We know their stories. The Laodicean Christians had become complacent and lukewarm. In Pergamum, some of God’s people had allowed greed to infect their lives. The list goes on.
What might rekindle dedication and faithfulness among God’s people? What might motivate those who claim to serve God to shine like stars in the darkness of their cities?
The answer provided in Revelation is an old one. We encounter it first in the Old Testament.
In the eighth century B.C., God revealed part of his glory and grandeur to a man called Isaiah. As Isaiah perceived the sovereign Lord as King accompanied by powerful seraphs proclaiming God’s holiness, Isaiah’s perception of his life and those around him forever changed.
“Too bad for me! I am ruined! For my lips are contaminated by sin, and I live among people whose lips are contaminated by sin. My eyes have beheld the King, the LORD Almighty.” (Isaiah 6:5). After God cleansed Isaiah from his sin, Isaiah volunteered to be God’s light to the cities of Judea.
To motivate Christians living within the cities of Asia Minor, God enabled John to gain a glimpse into heaven’s throne room. John described for those early urban Christians what he saw upon entering heaven. Flashes of lightning and peals of thunder surrounded the enthroned one. Like Isaiah, John beheld powerful living creatures proclaiming,
“Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and who is, and who is still to come!” (Revelation 4:8).
Catching even a glimpse of our God can change everything. Seeing ourselves, our lives, our communities in the light of God’s grandeur encourages us to reevaluate our decisions, priorities, lifestyles and worship.
When God desired to motivate his people toward living as shining lights in a crooked and perverse society, what did he do? Well, one answer is that God reminded his people who he was, is and will be.