The Way of Recovery (Zacharias T. Fomum)
The Laodicean believers were in terrible shape. The Lord loved them as He said,
“Those whom I love, I reprove and chasten” (Revelation 3:19).
He wanted them in a state of spiritual normalcy. So, He gave a five-point way of recovery. This way would be there to put His counsel to effectiveness. He asked for:
If a person has missed the way and gone off the target, he does not just say, “I made a mistake. I will now continue in this way and make things right. I will continue on this way and see if I can get to the right way.” If he thinks and acts that way, he will continue to be lost. He must turn around and get back to the place where he went off the way and then take the right direction.
The Laodiceans had to acknowledge that they were not what God meant them to be; that they had missed Him completely. They had to change their minds about their values, reject those values and replace them with God’s values.
2) HEAR HIS VOICE
Before they had been hearing their own voices and that had led them astray. Now, they had to stop, wait on the Lord and do nothing until He had spoken and they then had to make sure that the voice was His. So to hear His voice they would have to:
Stop what they were doing;
Wait on Him;
Refuse to act until He had spoken
Hear when He spoke
Ensure that He was the one who spoke.
Today in the churches there are many who complain that they do not hear His voice. The reason for this is largely because they do not want to pay the price that is needed so that His voice may come through. They are so busy with many other things. They are prepared to go on without hearing His voice or if they heard a voice, they would mistake it for His because they are unwilling to pay the price of discernment.
3) OPEN THE DOOR
Because these people were believers, the Lord was not outside their lives. He was inside their lives but they had shut Him out of some compartments of their lives. For example, He could have been left out of any of the following compartments:
The compartment of finance
The compartment of emotions.
The compartment of sex.
The compartment of the will.
The compartment of relationship with the world.
And many others.
So the Lord stood outside, at the door of the relevant compartment and He was knocking and wanting to come in and take over as Lord. He would not force His way in because, as the Lord of love, He submitted Himself to the law of love, He submitted Himself to the law of love which forces itself on no one. The Lord did not stand outside the door silently. He stood there knocking, wanting to come in and fill the entire personality and take full control of every compartment of life. There was a choice. Those who were full of themselves and were satisfied with what they had or thought they had, could not hear His knocks. However, anyone who heard His voice and discerned that it was His voice and decided to have a deep relationship with Him on His (the Lord’s) terms would open the door for Him and He would come in.
4) SURPRISED BY JOY
When the Lord of all glory is allowed to come into the total personality of a believer, such a one often finds to his surprise and joy that He came in for festivity and not to make life dull and burdensome. He came for a feast. He always comes in with a feast in mind - to eat with the one who allows Him in and to allow that one to eat with Him. What a joy! What a privilege!
He promised this joy to the Laodiceans. He is offering the same joy to all who come to Him on His own terms. He says, “I f you allow me into every area of your life, I will work out things for you and in relationship to you in such a way that all of your life will be a feast.” For those who know Him and have learnt to walk with Him, all of life is feasting. He said,
“My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work.” (John 4:34).
Jesus’ food is doing God’s will and accomplishing His work. Is that also your food? Do you desire His will? If the answer is ‘yes’ allow the Lord to come into every area of your person and you will be surprised by joy.
When the Lord was on earth, He was compelled by the one desire to accomplish God’s will. He was consumed by zeal for His Father’s house. It was said of Him, “For the zeal for thy house has consumed me” (Psalms 69:9). His zeal was manifested in:
Casting out of demons
Cleansing of the temple of money changers
And the many other things He did.
There was no laxity in anything He did. He never slept on His knees in prayer. He did not yawn while teaching. His whole life was lived in full force. He was fully alert. He sorted out His priorities carefully and once the things that had to be done were selected, He gave Himself totally to them. He held nothing of Himself back. He did nothing half-heartedly. He was aflame with zeal in all that He did. He must have reasoned that if anything was the will of His Father, then doing it was compulsory and that He ought to do it with joy and give it every ounce of His energy and the full force of His personality. Everything that He sorted out and found to be the will of His Father became a must for Him, He said:
“I must be in my Father’s house” (Luke 2:49).
“I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice” (John 10:16).
“I must go to Jerusalem” (Matthew 16:21).
“The son of man must suffer” (Matthew 8:31).
There was a sense of compulsion in His life and all that He did. For example He told His disciple,
“Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also; for that is why I came out” (Mark 1:38).
The reason why He came was ever before Him and that reason motivated Him and caused everything He did to come through with zeal.
Having lived such a life, it becomes obvious why a life and work done without zeal, could not satisfy Him. He, therefore, demanded that the Laodiceans be zealous. He demands that all who love Him serve Him with zeal.