What will take for you to see that what you are doing is destroying you? How many times have we ask that of a loved one who has an addiction in one form or another?
A dear friend of mine came to me for help at our place of work. Randy and I prayed for him and with him. We both tried to help this friend understand the destructive pattern with addictive tendencies in his life that were robbing his joy, hurting the family he loved, while causing restlessness and lack of peace. He saw it for a moment then easily returned to his old habits, “I can handle it,” he would say—until he couldn’t.
How we long for our loved ones to have a change of heart by turning to the God who created them, loved them so much that He sent His One and Only Son to lay down His life to save them, with hope restored. Life is not always rosy but life is better lived in communion with God who created Life. The power to change lies in Jesus, His Holy Spirit abiding in us, with God in charge of our transformation. We cannot do life alone. We were not created to do life alone.
Let’s get personal. What if that self-destructive thinking with addictive behaviors is our way of life? How much self-centered arrogance in the world, the “have it your own way” way of life, do we have to see, feel, seek and experience to corrupt and destroy our own hearts? What will it take to realize the One in charge, over all, in all then bow down, humble ourselves and worship Him alone? Do we realize God is for us, not against us?
Will it take stars plummeting from the sky? How much perverted behaviors to we have to see and experience around and in us? Are we blind to the degradation of humans? How bad does it have to get? John sees with clarity and imagery the approach of the last days before Jesus comes to claim His own, the ones who still believe, still humble, worship Him alone, sealed with His redemption.
John also sees those who still do not believe;
“The remaining men and women who weren’t killed by these weapons went on their merry way—didn’t change their way of life, didn’t quit worshiping demons, didn’t quit centering their lives around lumps of gold and silver and brass, hunks of stone and wood that couldn’t see or hear or move. There wasn’t a sign of a change of heart. They plunged right on in their murderous, occult, promiscuous, and thieving ways”.
Each camp in which we pitch our tent will be rewarded accordingly. The most important question is, do I believe in Jesus or not. There are only two choices. We must choose wisely. There are people in our world who demand to be served in one camp. Then there are people who serve as a natural response to God’s love. Who are we?
REVELATION—JESUS IS COMING BACK!
Revelation 8, The Message
1-2 The fifth Angel trumpeted. I saw a Star plummet from Heaven to earth. The Star was handed a key to the Well of the Abyss. He unlocked the Well of the Abyss—smoke poured out of the Well, billows and billows of smoke, sun and air in blackout from smoke pouring out of the Well.
3-6 Then out of the smoke crawled locusts with the venom of scorpions. They were given their orders: “Don’t hurt the grass, don’t hurt anything green, don’t hurt a single tree—only men and women, and then only those who lack the seal of God on their foreheads.” They were ordered to torture but not kill, torture them for five months, the pain like a scorpion sting. When this happens, people are going to prefer death to torture, look for ways to kill themselves. But they won’t find a way—death will have gone into hiding.
7-11 The locusts looked like horses ready for war. They had gold crowns, human faces, women’s hair, the teeth of lions, and iron breastplates. The sound of their wings was the sound of horse-drawn chariots charging into battle. Their tails were equipped with stings, like scorpion tails. With those tails they were ordered to torture the human race for five months. They had a king over them, the Angel of the Abyss. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon, in Greek, Apollyon—“Destroyer.”
12 The first doom is past. Two dooms yet to come.
13-14 The sixth Angel trumpeted. I heard a voice speaking to the sixth Angel from the horns of the Golden Altar before God: “Let the Four Angels loose, the Angels confined at the great River Euphrates.”
15-19 The Four Angels were untied and let loose, Four Angels all prepared for the exact year, month, day, and even hour when they were to kill a third of the human race. The number of the army of horsemen was twice ten thousand times ten thousand. I heard the count and saw both horses and riders in my vision: fiery breastplates on the riders, lion heads on the horses breathing out fire and smoke and brimstone. With these three weapons—fire and smoke and brimstone—they killed a third of the human race. The horses killed with their mouths and tails; their serpentlike tails also had heads that wreaked havoc.
20-21 The remaining men and women who weren’t killed by these weapons went on their merry way—didn’t change their way of life, didn’t quit worshiping demons, didn’t quit centering their lives around lumps of gold and silver and brass, hunks of stone and wood that couldn’t see or hear or move. There wasn’t a sign of a change of heart. They plunged right on in their murderous, occult, promiscuous, and thieving ways.
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REFLECT AND EVALUATE
Do we really believe in what God says about Himself really real? Our behavior will show what we believe. God knows our hearts better than we know our hearts. Ask God for wisdom for living this life according to Him. He will give what you ask. He promised.
We ask for wisdom for living life well, doing what is right and good in your way of thinking. Help us to think more like you with your power working in us. We need you every hour of every day. I choose to live life by your power, in Your Name, for Your Glory. Amen