We have seen the attack pattern in the Sower and the Seed, the Devil’s Ds, the Old Testament historical Israelites, and the New Testament historical church. But, these same attacks come to each of us individually. We have a personal relationship with God, so His messages are for us personally also!
You see, this is a warning from Yeshua Jesus to help us fight against this pattern of apostasy or drifting away from Him. He desires we that remain in close intimate relationship of love. He warns, corrects, exhorts, disciplines, instructs and encourages us so that we might repent and turn back to Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength….in real deep love. He speaks the truth in love. Let’s see how this pattern works towards individual apostasy (falling away). See if it sounds familiar to you….I know I need to keep guard in my own life…..
First, we are like the church in Ephesus and are “born again” to a new love! But, the romance seems to fade when the work begins. We somehow get more involved in the work than in our Bridegroom. We may be convicted to give up time with our old friends and worldly activities. Then, we find we are under attack of rejection and persecution like Smyrna. Family and friends ridicule our new faith and relationship and beg us to come back to them or face rejection. Some families even disown the new believer and revoke any possible inheritance or financial help. Extreme families even threaten death! Life goes on and we find we must live and operate in the world. We are confronted with deception, distraction, desires, destruction (troubles), and despair (depression) like Pergamum and Thyatira. Many entice us to go back to our old world system ways…and often those ways look more pleasurable than the path we have chosen. In desperation, we search for the church of Philadelphia. We try to find good leaders or prophets/teachers/pastors to guide us, only to find it difficult to discern between the true and false. Humanistic and religious words tickle our ears and draw us to join in. We are told by our culture and religious systems to have grace and compassion for all…so therefore we must accept everyone and their choices….we should tolerate and love one another including our differences. The world tells us that there are no rules…. and freedom and success are the real goals. Can it really hurt to think this way and follow the crowd? Everyone is doing it! We find ourselves worshipping in a church assembly once a week and living like the world the rest of the days. This way is more pleasurable and comfortable than words of repentance and obedience. Yet, when we encounter the Word, we find it cuts to our heart in conviction. It just seems to cycle around us and confuse us. I may finally tell myself that I would rather ignore it all and be sleeping! How can I care about heavenly things? Just let me get through this day on earth now! I will do good deeds, and volunteer, and give to charity when I can…that should make God happy! I think I am pretty good and finding success. Time moves on. Wonder of wonders, I am comfortable and can even find time for entertainment now. I have everything I need. God must be blessing me! This must be the way it works! This must be what it means to be a “Christian”! And you have found your way into the Laodicea church attack and deception!
But, Yeshua says you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked. You are depressed and stressed out, often without real hope. You are to be pitied for your misguided and foolish thinking. You are poor in those spiritual things that really count….those things that are worth more than gold. You are blind to God, His Word, and His ways. You are naked and have need of a robe of righteousness. Who or what is now your first love? Who or what do you really serve? Whose Word do you live out? We must take heed to the loving warning and rebuke of Yeshua and repent…turn back to love Him above all….and serve Him in joy and thanksgiving! If not, He warns that your light will go out! Yeshua Jesus warns, convicts, exhorts, disciplines, instructs, and encourages those He loves! Ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to your true spiritual condition. You will be blessed (empowered to prosper with life joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of your outward conditions). Blessings!