Inside, Out

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Location: Kelowna, Canada

Thursday, August 2

Naked in the Kingdom

In the nineties, it seemed like you couldn’t go anywhere in the Christian community without hearing a preach on the Jesus’ message to the church in Laodicea found in Revelations. There were various interpretations as to what it could mean, but there seemed to be a consensus that we in North America in this age were this church. We were the lukewarm. We were the rich and complacent. We were the over-wise and overfed. These preaches gradually went out of vogue but not, I think, because the problem had been solved. In the context of a Christianity lived under thrall of guilt and shame, we were unable to face our own nakedness. We have believed, consciously or otherwise that at best the Father is disinterested. At worst, He is cruel and abusive. We have believed that if we admitted that we were naked and wretched and blind, that He would laugh at us and bring us to derision. I used to think that the Laodiceans were lazy or prideful. I believe now that a large part of the problem was shame.

He wants to clothe us. He wants us to trust His discipline. He wants us to become vulnerable to Him so that He can come in and eat with us.
14“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
      The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:
      15‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. 16‘So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. 17‘Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, 18I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. 19‘Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. 20‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. 21‘He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. 22‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”

In order to be clothed we need to come to Him and admit that we are naked. We need to trust His discipline. We need to trust that He works all things together for the good of those who Love Him. (Romans 8:28) That there is no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1) That God is for us and not against us. (Romans 8:31)
We need to make friends with the fact that we are Dark yet Lovely (SOS 1:5) and that our spirit is willing but our flesh is weak (Matt 26:41) If we know that there is no fear in love (1 John 4:18) then we can confess our weakness and our sin to Him without shame and without condemnation knowing that He will forgive us. Adam’s sin was not only that He ate the apple but that He hid. He did not trust God’s goodness, God’s grace, God’s ability to make it right. Neither do I when I run from God rather than to God when I stumble and when I fall.
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.


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