It is interesting how the Spirit leads. We had arranged for Ian Wilson to lead worship at this meeting, but earlier in the week, I (Julie) had felt like I should prepare to lead worship just in case. And, that day we discovered that Ian was feeling under the weather and so I stepped in to lead with a thankful heart that the Lord had prepared me ahead of time! I felt that there was such grace to enter in and to go before the throne boldly together.
Matthew shared briefly about being fascinated by the Lord and beholding him. This has been our inspiration in digging deeper into some Biblical topics that will help us fix our hearts on Jesus and behold Him.
I shared from Revelation 4 and 5. I gave a brief overview of these chapters looking at the context of them within the full picture of the book of Revelation. John is in prison on an island and he has had an encounter with Jesus and then he is instructed to write messages to seven churches. Then as chapter 4 opens, he sees an open door into the heavens and he hears a voice (it is Jesus) inviting him up to "see what must take place after this." But, before John is given the revelation of the things that will come to fulfill all of history, he sees a throne.
This is truly the kindness of the Lord that He invites us to see everything from the vantage point of His throne. Once we behold the throne and really study this incredible scene, we have greater grace to see BIG things as BIG and small things as SMALL.
So, why bother to study this rather fantastical scene in a rather fantastical book? Because the Scripture makes it clear that we are destined for that place! Colossians 3:1-4 says that we are seated with Christ in heavenly places, and exhorts us to fix our minds and hearts on those heavenly places.
None of the details of that scene have changed since John caught a glimpse of it! It is so worth our time to look at the details and the big picture of it in order to understand that this is where our hearts are called to be even now, but also this will be a beautiful familiar place to us for all of eternity.
Jesus, in Matthew 24:6-8, commands us not to be alarmed in light of terrible things that will occur on earth. How are we not to be alarmed? Even today we see so many troubling things happening around us and so how can we avoid a response of fear? I would argue that fixing our gaze for significant amounts of time on the throne of God that is firmly fixed in the eternal places gives us confidence to stand firm in difficult times.
We will look again in more detail at these passages in our next Lampstand meeting!
We took time again to go before the throne, inviting the presence of the Lord to stir our hearts and seal His word in us.
Prayer for needs: We always take time to pray for personal needs, as we feel this is important that people can find encouragement in agreement. We also prayed for our national leaders to have wisdom as hurricanes were tearing through parts of the country.
What a sweet blessing these times of fellowship with the Lord are for us! Thank you to all who come and join us!
Matthew or Julie Wine