This letter gives us another secret to growth and change to those of us who are feeling a little bit complacent. Maybe we feel a little more bored than blessed when we connect with church … Perhaps we feel a lot more attached to this world than we’d like - (who doesn’t struggle with that?) and looking us straight in the eye Jesus says - “I want you to see your need as you never have before. Then I’d be able to meet your need as I never have before.”
John writes this way to the church in Laodicea - “To the angel of the church of Laodicea write, ‘These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds that you’re neither cold nor hot … I wish that you were one or the other … But you don’t realise you’re wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you get from me gold refined in the fire so you can become rich and white clothes to wear so you can cover your shameful nakedness salve to put on your eyes so you can see.” (Revelation 3:14 ff)
Not easy words from Jesus but they end with his remarkable promise - “Look! I am standing at the door and I’m constantly knocking. If anyone opens the door I will come in and I’ll fellowship with him; I’ll relate to him, I’ll dine with him and he’ll fellowship with me.” (Revelation 3:20 – Message)
Jeremiah 29:11 is a well-known Old Testament text; a personal favourite for many people - "For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future".
Yes, God has a purpose for our lives, but we can miss it. It’s not automatic. And God isn’t going to force us into the purposes He has for us. God’s purpose has to be chosen, has to be accepted and has to be followed.
Moses is a great example of “choosing” God’s life purposes (read Hebrews 11:23-27) and an example we can follow. His choosing included –
refusing to be defined by others
choosing short-term pain for long-term gain
choosing what God values, not what culture values, and
choosing to live by faith, not by fear.
May God strengthen us to choose His purposes for us in 2020