“I know your good deeds, but I have this against you. Repent, or I will remove your lampstand.”
-Revelation chapters 2-3
This is a paraphrase of a collection of “words” given to the seven churches in the Book of Revelation.
Since this is Lent, I thought I would point out how the Church, and certainly the Church of today particularly in western society, seems to have a hard time hearing the second half of Jesus’ statements. I don’t know if it is because I sometimes move in a prophetic confrontational ministry, but I am often sensitive to these types of warnings from the Lord when He speaks them. A problem, I believe though, is that a large part of the Church does not believe that the Lord could or would ever say anything harsh or difficult to hear because, as it has so often been quoted by many contemporary western-hemisphere pleasing pastors, “God is love”, which He is, except that “love” is not all that God is, and even in His love He disciplines those He loves for their own good. Hebrews 12:11 writes, “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
Where the Church cannot hear God’s disciplinary warnings as well as His encouraging affirmations, it will suffer loss and its light will be dimmed, and those who were unable to receive the Lord’s good corrections will also be unable to comprehend why the darkness was able to overtake their domain.
Where the Church can hear and respond to the seemingly unpleasant aspect of God’s love, it will be rewarded with an increase of fruit and a brighter light that the darkness around it cannot comprehend.
Let us fast and pray that we in the Church might hear both the Lord’s encouraging affirmations and disciplinary warnings, and be open to all His revelation.