Scriptures call “Awake Oh Sleeper” but the Church doesn’t hear, and the Spirit presses on our souls, but we close our hearts. It is a plea from the depths of my soul, a heart that is broken, that longs for the American church to wake up and arise from the dead.
Revelations 3:2 is an echo of my heart to “Wake up and strengthen what remains and is about to die.”
I take a lot of risk in writing this post. I’ve been praying about it for over a couple of years now. There are a lot of misconceptions that can come with a blog post like this. Whenever I felt like the Lord was giving me the direction for this website, a lot of people looked at me like I was crazy. It didn’t make any sense at all. Even worse, whenever I tried to explain it, I felt like the enemy kept me tongue tied. There are a lot of people who either 1) think I’ve lost my mind completely or 2) have no idea what to think so they avoid me all together. I understand, because there are days whenever I think I’ve lost my mind completely, and other days I even try to avoid myself. I feel as though I am out of my mind. (2 Corinthians 11:23 settled it for me).
Following after what you believe Christ is calling you to can feel pretty lonely at times. The enemy of doubt and discouragement come creeping in, trying to steal your joy, your desire for more of Him, and if you aren’t careful, Satan will succeed. Over the past few years I have been asking myself what biblical Christianity and church looks like. There are days whenever I have more questions than answers, it seems more often than not, more questions keep coming. Throughout this journey there are many times that I feel alone. Following Christ in the American Church can be a very lonely place. Over the past couple of years, I have been in observation mode. Something I have noticed lately has revolved around a word that should NOT be a word defined with the Church or Christianity, but I see it becoming more and more common. It’s a word that no one wants to admit to, but I wonder if we were to reflect on it silently….. what would God speak to us about this word?
Just sitting here and reading it, I become convicted. How many times have I seen this played out in my own life? How often do I find myself still dealing with this devastating word? This word means a surrender, and I have to ask myself constantly what am I surrendering to? Am I surrendering more to the obedience that Christ has called me to, or am I surrendering to the standards of the world? That is a question that God continues to bring to my attention, and it is a question I see being answered by hundreds of churches in America. To be quite honest, our churches feel that compromise is ok. It’s ok as long as it brings people through the doors. The bigger the numbers, the larger the crowds, the better the service, the easier it is to compromise. They encourage false professions of faith because it makes their numbers look better. There is no pursuit of God, no discipleship. That’s what I see. In fact, Colossians 3:5 speak volumes to me.
These things are a result of compromise. End result? Idolatry. Plain and simple, and the Church is struggling on ALL fronts with these very same things. I feel alienated, alone, discouraged, distant, because I see the priorities of so many people proclaiming to love God, but their actions show something entirely different (Matthew 15:8).
The cry of my heart. WHY ARE YOU ASLEEP? Do we not realize what is at stake here? It is not just our salvation, it is not just our sanctification, but it is about the glory of God! How do we look any different than the rest of the world? What, we go to church on Sunday? There are thousands who go to church on a Sunday morning, who have no relationship with Jesus. We are to pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart (2 Timothy 2:22). What is it exactly that we are pursing? I need to know.
I want to know, what it is that we are supposed to be pursuing, because I can’t help but read this book, this living Word (Hebrews 4:12) and think that this should be transforming our very lives (Romans 12:2). When I see us pursuing the world, I can’t help but be heartbroken. God has so much more in store for us than pursuing the world, – this world is not our home (1 Peter 2:11).
I feel very alone in this pursuit of Christ. I need to know church, where do you stand? I’m staking it all on Christ (Luke 5:11). Is He worth it, to leave everything else behind? Is Jesus your treasure (Matthew 13:44) or are you just giving lip service?
Can we say with Paul in Philippians that to live is Christ and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21)?
I have lost much over the past couple of years. Family and friends. Worldly pursuits and gains. Is HE worth it? Absolutely. Do I still struggle? Absolutely.
Most people don’t understand me, and God is teaching me that I have to be ok with that. If anything, I am more conflicted, more devastated and more heartbroken than anything else. I get more things wrong than I get right. My life shows this, time and time again. I get ahead of God, I try to be the Holy Spirit for others, and I make many mistakes. Should that keep me down (Romans 8:1)? My desire – is Christ. It is to pursue Him with everything that I am, and with every resource that I have. I believe anything less is wasted time, and it’s a wasted life. I’ve wasted 30 years of my life pursuing nothing, except my own selfish desires. What have I gained?
I didn’t want to write this post. Even though it is something I have prayed about for over two years, I fought with this. I stopped, I paused, and I rewrote. I reworded, because I am heartbroken. The Church is asleep. They are entertaining a world of lost people and there is no pursuit of holiness, no striving, (Hebrews 12:1), no sanctification, and they are ok with that.
What would it look like if we were a church that sought after God? Pursued Him and relentless as He has pursued us?
Deuteronomy 4:29 - But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.
Psalm 27:8 - My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek.
Psalm 105:4 - Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.
Psalm 119:2 - Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart.
Isaiah 55:6 - Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.
Jeremiah 29:13 - You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Lamentations 3:24-25 - I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;
Whenever I read these passage of Scripture I can’t help but think that they look like more than just suggestions. These are commands to look and seek, continuously, moment by moment, each and every day. That is what I feel He is calling me to. And to the sleeping Church – My heavy heart is screaming on the inside “Wake up!”