Friday, July 15, 2011

REVELATION: WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT

THE TITLE OF THIS BLOG POST may be a little misleading. There are truly a number of things that the book of Revelation is all about, but yesterday I had one of those moments of epiphany that comes when I am out running. I guess when your heart is thumping so loud that those you pass along the way can hear it, and the sweat is massaging your eyes with a saline-laden concoction, one tends to be more open to the voice of God...it has to do with being close to death, I suppose. Anyway...

I was out running at Henry Cowell State Park on a 3.5 mile run I call the "Ox Trail Loop." There are a couple a steep sections that can really knock you down, and thus far, after returning to running from a long period of not running, I have been beaten down by this run.  Always finding myself needing to stop and walk up the steeper portions. Anyway...

Cover of Cover of RockyAs I was running, feeling better than I have lately, I was thinking about my study in the book of Revelation and how one of the recurring themes is that of "endurance" and of "overcoming." (Revelation 2:7, Revelation 2:11, Revelation 2:17, Revelation 3:21, Revelation 21:7, etc.) The Lord tells the readers of the Revelation that those who overcome will gain the victor's crown (amongst other things). But the overcoming and the enduring will truly take effort. One will have to dig deep, to seek the help of the Lord and to in no uncertain terms, "gut it out." When one does then they will enjoy the fruits of victory.  Anyway...

With those thoughts ringing in my ears I pushed through, and I truly believe, only by the Lord's help did I run the whole loop without stopping.  There was great rejoicing reaching the top of the Ox Trail incline! (Think Rocky on the top steps in Philadelphia.) I made it...OK, we made it, but I was able to enjoy the fruit of overcoming. And this I believe is one of the key lessons to the readers of the letter of Revelation. There were coming some seemingly insurmountable hills, but to the one who overcomes the victory crown awaits.

Here's another anecdote. This past week I fought long and hard with the Lord over having to do a certain "ministry."  It got down-right ugly. Let's just say God would have had an easier time with Balaam's donkey than with me (Numbers 22:1-35) Fortunately, I did not give in to my whims, but served anyway, and God, as he is known to do, showed up and people were blessed through the donkey...and so was the donkey.  I could had run the other way, but I chose to endure, even if it wasn't with the purest of heart and motive, and I was able to share once again the victor's crown.  Anyway...

I don't know what you're facing today. But I believe if you choose to endure and to be an overcomer, you too shall gain the crown. If you're down and out today, pick up the book of Revelation and gain hope, for those who remain steadfast shall gain the victory that is sure, even if your heart is ready to melt and your eyes are drowning in tears. Endure! Overcome!  In the strength of the LORD!
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