I’ve had some pretty awe-producing (the word is “awesome!”) audio/visual experiences in my life (after all, I was raised near Glacier National Park – the “Alps of America” – see the pic)! You’ve probably had some awe-inspiring experiences as well. They leave you breathless! You never forget them! And if you’re a Christ-follower and God-believer you always experience a heightened sense of worship, praise, thanksgiving, faith and a determination to live your life for the glory of God!
Apostle John had such an experience! He, assisted by the Holy Spirit, attempted to describe his experience and put it into words for us. Get this: He was NOT located in one of the world’s favorite vacation spots at the time of this experience – He was on Patmos, which at that time was a very barren island in the Aegean Sea used to isolate and exile prisoners (Revelation 1:9).
That’s what makes John’s experience to significant and noteworthy! It is as though God pulled back the heavenly drapes and allowed John to see, hear and experience a heavenly reality! Don’t get me wrong… what John saw was REAL! The language he used to describe it… Well there are really no adequate words for it – it was “out of this world” – but REAL! In fact, the words he used to describe it really require your understanding it was REAL, but also your imagination!
Now here’s where I want to stop and challenge you… Pick up your Bible on this next to the last day of 2021 (a very challenging and difficult year) and read the passage I read this morning – Revelation 21:1 – 22:6. Read it slowly… read it reflectively… read it with your “imagination on”… But read it like it’s REALITY! Finally, read it like you’re right there with John on Patmos… Then do what I did, underline a few really significant things, jot a few reactions… And above all respond to the God behind that reality (worship, praise, thanksgiving, prayer and commitment)!
For what it’s worth, here are a few comments I jotted in the margin of my Bible this morning…
“Wow… what a day that will be!!! Beyond imagination!!!”
“Oh Lord, help me! I want to be an “overcomer!”
“Imagine it… the curse of Genesis reversed (Genesis 1-3) – Eden restored (no, more than that – Eden on steroids!!!)”