God’s Thoughts to Me
You say,”I am rich, I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!” And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked (Revelation 3:17,NLT).
I am very rich; I have become wealthy. With all my wealth they will not find in me any iniquity or sin (Hosea 12:8, NIV).
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven … Blessed are the meek, for they will inheit the earth (Matthew 5:3-5, NIV).
A while ago a friend of mine, Michael Clark, watched a documentary on the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly.
The documentary featured a scientist conducting an MRI scan on a cocoon while it went through the process of metamorphosis.
During the transformation, the worm completely dissolved and nothing of the original pupa remained.
The whole chrysalis was turned into a sort of worm soup with only a few left-over cells remaining, transforming this gooey mass into a beautiful butterfly.
During the time of John’s Revelation from our Lord Jesus, we find the Lady Laodicea, the church at Laodicea, a lady sorely in need of such a complete metamorphosis.
She lived in the city that was formerly known as Diospolis, the City of Zeus. In the third century AD the name was changed by Antiochus to Laodicea after his wife, Laodice.
At that time Laodicea was a major, important trade and banking centre of the region and the people, as a result, became quite rich (James Fowler, The Revelation Series).
Religion was alive and well in the city. There was a beautiful temple of Zeus and a medical school that developed a “Phrygian powder” that was used as an eye salve.
The Lady Laodicea was self-sufficient and very proud. She boasted in her physical and material riches and claimed to be in need of nothing.
She seemed totally unaware of our Lord’s advise,
“Don’t store up treasures here on earth where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven … Where your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be (Matthew 6:19-21)”.
She paid scant attention to the One who really was the Source of everything … the One who called her wretched, miserable, blind, poor and naked.
She was neither hot nor cold in her love towards her heavenly Bridegroom. Yet, not chilled enough to the point of apostatizing.
This proud lady lacked spiritual dicernment, ignorant of the truth that spiritual riches, spiritual clothing, spiritual eyesight can only be found in Him who is Truth (Colossians 2:3).
Once upon a time, I related very well to this lady. I was dressed beautifully in the purple robes of religious riches.
My neck was adorned with the necklace of diamond-like “gifts of the Holy Spirit” and around my wrists, golden bracelets jingled in tongues.
I proudly pranced like a peacock, delighting in all my wealth of spiritual snobbery, thinking myself quite advanced and favored by our Pappa, higher up the ladder into heaven than others. I was oblivious to the fact that this was the stairway to hell.
Yet, I was poor and wretched, naked to the core of my being, but I didn’t know it.
I blindly followed the world and joyfully participated in building all sorts of golden calves at the foot of Mount Sinai, instead of going up Mount Zion to meet my Lord and feast on His glory.
Instead of being blessed, as I thought I was, a gnawing hunger in my heart told another story; one of a lady who was cursed in her self-righteousness and her pride.
My soul was tormented by an acute loneliness; yet I was in the company of many lost souls in the same predicament.
And my heart cried out to the only One who had the power and authority to seek and save the lost.
I could faintly hear our Lord’s gentle invitation to buy gold from Him that has been purified by fire, white garments to cover my nakedness as well as ointment for my spiritual blindness (Revelation 3:18).
Our Pappa took pity on me and on the spinning-wheel of suffering, He spinned a silky cocoon of His love and clothed my nakedness.
What happened there in complete secrecy between my King and I, is so holy, that, forever, it will stay a sweet, precious secret between two hearts.
Sufficient to say, He took all of my old self, dissolved it into worm soup, clothed me in a beautiful robe of butterfly wings and released me into the freedom of the eternal life of our Lord Jesus.
I emerged as a beautiful butterfly with wings glorious like an angel’s.
He brought me to the cleft in the rock at Mount Zion where I could stand before Him, poor in spirit, and humble in heart to receive the inheritance … to receive Him.
There, in Him, I could stand with an unveiled face, delighting myself in His glory.
He redeemed me from the ugliness of my proud, haughty self and replaced it with the humble, gentle beauty of our Lord Jesus.
He clothed me in the white robe of His righteousness … He transformed me into His Lady Ekklesia.
Much love xx
Michael’s blog can be found here