I John, your brother and partner with you in the oppression, Kingdom, and perseverance in Christ Jesus, was on the isle that is called Patmos because of God’s Word and the testimony of Jesus Christ. Revelations 1:9
Oppression. John faced oppression as the world around him attempted to silence the work of the Kingdom of Christ Jesus through his testimony. The world around us still attempts to silence the voice of Christian’s often in the name of tolerance and political correctness. At least in the United States, it is nothing like what John experienced.
I looked up the word oppression in Webster’s Dictionary
1a: unjust or cruel exercise of authority or powerthe continuing oppression of the … underclasses— H. A. Daniels
b: something that oppresses especially in being an unjust or excessive exercise of powerunfair taxes and other oppressions
2: a sense of being weighed down in body or mind : DEPRESSIONan oppression of spirits
I am blessed that I do not truly know oppression. So when I really pause and think about what oppression looks like in my life, I see that at times my flesh (Sinful nature) tries to exercise authority and control in my life that really belongs to God. I oppress my spirit man (my true identity in Christ) when I left my flesh talk me out of service, forgiving, worshipping, praying, fellowshipping, or doing what I know God’s Word has told me to do. I allow myself to walk in oppression when I choose to not to obey God’s promptings.
Kingdom. God’s rule, his royal dominion and power. As believers we are all called to Kingdom living. Unlike in the United States were we have a democracy and republic, God is the sole ruler and decision maker in His Kingdom. As such, what He says, regardless of how we act, is not up for debate or discussion. God has sovereign authority and power. Unlike in most kingdoms that conquer and take territory, God has not forced His Kingdom on us by force; it is one we have chosen to pareticipate in by our own free will. In order to have the benefits afforded to Kingdom living, we must chose to obey His rule and reign.
Endurance. We want life to be easy (or maybe it is just me). It is not. There are things that we will walk though that will test us, battles we will face that feel like they will destroy us, and labor that we will have to do that is long and hard as we live in the Kingdom here on earth. We have assignments here on earth, and they are not always easy. We have a lifetime of endurance to walk out our purpose here on earth. We are not alone in that walk, Holy Spirit is with us; sent to empower us to endure.
John was enduring because he refused to back down from sharing God’s Word and fulfilling God’s call on his life. We have the same call to spread the gospel in our lives, and we all have a specific calling on our lives. We have the same enduring Spirit available in our lives. It may not look like sitting banished on the Isle of Patmos in solitude, we will have our own struggles to face as we press in to the calling on our lives. We can endure!
Prayer – Lord, I thank you for the testimony of John and his witness that even through oppression, I can walk in the power and authority of Your Kingdom here on earth. I can endure because Your Spirit is within me. Help me to stop oppressing Your Spirit within me, but to walk in the fullness of Your Kingdom, in complete obedience to Your will. Help me to endure all the days of my life, regardless what I face, knowing that you are by my side.