“Then I saw a Lamb that looked as if it had been slaughtered, but it was now standing between the throne and the four living beings and among the twenty-four elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which represent the sevenfold Spirit of God that is sent out into every part of the earth.”
Revelation‬ ‭5:6‬ ‭NLT

John saw Jesus in his vision, and what he saw was detailed enough for him to see that Jesus had seven horns and seven eyes. There are those seven’s again. We have seen before that the number seven signifies completeness or perfection. But what is the significance of seven horns and seven eyes? In the Bible, a horn is a symbol of strength and power. But in his vision, John saw that Jesus had seven of them. So we get the picture of Jesus being all-powerful. He was, and is, omnipotent. Similarly, in the vision, Jesus had seven eyes. He was all-seeing. His Spirit was everywhere – there was nowhere where He wasn’t present. He was, and is, omniscient. This verse concludes with the explanation that the all-powerful, all-seeing Jesus is represented by His Spirit and He is present in every part, every corner, of the earth.

So back to the practical, down-to-earth pilgrim tramping through his or her life. How does this verse help us? Obviously, we cannot escape from the Spirit’s presence. But we know that. We read in Psalm 139:7, “I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!” But here in Revelation we are reminded of the same message – Jesus is everywhere. And this truth can be both a comfort and a threat to us. As we remain close to Jesus, we find that He is close to us. A comfortable experience when the road before us seems long and hard. But for those of us who want to run away from the gentle whispers of His Spirit in our consciences we find that there is no escape. 

Of course there are worldly and wicked people who, through a lifetime of denial, have managed to shut out those gentle whispers. The Apostle Paul warned us about them in his first letter to Timothy. We read in 1 Timothy 4:2, “Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.” There are many who have been active in rendering their consciences ineffective. 

God’s grace is amazing. A pilgrim first starting out on the Christian road will find that Jesus, through His Spirit, graciously doesn’t dump on their consciences all their wrongdoing in one go. He gently brings to our attention things that need to be addressed, step by step. Item by item. And then His grace continues as He helps us to deal with them.

Back to Psalm 139. “How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand – when I awake, I am still with you.” The Psalmist was overwhelmed by the vastness of God and the extent of His Spirit. And, with the Psalmist, we know the assurance of God being with us. Day and night. And when we woke up this morning, experiencing the new day, we again realise His presence with us. We only have to reach out and touch Him to feel once again His love and grace flowing through the corridors of our souls.

Dear Lord God. How can we ever thank You enough for Your ever-present love and grace? In this day ahead we pray that You help us in whatever situation we face into, step by step. Amen.

Explosive Power

“And I pray that He would unveil within you the unlimited riches of His glory and favour until supernatural strength floods your innermost being with His divine might and explosive power.”
Ephesians 3:16 TPT

Paul continues to pray for his friends back in Ephesus. And this is not a prayer along the lines of “Please bless Aunty Mary…”, good though that is sometimes. This is a powerful prayer. A prayer that is tuned into the God-zone. A prayer for a life-changing transformation to take place in lives that were perhaps not fully aware of what was within them. Now imagine a room with a door that has never been opened. In fact, a room where the door blends into the surrounding walls to the extent that most of the time its existence is hidden. But one day, someone detects that the door is there and opens it to find an amazing treasure trove behind it. Perhaps Paul had a picture of a similar door in the hearts of his readers, a door that they were only dimly aware of. A door that they had timidly opened just a crack, and had peeped in to see what was there. But they had ventured no further. Well, Paul was praying that they would grasp the door handle and yank the door open to expose “the unlimited riches of [God’s] glory”. And he prayed that they would keep it open until what was behind the door could flood out into their lives.

So what were these “unlimited riches” hidden within them? And how will a knowledge of them help today’s pilgrims in their life journeys? The Passion Translation which I have used today mentions God’s “glory and favour“. Paul prayed that “supernatural strength floods [our] innermost beings“. And he doesn’t stop there. He mentions God’s “divine might and explosive power”. If true, this verse has to be transformative for our lives. For our pilgrimage. If true, where is this power? Where are the lives being impacted by it? 

On my pilgrimage through life, I have come across Christians who deny that the power Paul wrote about was applicable to today. They claim that the work of the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity who delivers God’s “divine might and explosive power“, stopped when the Apostles finally all died. Sadly, I think they worship a limited God who I don’t fully recognise. I worship Paul’s God, the Almighty Being who has made His “unlimited riches” available to me. Why would He say to me that He has all this power, that He has put it within me, but then say He was sorry but He only allowed those first Apostles to use it? 

So back to my question. What is this power? I suggest that the only limitation to what God can do in our lives is our faith, or lack of it. Matthew recorded Jesus’ words about faith – he wrote in Matthew 17:20, “He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” I think we can all agree that telling a mountain to move, and seeing it happen, is a pretty convincing demonstration of God’s power. Jesus also said, as recorded in John 14:12-14, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” There doesn’t seem to be any limit to what God can do. 

So there is only one answer to my question. It is an answer that starts and finishes with God. I have to tune into my own God-zone, with faith that He is who He says He is – the Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient Almighty Creator God. And so we take small steps of faith in our life-pilgrimage, building up the spiritual muscles that will enable God’s “explosive power” to impact our lives and the lives of those around us. In my life there have been occasions when God’s power has been indisputable. And I continually thank Him for making His resources available to me. He truly is a God of power, and love, and grace. We worship an exciting God, who only waits for willing servants to share in His exciting plan for mankind.

Like a Butterfly

“Praise the Lord! 
How good to sing praises to our God! 
How delightful and how fitting! 
He heals the broken-hearted and bandages their wounds. 
He counts the stars and calls them all by name. 
How great is our Lord! 
His power is absolute! 
His understanding is beyond comprehension!
Psalms‬ ‭147:1, 3-5‬ ‭NLT‬‬

This Psalm is a wonderful jumble of thoughts. The Psalmist’s musings flit like a butterfly between exhortations to praise God, to how marvellously wonderful His creation is and then to how He cares for His creation. And in the process, he delivers the message that our Heavenly Father, so powerful that He can create, count and name the stars, also cares for human beings like you and I. Doesn’t that give us the picture of a God so complete that He is fully omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent? The Psalmist was right when he said that God’s “understanding is beyond comprehension”

No matter how hard we try, how many university degrees we get, how many years we spend in research, we will never even scratch the surface of what God is all about. Suffice to say that we must instead align our lives to follow Jesus. He taught us how to live. And He ultimately provided the remedy for our transgressions at Calvary. One day I firmly believe that we too will be able to see a bit more of God’s understanding; it will be mind-blowing and there will be only one possible response. “Praise the Lord!”