The other day, I found myself in the middle of a church picnic.
It was totally unintentional, and I’ll tell you the story someday, but the upshot is, I was chatting with a safe woman from the group, when I tossed out my usual question to determine whether or not a person is awake:
“So, do you completely believe and unquestioningly accept the government’s official version about 9/11?”
“Oh, no,” she replied without hesitation, then stopped, troubled. “It’s disturbing to think about the ramifications.”
Well, that’s an understatement, but at least I could see that her eyes were open.
But then she went on to a statement that I hear on a regular basis:
“There’s just so much going on, and we don’t seem to have any power to stop any of it. I don’t know what to do, and I don’t see any value of being awake.”
That’s a valid statement, and I sympathize with the feeling of being overwhelmed.
But, in the first place, when you’re sound asleep and someone creeps into your bedroom with a knife, you have little chance of defending yourself at all. When you’re awake, however, and aware, you can deflect the blow, if not get in a good kick and a yell to arouse the rest of the house.
And in the second place, which is really the first place, as Christians, we are supposed to be awake at all times, living as servants — and simultaneously beloved children — in the house of a powerful Master:
“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him,” Jesus tells us in Luke 12: 35-36.
“It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes.”
Watching, and Waiting
What does it mean, this watching?
In an earlier post, Are You Awake? I described the most notable aspect of being awake as recognizing that mankind, and all of his systems, are corrupt, debauched, depraved, untrustworthy, deceitful and perfidious. “Full of sin” if you’re looking for nine letters to fill in your crossword puzzle.
So Step One is no longer being fooled by the things you are told.
“Let no one deceive you with empty words,” Ephesians 5: 6 says.
Step Two is finding words you actually can believe, which is anything that proceeds from the mouth of God. He wrote a Book, and much of what it says goes counter to the ways that we have been taught. The Beatitudes alone, in Matthew 5: 3-12, are the complete and total opposite of the corporate business model which, quite unfortunately, has infected every aspect of our culture, including too many of our churches (they have boards, and meetings, and small group functions, and digital bulletin boards in the foyer, and PowerPoint presentations; and they are concerned with numbers, and cash flow, and attracting the “right” kind of congregant, and the impression that they make upon the “outside community.”)
Following God means that we turn around in the sheep chute that is directing us, the masses, in one direction, and we walk against the flow of humanity. From a networking standpoint, it makes absolutely no sense to seek out the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame (Luke 14: 13) because they can’t pay us back like our friends, our relatives, or our rich neighbors, but Jesus’ business model is an odd one. Somehow, it works — but not in accordance with the way of the world.
Step 3 — pray, all the time, every day, and ask God what He would have you to do to battle the evil in this world and in this age:
“But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.
“Fight the good fight of the faith.” (1 Timothy 6: 11-12)
You may not see the importance in the things He asks you to do, but continue to ask, and listen, and obey.
Don’t Give up
Finally, do not give in to despair — take heart! Jesus has overcome the world (John 16: 33), and you belong to Him.
“Do not call conspiracy everything that these people call conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it.” (Isaiah 8: 12-14)
“The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread, and he will be a sanctuary.”
Thank you for joining me at Commonsense Christianity, where I write because this is one of the options God has set before me. Believe me, some days I feel like giving up, but I can’t, because there are things to be said, and not a lot of people are saying them.
Posts similar to this one are
Sleeping Christians: Wake. Up.
The Misfit Christian (my book, written for believers who feel like they don’t fit into the system)