"Then as I looked, I saw a door standing open in heaven, and the same voice I had heard before spoke to me with the sound of a mighty trumpet blast. The voice said, 'Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after these things.' " Revelation 4:1......"We can stand and stare at the world and see all that is wrong, but how would it change our lives if we began to see it through the eyes of worship?" Sheila Walsh
It's so easy to "stand and stare" at all that is going on around us and feel a deep sense of hopelessness. In this information soaked age, we are bombarded by a myriad of sources that tell us nearly every moment of every day how truly hopeless everything is. We in the church, entrusted with a message of hope, have not been immune to its effects. We see a world disintegrating before our eyes. We also see a church that in too many ways seems powerless to have any effect upon that disintegration. We labor, but so often, there is within us the fear that all of our labor is in vain. Something worse than simple doubt can seep into our spirits.....and that something is a cynical spirit. It can color every aspect of our lives. It also will rob us of our joy, peace, and hope. We may continue on in our work for and with Him, but our joy in doing so has been lost. So too then is His power and presence in that work.
Have you ever wondered what must have been taking place in the mind and heart of the apostle John as he lived out his last years on the prison island of Patmos? John, the beloved disciple, closest to the heart of Christ, trapped on an island, away from his fellow believers, and all he could see in his line of vision was a bleak landscape. His only company other prisoners, and the men who stood guard over them. If his position were only to stand and stare at his surroundings, how could he feel anything but despair? Yet Revelation tells us that this day was the Lord's Day, and John was worshiping.
In his worship, both his eyes and heart were called upward by the One he so loved. He was called up to see not what seemed to be, but what was. He was called up to have the Kingdom eyed view of all things. Called up to see as He sees, and so to know as He knows. He was called up to not only see but understand that the real line of his vision was to go infinitely beyond the island and its immediate surroundings. On Patmos, every door seemed closed. In worship, he saw a door standing open in heaven. That open door gave him a view of the very throne room of heaven. He was not held by the prison island. He was held by the heart of the King.
Someone said that many live just waiting to die, but that they were determined to die while fully living. So must it be for all those who are His. At some point, we all find ourselves on our own Patmos. We can stand and stare at what we see, or, we can choose to worship Him there. Standing and staring in the flesh will lead us down the path of joylessness and cynicism, to our own prison island. Worship will open our eyes to the reality of His Presence...to the open door to the throne of God. We see with His eyes, understand with His mind, and we are alive. Fully alive....even on Patmos.
If you're on Patmos today, it's easy to give in to the emotions that come with such a place. I know. I have. Yet if you, if we, choose to worship Him there, we too will see heaven's open door, and we'll gaze into the very throne room of the Father. When we do, everything changes. Especially us. His open door is there, and He calls us to Himself. Do we keep staring at our surroundings, or do we come up....and join Him? Will we see through worship's eyes?