“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
Awaken O Church, by Randall D. Kittle

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“Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” — Ephesians 5:14

In a dream, I saw a large church building with a multitude of beautiful oak pews. As I looked at the pews more closely, I could see they weren’t merely the padded pews we have grown accustomed to. On the seats of each pew was a mattress complete with blanket and pillow. Soon the doors of the building were opened, and in filed the faithful all wearing their pajamas and robes. After a brief time of getting settled, they were all quickly asleep in the pews. All across the sanctuary the saints of God slumbered in their seats.

The bride of Christ is the “sleeping beauty” of Christianity. She has pricked her finger on the spindle of religion, and now, even though she is promised to the Great Prince, she slumbers along unable to arouse herself or be awakened by others. All across America comatose Christians go through the motions of body-life — gathering together, listening to the choir, serving in Sunday school, giving offerings, etc. — while their hearts are sound asleep. For them the walk of faith has become more of a sleep walk. They are sleepily going through the motions of Christian service while the true life of Christ within them is trapped in a slumbering cage of complacency.

Yet all is not lost. Jesus, our great Prince of Peace, is coming to His promised Bride to break the spell and awaken her. Only He is not awakening us with a kiss. He is knocking at the door of our hearts and speaking to us with His powerful voice to arouse us, His beloved. Listen to the voice of the slumbering bride in the Song of Solomon as her beloved comes to awaken her:
“I was asleep but my heart was awake. A voice! My beloved was knocking” (Song of Solomon 5:2). Much of the Church, the Bride of Christ, is asleep. Yet because the Spirit of God dwells in us, our hearts are still awake even as we slumber. And now the Lord is coming knocking on our heart’s door and calling to us with an invitation to seek after Him, promising us, “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart”(Jeremiah 29:13).

Let us thank the Lord that He is calling us, wooing us, and drawing us to run after Him. He has promised to be found by us, but there is a condition. We must seek God with
ALL our heart. Christianity is not for the comfortable or the complacent. It is for those with a passionate heart, hungry for God. As we hear His voice and begin to run after Him, it is imperative that we do not settle for a quick touch from the Lord, but develop a lifestyle of always seeking Him — focusing on abiding in Him. The Lord wants us to dwell with Him. He is looking for a Bride who will seek not a visitation from Him, but a habitation with Him.

May our time spent with Jesus and listening to His voice, whether in loud proclamation or quiet whispers, awaken us and encourage us to always seek after a deeper relationship with the Lord and never again settle for merely being a cog in the American church system. May our hearts discover that as the Bride of Christ we were meant for so much more than merely filling seats in some building and making certain some church has enough “tithing units” to meet their budget. As an awakened Church let us refuse to return to slumbering in our pews, and instead engage in seeking the Lord in ever-increasing depths till the focus of our lives is fixed on the One unwavering prize — Jesus Christ.


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