September 6, 2012

Ephesians 5:13-15
But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said:
“Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
15Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.


Remember when you first came to faith in Christ?  It may or may not have been an emotional time, but we believed in our heart that we had invited Jesus in and He was now living within us.  What joy, peace and cleansing may have swept over us.  We became a new creation as we were born again, not of the flesh, but of the Spirit.
From there we quite likely went to church, prayed, hopefully read our bible and grew in our faith.  What happens to many of us along the road of our salvation and walk with Jesus is that we can become complacent in our faith.  Our faith becomes like a garden untended; before we know it weeds have overgrown it and there may be little sign of the spiritual fruit and vegetables that once grew there.  We have gotten complacent.  We fell asleep.  Our attention became distracted by the world, business of life and other interests.  Slowly, but surely, our relationship with Jesus slipped further and further into the background.  Life goes on, but our garden of relationship with Jesus has become a weed patch.  Spiritual lethargy has overtaken us, our spiritual senses are dulled and things may still be going along good on the outside, but inside, at best, we are lukewarm.
Listen to what the Spirit writes to the Church of  Laodicea in Revelations 3:14-20.  “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
19Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”   We so often hear this scripture in verse 20 as an appeal to the unsaved, but clearly, here, we can see that it is an appeal to a church and people that have become blinded and dull to their spiritual condition and relationship.
What is God telling His people in this hour?  Especially a people that fit many of the attributes just described in the Church of Laodicea?
WAKE UP!    The Spirit of the Lord is calling to us, His people, in this hour to wake up out of our pride of self-sufficiency and plenty.  Outwardly we may be prosperous, but inwardly we have become wretched, poor, blind and naked.
All of us can see the world around us quickly declining.  It is no longer a matter of “if”, but “when”.  The Spirit of the Lord is arousing His sleeping ones.  Hopefully we hear His soft voice in our spirits and respond to it, but if we cover our head with our pillow, then perhaps it will take a life changing event to awaken us and hopefully not too late.
It is time to revisit the garden of our soul where we had intimacy, communion and relationship.  That place alone is our safe haven and our place of  strength.  In Psalms 91:1-3 it says, ” He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”” Then it goes on to describe how the Lord is our protection in a world that is falling down all around us.  So many of us have been abiding outside the shelter of the Most High and under the shelter of our ability, sufficiency and self efforts.  If we want to rest under the shadow of the Almighty then we have to be abiding in the Vine; in intimate and personal relationship with Christ.  All other foundations are sinking sand.
Jesus is calling us, wooing us back to Himself.  It is not His desire that any should perish, but we must discern the times and the seasons.  We must listen and hear the trumpet sounding in Zion and the alarm going off in the Holy Hill.  Song of Solomon    2:10 says, “My lover said to me, “Rise up, my darling! Come away with me, my fair one!”  He is calling us up into Himself.  Up into that sweet and fragrant relationship where we turn our eyes fully upon Him; again where ‘the world becomes strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace’.   Now is time to return unto Him, repent of our former ways, circumcise our hearts and cultivate again the garden of steadfast love and relationship.


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