Hi, dear friends of our Rise to the Call blog.
I would like to share some thoughts from an awesome book written by David DeSilva titled "Unholy Allegiances." In his book, DeSilva offers an honest and biblical approach to the book of Revelation reading it for what it was: a letter about the dangers that the church faced under the rule of Rome following the resurrection of Jesus. Today the church faces the same dangers. The culture around us recognizes the center of power and authority in places and people that are not the real rulers of creation nor of our lives.
John begins his revelation (his uncovering) of the truth with the image of a throne and a lamb that occupy the center of the stage while everyone else acknowledges that they only are worthy of worship. According to DeSilva, "The vision of all creation centered in worship and obedient waiting upon God and God's Messiah invites us first of all into the experience of God's throne as the pivotal center of our lives... John calls us to center ourselves and to remain centered here." Once we acknowledge this center, it will become our business, not only during our weekly worship time but "day and night without rest" (4:8), "to bring every facet of life into orbit around the enthroned God, centered on God, on God's prompting, on God's service."
So, my question is: do we stand appropriately focused on God always, or do we tend to turn away and orbit around more local centers as our national centers, our commercial centers, the centers of our own selves, pursuing goals that are not God's? Who do we see as the center of our lives and of the universe? Who is the one who has everything under control? To whom will I give my thanks and pledge my allegiance? Who will I acknowledge as the source of all my wellbeing? Whose agenda am I working for?
The answer to these questions is vital. If we allow the parameters that the world uses to measure success, power, security, and wellbeing to become our parameters then there is no hope. But if we constantly keep in our minds the image of the throne and the lamb at the center of the worship of the whole universe, then, and only then, we will take the distance from what this society gives value to and we will worry about giving the due honor to whom honor belongs.
May these questions steer in us the desire to question the center around which our willing and our doing revolves and choose to rise to the call today and always.