of my most fondest memories growing up as a child have come from my Christian
up-bringing, so also have been some of the most amusing ones. For instance, I
can remember as a child being in church and seeing the pastor take his place in
the pulpit. There he was, preaching up a storm, and the deacons, those "pillars
and examples of faith", well, there they were, assuming the position on the
front row Sunday after Sunday dressed in their very best, heads-a-rocking, and
yes, you guessed it, fast asleep.Perhaps theses men were following the example
of Eutychus in Ac 20:9.
it be that what once seemed so humorous to me as a child has now developed to
epidemic proportions throughout the Body of Christ? Could it be that we as believers
could actually in fact be asleep, in a stupor, if you will, concerning what God
is up to in our lives and in His world?
while men slept, his enemy came and sowed
tares among the wheat, and went
his way - Matthew 13:25
his Book, The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren writes; God wants you to grow
up. Your Heavenly Father's goal is for you to mature and develop the character
of Jesus Christ. Sadly millions of Christians never grow up. They are stuck in
perpetual spiritual; infancy, remaining in diapers and booties. The reason is
they never intended to grow
to avoid the will of God has been a long time issue when it comes to spiritual
maturity in the Body of Christ. Solomon, writing in Proverbs 6:9-11, touches on
this issue when he wrote; How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? When wilt thou
arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding
of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy
want as an armed man . You may argue with me that this passage has to do with
one's physical condition rather than spiritual. But as a believer, can you separate
the two? NO WE CANNOT!
is a prime example of what I am talking about. Here is a man who knew without
a shadow of a doubt what he was called upon to do by God, fast asleep, without
a care in the world, while others around him were about ready to perish and be
sent into a Christ-less eternity. Listen to the rebuke of the Mariners as they
meanest thou, O sleeper? Arise, call upon thy God, if so be
that God will
think upon us, that we perish not- Jonah 1:6
Apostle Paul, addressing this same issue with the Church, writes; And that, knowing
the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation
nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let
us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering
and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof - Romans 13:11-14.
we are called to walk circumspectly, and to be alert to what's going on around
us. And what does it mean to walk circumspectly? It means that we are allowing
the truth of God's Word to impact our life in such a way that we stand out as
a beacon of light in a world has lost its way. It is to be open about our love
for God and to be unashamed of His Gospel, which we are reminded, is the power
of God unto to salvation (Romans 1:16). Walking circumspectly is to awake from
out of our self-induced sleep, and to arise to righteousness (right living).
me to share a couple of verses with you that I promise will be a real eye-opener.
The first verse comes from 1Peter 5:8, a section of Scripture we are all very
familiar with, and the second verse come from Ephesians 5:14-16, an equally recognizable
sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh
about, seeking whom he may devour: Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that
sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See
then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise. Redeeming the time,
because the days are evil.
get ready, here's the clincher! The word devour in 1Peter 5, and the word
sleepest in Ephesians 5, well, not only do they bear the same chapter heading,
but more astounding is the fact that they both derive their original root meanings
from the same Greek word. Do you hear any bells going off yet? If not you may
want to read further.
see Satan's M.O. is not to come at us in full-devil-attire, that is with pitch-fork/horns
and the like. No that would be too obvious. Rather his ploy is ever so subtle.
His tactic is to lull us into a false sense of security, to entice us to kick
back, to take it easy, and take a vacation from our Godly convictions; after all
they only make us look like ridiculous. Yes, in short, he would have us take
a siesta from our faith. No wonder when it comes to walking circumspectly
we must be an awake people, alert to his schemes, least, the Scriptures says,
he should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
it be then that Satan's way of devouring us is to cause us as believers to become
apathetic, to lie down, become disinterested, and in a stupor concerning the things
of God. The Apostle Paul must have thought so when he gave this admonishment;
Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I
speak this to your shame 2Cor 2:11 - 1Cor 15:34.
now you may be feeling sort of helpless. You may be thinking that this kind of
responsible living is impossible! And you know what, you would be right. That's
why I appreciate verses like the ones we can find in the Books to the Corinthians
and Philippians in which they remind us of the faithfulness of God. Listen closely:
Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of
our Lord Jesus Christ. Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath
begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ -For it
is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure: 1Co 1:8,
Php 1:6, Php 2:13
time is short and the stakes are high. Some of Jesus' last words just before He
was to leave this world were these, OCCUPY TILL I COME (Luke 19:13). Sadly,
the present day Church has mistaken this command of Christ to mean, make yourself
at home in this world until I can come back and join the party. But I don't think
He quite had that in mind. Listen to these words of Christ as well. Watch ye therefore:
for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight,
or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch. Behold, I come quickly; and
my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha
and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they
that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may
enter in through the gates into the city - (Mark 13:36,37, Rev 22:12-14).
that's pretty serious stuff, serious enough for Jesus to say this to HIS CHURCH;
Thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and
knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich;
and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness
do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many
as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand
at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come
in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will
I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down
with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit
saith unto the churches Rev 3:17-22.
us not let this opportunity get away from us without us asking ourselves this
question, and that is, are we a ready and prepared person, or are we just going
through the motions of a walking out a circumspect life?
truly cares about the condition of our hearts. In a world where there is so much
religious counterfeiting going on it would behoove us to know that true status
of our hearts. Why you ask? Because the cost of being unaware and oblivious is
too great! All eternity stands in the balance.What an awesome Savior we serve.
And what an awesome challenge and calling we have been privy to.
the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for
if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 2Peter 1:10