Therefore He says, Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead,
and Christ shall shine upon you and give you light.
Look carefully then how you walk!
Live purposefully and worthily and accurately,
not as the unwise and witless,
but as wise, sensible, intelligent people,
Making the very most of the time, because the days are evil.
This is an admonition by the Apostle Paul to the First Century Church. Having been delivered out of the darkness that was theirs when they did not know the saving grace of Christ's atonement, they now walk in the Light of the Truth that has been revealed to them. Paul is telling them that they are slipping into a slumber when it comes to their faith. Instead of being vibrant and active and participating in the riches of their faith, they are in danger of just coasting through the experience as if sleep-walking. But aren't we in jeopardy of doing the same thing?
I cannot tell you of the number of people I know who are experiencing exactly what these verses are describing. Just in the last week, two people whom I know to be God-fearing Christians have awakened to new revelations that they have been "sleeping" through their faith. On the very day of Pentecost a dear friend approached me weeping because "something was happening" to her. She was feeling the Holy Spirit working on her heart as she expressed the realization that she might be in the wrong church. She was sensing that God wanted to reveal more to her than she was receiving in the comfortable, undemanding confines of the church she had long attended. She had awakened to the power of the Holy Spirit in her, and she's ready to make the most of her time, and not waste the opportunity to know her Lord more intimately.
And then there is the man who has been able to recognize that he needs more instruction from the Word, and has sought out classes and churches that will provide him with more than the Laodicean model of "lukewarm" Christianity that is so common today. He thought he had found it until PLW pointed him to some deeper studies, that when compared to Scripture, showed him that he was missing out on so much of the Lord's Truth. He shared how disheartened he felt: "I've been sitting in Sunday School classes all these years and not learning a thing! I don't know if a church exists that will instruct me for these times."
The good thing is that both of these people desire to live their lives "purposefully, worthily, and accurately", just as Paul prescribes. They will seek the Lord with all their hearts, minds and souls and He will give them what they need. They are both ready to step outside their comfort zones and search for Him, wherever the path might take them. I am thrilled for them!
I also know people who are waking up from a different kind of sleep. They are feeling the first promptings of the Holy Spirit upon their lives. They are recognizing what today's Scripture is telling us ... the days are evil. I so want them to know the peace and comfort that comes from recognizing their sinful ways, making the decision to turn from them, and accepting the gift of eternal life that Christ provides. There is a hunger there for more than this life offers; something is telling them that there is a different way than what the world proposes. They may not yet stand in the Light, but they want to step out of the darkness and are beginning their walk towards the beckoning rays. I pray that, through me, they will see God's shining glory. In the meantime, I will look carefully at how I walk, and make the most of this time. I don't want to sleep a minute!!