Isaiah 32 & Revelation 2

Isaiah 32

    Behold, a king will reign in righteousness,
        and princes will rule in justice.
    Each will be like a hiding place from the wind,
        a shelter from the storm,
    like streams of water in a dry place,
        like the shade of a great rock in a weary land.
    Then the eyes of those who see will not be closed,
        and the ears of those who hear will give attention.
    The heart of the hasty will understand and know,
        and the tongue of the stammerers will hasten to speak distinctly.
    The fool will no more be called noble,
        nor the scoundrel said to be honorable.
    For the fool speaks folly,
        and his heart is busy with iniquity,
    to practice ungodliness,
        to utter error concerning the LORD,
    to leave the craving of the hungry unsatisfied,
        and to deprive the thirsty of drink.
    As for the scoundrel—his devices are evil;
        he plans wicked schemes
    to ruin the poor with lying words,
        even when the plea of the needy is right.
    But he who is noble plans noble things,
        and on noble things he stands.
        Rise up, you women who are at ease, hear my voice;
        you complacent daughters, give ear to my speech.
    In little more than a year
        you will shudder, you complacent women;
    for the grape harvest fails,
        the fruit harvest will not come.
    Tremble, you women who are at ease,
        shudder, you complacent ones;
    strip, and make yourselves bare,
        and tie sackcloth around your waist.
    Beat your breasts for the pleasant fields,
        for the fruitful vine,
    for the soil of my people
        growing up in thorns and briers,
    yes, for all the joyous houses
        in the exultant city.
    For the palace is forsaken,
        the populous city deserted;
    the hill and the watchtower
        will become dens forever,
    a joy of wild donkeys,
        a pasture of flocks;
    until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high,
        and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field,
        and the fruitful field is deemed a forest.
    Then justice will dwell in the wilderness,
        and righteousness abide in the fruitful field.
    And the effect of righteousness will be peace,
        and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.
    My people will abide in a peaceful habitation,
        in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.
    And it will hail when the forest falls down,
        and the city will be utterly laid low.
    Happy are you who sow beside all waters,
        who let the feet of the ox and the donkey range free.

(Isaiah 32 ESV)

Revelation 2

    “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands.

    “‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name's sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’

    “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life.

    “‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.’

    “And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: ‘The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword.

    “‘I know where you dwell, where Satan's throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality. So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.’

    “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: ‘The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze.

    “‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works. But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan, to you I say, I do not lay on you any other burden. Only hold fast what you have until I come. The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. And I will give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

(Revelation 2 ESV)

Revelation 2: The church in Ephesus had experienced great spiritual success and would be considered an extremely fruitful and faithful church in our eyes today. But as worldly success caused Rehoboam to forget His God (2 Chronicles 12), spiritual success was causing the Ephesians to forget their God as well.

Sometimes we can begin to love the fruit of our ministry so much so that we forget about the One who produces that fruit through us in the first place. We become fascinated with the gifts and end up forgetting about the Giver.

A good measure of our Christian condition on whether we've become too comfortable and self-sufficient is an examination of our time in prayer. Are we praying and how are we praying? Our prayers are a window into the position of our hearts.