Wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked!
(Francis Bourdillon, 1864)
There is One who knows just what we are. The Lord Jesus Christ says, "I know your works!" His eye is always upon us. He knows us exactly as we are — each one of us. Mere profession does not deceive Him. Mere head knowledge does not pass with Him for repentance, faith, and holiness. He knows our hearts — and He knows our lives.
The mockery of an empty profession,
the mere pretense of a religion that is all in the head or on the lips,
the unhumbled heart,
the coldness, the hardness, the lack of faith and gratitude and love
— He knows them all!
"You do not realize that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked!" Revelation 3:17
The very first lesson we must learn — is what we are.
What are we, then? Just what the Laodiceans were, but did not know themselves to be: "Wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked!"
What — all of us?
Yes — all of us!
We are "wretched," for we are in great misery and danger — and all the more wretched because we do not know it.
We are "miserable," worthy to be pitied, even while we flatter ourselves that all is well with us, for we are but deceiving ourselves.
We are "poor," for we have no spiritual wealth — no supply whatever for the needs of our souls.
We are "blind," ignorant of our own hearts — ignorant of God — ignorant of truth and of the way of life.
We are "naked," with no righteousness of our own in which we can appear — no covering, no defense, no refuge.
We are all this — and, worst of all, we do not know it! If we knew it and bewailed it — then our case would not be so bad. In other words, if we knew ourselves to be sinners — then it might be hoped that we would seek the Savior of sinners. But we shall never seek Him — until we feel our need of Him!