“Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” (Ephesians 5:14).
Over a hundred years ago Charles Spurgeon wrote, “A slumbering church compels Satan to make it his chief business to rock the cradle, hush all noise, and drive away even a fly lest it light upon the sleeper’s face. His great dread is that this church might rouse itself from her dreamy repose.”
We would do well in these lazy days to take heed to the words of the apostle Paul. “Make sure,” he wrote, “that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God” (Romans 13:11, The Message).
Odd, don’t you think, that on the one hand we can be so busy about this and that – that we completely doze off and miss the very presence and work of God happening all around us? We can be like Jacob who, waking from his sleep, said, “Ah, surely the Lord was in this place and I knew it not!” (see Gen.28:16).
A few years ago I was in Lincoln, Nebraska, and caught sight of a most unusual spectacle. An ambitious truck driver had attempted to move a large, historic church building along highway 103 with his woefully undersized rig. He possibly could have made it, but somewhere along the route he fell asleep at the wheel and ran off the road. When the rig listed to the right, the church slid off the truck and ended up stuck in the mud in the ditch.
The sight of this massive historic church building stuck in the mud in a ditch is disturbingly prophetic. Traffic was backed up for miles in both directions as gawkers came out in droves to see the strange sight. I can’t help but wonder how many churches in America are in just such a predicament today?
Somebody fell asleep at the wheel – and the church is stuck in the mud. And the watching World, far from being impressed with our theatrics and swollen words, merely drives by at a snail’s pace taking in the view and cracking a few worn out jokes.
We desperately need an Awakening – especially among those who serve as the leaders in Faith. For if they are indeed “asleep at the wheel” we are not only poised for ridicule – but quite possibly disaster. If the blind can lead the blind into a ditch, where will we end up if we follow sleeping leaders?
(to be continued tomorrow….)