A Stillness Before God

When the Apostle John got older and had survived as the lone last disciple of Jesus Christ, he found himself alone and in exile on the small island of Patmos. It was here and at this time that he received the prophecy which we now know as "The Revelation to John.'

In Revelation 4, John testifies that in the Spirit he saw a door open in heaven and heard Jesus say, "Come up here." And what John saw was spectacular - for he saw the One sitting on the throne of God. The splendor could only be captured by describing choice jewels set ablaze with light, with lightning bursting forth from the throne, and loud peals of thunder. Oh, the brilliance and horror of this sight.

And then he saw something amazing -- "and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal." (Rev. 4:6).

A 'sea of glass.' Glass is something clear that you can see through. The Aegean Sea surrounding Patmos is idyllically clear. It is amazing how deep one can see in the sea surrounding Patmos. But glass is also smooth, and the Aegean is certainly not. John was not on a Patmos hillside looking out over the Aegean and thinking, "God's throne room is like this!" No, John is caught up in the Spirit and seeing something that the awesomely beautiful Aegean Sea is not and cannot ever be -- perfectly still, like glass.

When does a body of water become like glass? When there is absolutely no disruption to disturb it. What John saw before the throne of glory was an immense sea that looked like glass because in glory there is not even one ripple of discontent. John, this lonely soul, this one who has now poured out his whole life in revealing the wonderful grace found in Jesus, -- this John in forced exile needed to see "Be still, and know that I am God." He needed to see that everything in the hands of God are pure and that His will and providence are going exactly to His divine plan. 

And the stillness that is before God, that sea of glass, is a stillness that you and I can have today in Jesus Christ. Jesus is our peace. After His resurrection and suddenly appearing before His freaked-out disciples behind closed doors, He said, "Peace ... to you." Paul said to church of Ephesus, "He came and preached peace ... to you". And then Paul gives us this nugget, Romans 5:1 "... since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."

Do you have this stillness -- this peace? Usually, the things that take this peace away are things that we hold away from God's control. Disturbances in our lives are areas where God is beckoning, "Be still, and know that I AM God!" Give these areas of your lives over to Jesus and may His Lordship of peace reign within your soul -- for Jesus, our peace, the One from the throne that is over the sea like glass, is alive and living within us. He is whispering to our heart, "Be still, and know that I am God."

Riverside Church