READ: Proverbs 21, Luke 9, Revelation 1
Jesus is continually perplexing people, particularly the ruling classes (Luke 9:7). The poor seem to have an easier time in understanding Jesus, probably because they have the humility to accept God’s self revelation, while the rich and self-reliant have the hubris to think they can describe God according to their whimsy. The last book of the Bible is the unveiling of Jesus. We derive the word “apocalypse” from the Greek word for “revelation.” Revelation 1:1 reads: “The unveiling of Jesus Christ.” In the end, all men will be made aware of who God is in Christ: Ruler over the kings of the earth, Alpha, Omega, Almighty, alive forevermore, Holder of the key of hell and death. It will be tragic for those who only become aware of God for who He really is on the last day. Awareness of God and awareness of self are critical now if the future is going to be heavenly.
Self-Awareness. The most critical thing we need to know about ourselves is, ironically, that we do not know. We do not know what we should know; we don’t even know how bent we are. Truth is hidden from us; we do not perceive (Luke 9:45); and we don’t have the courage to ask the right questions. We don’t even understand how twisted our own spirits are. Jesus told His disciples bluntly: “You don’t know what manner of spirit you are of” (v. 55). The first step in self-awareness is to recognize we are tragically flawed, desperately in need of help. This is not the one-time recognition of the sinner. The follower of Jesus must live in constant awareness of his or her depravity and the need for ongoing correction. The wise person continually adjusts his or her ways (Prov. 21:29).
God-Awareness. While the introspection of humanity is necessary, this is ultimately not about time-consuming navel-gazing. Men and women correct themselves by staring at Jesus. It is by looking at Jesus that we realize what is wrong with us, not by looking at ourselves or others. We are at our divine finest when we applaud, praise, and rejoice in who God is and in what God is doing. Psalm 119:126 declares: “It is time for you to act, O Lord!” This is not a presumptuous order from servant to master; this is the anticipated praise of the slave who has finally understood the Lord’s character and intention (v. 125). Intimacy with God anticipates His heart and adopts His passions. Awareness of God swells up inside our spirits and we praise, proclaim, rejoice, and shout: “YES GOD! NOW IT IS TIME TO REVEAL YOURSELF!” When we plea with the Lord to act, we are not ordering but praising, surging to our collective feet, roaring with our collective mouthes, declaring that God is good and God is at work in the earth, and the stadium of heaven is giddy with delirious approval. Awareness of the depravity of humanity is inextricably linked with awareness of the majesty of God. To be God-aware is to be God-amazed and to plead with Him to act and to reveal His goodness to all.