Revelation 3:1b-3 – I know what you are doing. Everyone may think you are alive, but you are dead. Wake up! You have only a little strength left, and it is almost gone. So try to become stronger. I have found that you are not completely obeying God. (CEV)
Wow! This message which I received as a daily Bible reading from the Canadian Bible Society on April 18, 2007, hit me directly. It was a message to the church in Sardis, but I felt like God was speaking right to me.
Although we know in our hearts that the Lord is our strength, we have often felt our strength dwindling, even to the point where we actually cry out to God, "Enough already!" Readers who may have read some of the devotionals I have written will recall that I have been under spiritual attack for a long time now, so I will not go into detail here.
Most nights I get through, but sometimes I feel desperate, and those are the times when I grow weary and just want to crawl in bed and stay there, and sometimes I do for a whole day. I have cried out, telling God I cannot take any more. Obviously this is not the answer, and it does not help.
While writing this devotional, I decided to look up another translation — in The Message, by Eugene Peterson. After reading it, I firmly believe God was speaking to me about my strength level. Perhaps He is speaking to others today.
Revelation 3:2-3 – Up on your feet! Take a deep breath! Maybe there's life in you yet. But I wouldn't know it by looking at your busywork; nothing of God's work has been completed. Your condition is desperate. Think of the gift you once had in your hands, the Message you heard with your ears — grasp it again and turn back to God. If you pull the covers back over your head and sleep on, oblivious to God, I'll return when you least expect it, break into your life like a thief in the night. (MSG)
Powerful words! — speaking directly to my situation, and evidence that the Lord is still my strength, and still has things for me to do for Him.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, how powerful is Your message to us, no matter what the translation. Help us to remember that You are the source of our strength and are with us to the end. Grant us in our weakness the strength to hold on in obedience to You, to bring all glory to You, our Lord and Saviour. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.