Help me indeed be faithful, hearing and obeying Your Spirit in every detail, so that all of Your plans for me may be fulfilled on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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One Response to February 21, 2016

  1. Nils Olson says:

    Good word, Jack. Thank you for the encouragement. –nils

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