Isaiah 33 & Revelation 3

Isaiah 33

    Ah, you destroyer,
        who yourself have not been destroyed,
    you traitor,
        whom none has betrayed!
    When you have ceased to destroy,
        you will be destroyed;
    and when you have finished betraying,
        they will betray you.
    O LORD, be gracious to us; we wait for you.
        Be our arm every morning,
        our salvation in the time of trouble.
    At the tumultuous noise peoples flee;
        when you lift yourself up, nations are scattered,
    and your spoil is gathered as the caterpillar gathers;
        as locusts leap, it is leapt upon.
    The LORD is exalted, for he dwells on high;
        he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness,
    and he will be the stability of your times,
        abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge;
        the fear of the LORD is Zion's treasure.
    Behold, their heroes cry in the streets;
        the envoys of peace weep bitterly.
    The highways lie waste;
        the traveler ceases.
    Covenants are broken;
        cities are despised;
        there is no regard for man.
    The land mourns and languishes;
        Lebanon is confounded and withers away;
    Sharon is like a desert,
        and Bashan and Carmel shake off their leaves.
    “Now I will arise,” says the LORD,
        “now I will lift myself up;
        now I will be exalted.
    You conceive chaff; you give birth to stubble;
        your breath is a fire that will consume you.
    And the peoples will be as if burned to lime,
        like thorns cut down, that are burned in the fire.”
    Hear, you who are far off, what I have done;
        and you who are near, acknowledge my might.
    The sinners in Zion are afraid;
        trembling has seized the godless:
    “Who among us can dwell with the consuming fire?
        Who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings?”
    He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly,
        who despises the gain of oppressions,
    who shakes his hands, lest they hold a bribe,
        who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed
        and shuts his eyes from looking on evil,
    he will dwell on the heights;
        his place of defense will be the fortresses of rocks;
        his bread will be given him; his water will be sure.
    Your eyes will behold the king in his beauty;
        they will see a land that stretches afar.
    Your heart will muse on the terror:
        “Where is he who counted, where is he who weighed the tribute?
        Where is he who counted the towers?”
    You will see no more the insolent people,
        the people of an obscure speech that you cannot comprehend,
        stammering in a tongue that you cannot understand.
    Behold Zion, the city of our appointed feasts!
        Your eyes will see Jerusalem,
        an untroubled habitation, an immovable tent,
    whose stakes will never be plucked up,
        nor will any of its cords be broken.
    But there the LORD in majesty will be for us
        a place of broad rivers and streams,
    where no galley with oars can go,
        nor majestic ship can pass.
    For the LORD is our judge; the LORD is our lawgiver;
        the LORD is our king; he will save us.
    Your cords hang loose;
        they cannot hold the mast firm in its place
        or keep the sail spread out.
    Then prey and spoil in abundance will be divided;
        even the lame will take the prey.
    And no inhabitant will say, “I am sick”;
        the people who dwell there will be forgiven their iniquity.

(Isaiah 33 ESV)

Revelation 3

    “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars.

    “‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

    “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens.

    “‘I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and they will learn that I have loved you. Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

    “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God's creation.

    “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”

(Revelation 3 ESV)

Revelation 3: The American Christian is always at risk to subconsciously say, "I'm doing just fine; I've worked hard to earn what I have; I've got life under control." Such a subconscious attitude of self-sufficiency is ultimately a dangerous case of self-delusion.

Our feelings of self-sufficiency often harden our hearts and distort our vision. We begin to easily forget and fail to remember our desperate need and dependency on our sovereign God and Giver of all things.

We must pursue the gifts of God over the wealth of this world. We must pursue works of righteousness over the toil of worldliness. We must seek God's counsel over the opinions of man. For the American Christian, many times our abundance of resources can become the roadblock to experiencing the heart of God. May we confess and repent of any self-sufficiency and recognize what we must do to clear our path toward wholehearted communion with God.