Since the human heart is filled with wickedness and deception it behooves us to spend time with the Lord who alone knows our true situation and needs.
Texts: 2 Chronicles 16:9 and Revelation 1:6-8
I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea. Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.”
I. John was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day
a. Being in the Spirit enables us to see ourselves and our world in the light of His wisdom.
b. In the Spirit, John was able to correctly view the past, present, and future.
c. Often we are ignorant of our true situation. For example, never ask a husband how good his marriage is; you need to ask the wife.
II. The Laodicea Deception (Revelation 3:15-18)
I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.
a. This church thought it was rich and had no needs but in reality was poor, blind, and naked.
b. Acknowledging your true condition in the searing hot presence of Christ is the first step towards having your eyes open. Being in prayer meetings, corporate worship, sitting under the word, and having personal devotional times with the Lord will reveal your relationship with Christ in the same way going away alone with your spouse or having an empty nest will reveal the true condition of your marriage. Hebrews 4:12 teaches us that the word of God separates soul and spirit.
c. There are companies that do not know the true financial condition of their organization until their experience an internal financial audit.
III. The example of David and Nathan (2 Samuel 12:1-15)
a. David was so deceived he was able to be incensed about the sins of others without looking at his own actions and lifestyle. He was so deceived he was able to justify adultery and murder! Many Christians are fooled because they fall into an entitlement mentality because of their hardships.
b. It took the ministry of Nathan the Prophet to give him the word of the Lord and expose his true condition. This is why we always need to be with the people of God; we are not capable of being completely objective.
c. This experience was the impetus that led David to connect internally to God as we see in his psalm of repentance (read Psalm 51:1-4, 10-13).
d. Being aware and then honest with our sins before the Lord is the start of experiencing God’s great favor.
e. Can you imagine how powerful our church would be if we were a church that continually examined our hearts and allowed God to correct us and keep us on the right path!
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