It's Time To Wake Up!
I’ve been abused but you won’t see any scars, used but you won’t see the wear and tear, lonely when surrounded by my closest friends and blackmailed but I will not negotiate with terrorists. We must wake up to the fact that the enemy is at war with us. Everything that happens in the natural is impacted by things in the spiritual. It is time to wake up in the spirit. In Revelation 3, the Apostle John wrote to the church of Sardis. His words are sobering. He told them they had a reputation of being alive but that they were dead. He told them their deeds were not complete in the sight of God.Sardis was a huge city. It was highly advanced. It was near a river that brought life to the city and it was protected on all sides. It was a destination city. On the outside the city of Sardis looked really good but their insides were dying. The city of Sardis influenced the church of Sardis, they looked good but were almost dead.
This is the church we’re talking about today. Have you ever seen the movie, “Princess Bride”? There is a line in the movie regarding the lead character “He’s only mostly dead.” Are we mostly dead or are we spiritually awake? I hope we are full of the life Jesus paid for us to have. The church of Sardis was mostly dead. The Church is God's plan for redemption. We are the hope of the world to bring the gospel of Jesus to people who need to hear and we have got to wake up! We do not want to miss it. We do not want to miss the voice of God and we do not want to miss the opportunity to partner with Him in the plan for people. We need to go back to what we heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to Jesus again. Jesus told the church of Sardis, “If you don’t wake up, I will come to you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief.”There are a couple of instances in Scripture when Jesus “wakes” someone up, meaning actually that He raised them from the dead. Jesus is Resurrection and Life. In the case of Lazarus, Lazarus’ sister, Martha, even though she believed, almost got in the way of what Jesus was about to do. Don’t allow your misunderstanding to get in the way of another person's miracle. She needed to step aside so Jesus could move. Wake up Martha! Don’t think naturally. Think spiritually! It was as if Jesus said to Martha, “Are you kidding me right now! Your brother is going to be alive and you’re worried about how much his body stinks!” Jesus not only came to wake up Lazarus (raising him from death) but He woke up everyone else that day who was there to witness the event and would believe.
There is a famous philosopher… Rainn Wilson, (Dwight Schrute) from “The Office”...who wisely restated a phrase that came to my attention, “We are not human beings having spiritual experiences. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” You just said “Amen” to something Dwight Schrute said! Martha believed in the resurrection but Jesus was working presently in this case. She knew there would be resurrection but she was awakened to the fact the Jesus is the Resurrection. The natural is impacted by the spiritual and we often don’t make that connection. When we are hitting a wall, when things are blocked and stopped up, we need the Spirit, the washing of water to clear things out. We need God’s Word. Martha was focused on the natural and was missing what God was doing in the spiritual.
Many of us need to wake up. Proverbs 6:6-11 talks about sleeping and resting. “A little extra sleep and slumber.. poverty will pounce on you like a robber.” We spend a lot of time building, working on personal growth, working on ourselves and those we influence. But it tends to be heavy on the natural side of things, and spiritually deficient. This is an imbalance. Successful people don’t sleep in. But this is all natural and we must wake up to what is going on in the spiritual. Get into God’s Word. Pray. Worship Him. Would you not spend one hour with Him? Mark says it this way, “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” And the devil wants to see you discouraged and not doing what God has called you to do. But you will only know what to do if you seek God while resisting the devil.
Sleeping and resting are different things. When you’re sleeping you don’t hear much. Wake up from slumber. Wake up from lack of ambition, waiting for the right timing, resisting the thing you have dreamed about doing. It is time when you start, when you wake up. There are things that are mostly dead. Get off the couch. It’s time to get to work. We need to live differently. What do your insides look like? Are you invested in learning more about God?
Revelation 3:4-6 gives the Church of Sardis hope, “Yet there are some in the church in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes with evil. They will walk with me in white, for they are worthy.” Wake up! This is about me and you. We need to tune in every area of our lives to the voice of God. Even then we still will soil our clothes. Our flesh is weak. We have a tendency to get complacent. We have a tendency to get off course. Wake up! Some are asleep but think they’re awake. Some are on spiritual life support, hanging on by a thread ignoring spiritual signs. The enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy. Stop listening to his voice and tune into God’s. When the enemy is at war with us (all the time) we can’t fall asleep. Occasionally I travel to Louisville. My wife sends me out on mission and we have learned to be prepared ahead of time - spiritually. Wake up to the fact that when we go into enemy territory, we are in a spiritual battle. Get connected to God, wake up and pay attention and God will move on your behalf.
We are spiritual beings and Jesus is ready for you to come to Him for help. Something in you is compelling you to search for more. Jesus who died for you, who has been there since the beginning, came and did something in the natural. He was whipped, beaten and crucified for you. Do you experience the spiritual? Wake up to the spiritual. Submit to God, trust Him, know Him. It is time to awaken and tune into what God has for you.