“After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, ‘Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.’ At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal.
“And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures.., and day and night they never cease to say,
“’Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
who was and is and is to come!’
“And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
“’Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they existed and were created.’” Revelation 4:1-6,8b-11
John had just been given judgments and promises for the seven churches, heavy messages for an elderly pastor who had likely invested in each one. And after this, perhaps as a sweet refreshment from the Almighty, was ushered into the throne room of heaven. All of the struggle, the specific and invisible knowledge just revealed, the weight of accountability for every outward act and heart twist was swallowed in a heavenly vision as John looked up, went up, and beheld a world beyond his own.
Whatever our assigned tasks on earth, we are to remember heaven. Whatever information and confidences seem too hard to bear, or burden of caring for the needy and helpless that bends body and spirit, we find relief by peering behind heaven’s open door. Whatever esteem we may carry, we must gaze at the Glorious One whose indescribable beauty and otherness leaves us speechless. Whatever dominion we exercise, we must behold the God who created all by His will. (Romans 11:33-36; Hebrews 4:16)
How might it change (and improve) our outlook on daily pursuits if we contemplated the eternity of God’s goodness and plans? How could our attitudes and affections toward others be purified if we humbled ourselves before the holy, righteous God who has made a way for sinners such as us? How will thoughts of God’s perfect rule establish our hearts and resolve in trying circumstances and difficult responsibilities? How might our fretting and fussing be eliminated if we meditated on God’s unshakable throne?
King of kings, filter my every thought through the splendor and might of Your supremacy. In my every day, translate throne thinking to kingdom living that brings You the honor and glory You deserve.
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