This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking.
Ezekiel experienced the glory of the Lord and his response was the same. He fell facedown.
Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.
The church in Smyrna was about to go through persecution. There was this synagogue of Satan that would bring trouble their way. Even Satan himself would bring about prison for some of the disciples. The church would soon be suffering. Jesus’ words to them were: “Be faithful.” Don’t give up, don’t give in, even to the point of death – be faithful. For those who are there is a crown of life waiting for them. “He who overcomes,” the Spirit says to the churches, “will not be hurt at all by the second death.” This requires an adjustment of thinking that cannot be done without faith. A person living for Jesus in the midst of persecution and the threat of martyrdom must make the switch. Although threatened with death, they will remain faithful to Jesus so as to overcome the second death. A first death in the body here on earth, a death you can see firsthand, must be superceded in your mind by a second death that can only be seen by faith. The temptation is to lose faith, not believe the word of Christ and to escape the first death however possible. Jesus’ words to the church: Be Faithful. The one who overcomes is the one who escapes the second death, not the first. How do you overcome? Not by escaping persecution and pursuing a life of ease, but you overcome by being faithful. As we see and understand by faith the nature of eternity, and submit ourselves to the Lordship of Jesus (regardless of the circumstances), we overcome.
Living in a free society might mean spiritual bondage for me. The tactics of the enemy may be less overt, but the call to faithfulness remains the same! I need to overcome this world that I can see for that which is to come… that which can only been seen by faith.
Lord Jesus, give me the spirit of an overcomer. One who is sold out for Your Kingdom – unwilling to compromise for the kingdom of this world. Unswerving in my commitment to You. Unashamed of the gospel of Christ. I pray for boldness this day to be the man of God You are calling me to be. By Your Spirit, I live and pray.