A Call To Earnestly Recognize Him

God is GOD.
How can we keep from so quickly and easily forsaking this truth?

“For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.” (1 Thessalonians 5:5-8)

I want to encourage us to remember our salvation — when we first had a true epiphany of who Christ is. Do you remember how you esteemed Him? Through time, we can become comfortable, familiar, or even grow numb and fall asleep in our revelation of who He actually and truly is: GOD! Yes, we believe as a community that we are doing well in this area of knowing Him… but who are we to say? Have you had enough of learning about this Christ, the Living God? Are you satisfied? I personally have felt the fear of the Lord in how I have often failed to prioritize merely sitting and gazing at His face with no other agenda but to know Him. I found myself day in and day out not only forgetting to, but also choosing not to carve out time to study the Word of God (reading the Bible for the sole purpose of knowing Him better, rather than gaining comfort or something to share in my next conversation or prayer set or social media post).

I’m afraid that we are becoming lulled to sleep by the cares of the world, by deafening desires, and by accumulated and unattended leaven in our hearts.

The One who formed us knows our works.  

“Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God?” (Mark 12:24)

In international Christian populations, the Word of God is not taken lightly and it is of extreme value. While I was in a village in Mozambique, bibles were given away to a group of women that lived in a heavily oppressed area due to witchcraft involvement. When one of the women received a bible in her hands, she nearly fell backwards due to the power of the Word of God. Likewise — In the underground Iranian church, thousands of people carry a hidden torn piece of paper in their clothes that is the Word of God and will recite this throughout their day. They hold the Word of God like we would a thousand dollar check because they know the power that it holds.

Grievously, we toss it around like it’s just another collection of printed paper. I am referring to the posture of our hearts in regards to the very heart and power of God at our fingertips. We have the privilege of opening our mouths and shouting the very words of Our Creator! We have an abundance of revelation at our grasp for every single situation that we face! Yet if we were aware of the access we have, how much deeper could we go? How much more could we know the heart of God?

Do I love the scriptures like He loves them?

“For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking (reasoning), and their foolish (misguided) hearts were darkened.” (Romans 1:21)

“But Israel soon became fat and unruly; the people grew heavy, plump, and stuffed! Then they abandoned the God who had made them; they made light of the Rock of their salvation.” (Deuteronomy 32:15)

We can no longer dissect a passage of scripture so much that we are oblivious to what it is saying. We can no longer live under the teaching of our own thoughts. We can no longer look at the Word of God as optional, or valid only when we agree with it or when it makes us feel good. Where is His heart behind the law, behind the rebukes, behind the teachings? This book is to know His heart — the fullness of His love, the kindness and severity of God (Romans 11:22). This book is to walk out His ways — to be transformed into His image and renewed into His mind. It’s more than knowledge and ancient words. It’s much, much bigger. There is such vast beauty in this book! It ACTUALLY can feed, heal, and free us! It ACTUALLY is the truth! It ACTUALLY is life itself! Let’s slow down and experience the weight and glory of each phrase in this book, asking The Holy Spirit to help us eat it — fully taking it in and letting it dwell deeply within us. We have to approach His Word like children, without comfortability and with desperate need.

Likewise, we have to approach the presence of God in this same way. As we allow the Holy Spirit to wake us up to this reality, we allow the Holy Spirit to make us ready for His return. We allow the power of His Word and the power of His presence to remove any unattended leaven in our hearts, because holding onto leaven will only numb us to His revelation power.

Leaven in the church is mentioned in Luke 12 when Jesus warns His friends about the attitude and the perspective of the Pharisees and Sadducees, sharing that all will be uncovered and revealed (Luke 12:1-3). Galatians 5 states that “a little leaven leavens the whole lump,” sharing that something tiny has effects that can permeate everything (Galatians 5:9). Paul also addresses leaven by saying, “remove every trace of your leaven of compromise with sin so that you might become new and pure again. For indeed, you are clean because Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us. So now we can celebrate our continual feast, not with the old leaven, the yeast of wickedness or bitterness, but we will feast on the freshly baked bread of innocence and holiness” (1 Corinthians 5:6-8).

We know that we are tempted daily to add a little bit of leaven to our hearts, but the scripture above is proof that we are clean by the blood of the Lamb! His Word is a sword, living and active, piercing between soul and spirit, joint and marrow, which will remove and expose any leaven inside of us (Hebrews 4:12). Praise God! I want the sword of His Word and the light of His face to reveal in my life any bad attitude, compromise of sin, familiarity, or lack of truth.

I cannot lighten, nor lessen, the things of God. I cannot fall asleep to His existence around and in me. I want to know the depths of Him. I want to long for His words and His power.

Jesus is jealous for an awake and aware bride. I feel His enthusiasm for each and every one of us. . . He is not sleeping. He is not different behind closed doors or smaller crowds. He is not approaching The Father with pity or pride. He is eager, committed, and yearning for us.

“Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants who the master finds awake when He comes.” (Luke 12:35)

“—lest He come suddenly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all — stay awake.” (Mark 13:37)

We do not know the day nor the hour of the Coming of The Lord, as scripture many times warns us, but we are nearer today than we were yesterday. If He returns tomorrow, would He truly find us awake? How would He find us? Where would we be and what would we be filling our time with? What attitude might He catch us in? What conversation might He hear? Would we recognize Him? Are we ready? Are we going to be of the wise, or are we going to be of the foolish?

I want to encourage us to stay awake, ready, and completely bare before The Lord. He is not coming back for a sleepy bride. Let Him woo you to life again, Beloved. He is not coming back for a bride that is dragging her feet with disengagement or disappointment. Hear His invitation to “Come up here!” and receive the revelation of the scriptures again. He is not coming back for a bride that is stuffed with the indulgences of the flesh. We must remain sober, aware of His glorious presence with us at all times.

Let’s seek to earnestly recognize Him.
Let’s actively anticipate His return.

(1 Thessalonians 5:5-8, Mark 12:24, Romans 1:21, Deuteronomy 32:15, Luke 12:1-3, Galatians 5:9, 1 Corinthians 5:6-8, Hebrews 4:12, Luke 12:35, Mark 13:37 // Isaiah 59:17, John 1:1-5, Revelation 1:1-3)

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