By Francis Frangipane
because we walk and talk does not mean we are truly awake. Zechariah
was not sleeping when an angel roused him "as a man who is awakened from
his sleep" (Zech. 4:1). Perhaps we too need to be shaken from our
slumber to possess the promises of God!
in spite of all the signs, wonders, and warnings announcing that we are
truly in the last days, Jesus said there will also be a mysterious
drowsiness that we must discern and overcome. Indeed, immediately after
highlighting the various evidences of the end (Matt. 24), He compares
the church to virgins who "all got drowsy and began to sleep" (Matt.
Virgins sleeping at the end of
the age? It seems incomprehensible with the coming "wonders in the sky
above and signs on the earth below" (Acts 2:19), not to mention the
powerful, worldwide herald of the gospel of God's kingdom. Yet this
phenomenon of spiritual slumber, of losing our God-seeking hunger, is
something we must guard against.
When this slumbering
spirit approaches, it first dulls our perception. Soon, our zeal for the
things of God diminishes. We still love the Lord, of course, but our
vision sits in the back seat as other less important aspects of life set
the direction for our lives.
Indeed, from the
beginning, the voice of Satan has had this seductive, lulling effect on
mankind. Eve's excuse for disobedience? "The serpent hath caused me to
forget" (Gen. 3:13 Young's Literal Translation).
sense of spiritual forgetfulness, of drowsiness, is the cloud of
blindness that we each must discern and overcome. It was in regard to
this that the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart through the following dream:
There was a temple standing in an open field. My view
of the temple was from its side, about 200 yards away. I could not see
its front, yet it must have been completely open because great light
flashed out from the inside; it pulsed like lightning yet was solid like
sunlight. The block of light coursed straight out, and I knew this
light was the glory of God.
The temple was so close,
just across the field, that I knew with just a little effort I could
enter the glory of God. His holy presence was clearly within my reach.
There were others also in the dream who were directly in front of me,
people I recognized from church. Each one seemed busy. And while the
temple and its light were visible and readily accessible to all, every
head was bent downward and turned away from the light; each was occupied
with other things.
I heard one person say, "I have to
do laundry." Another said, "I have to go to work." I could see people
reading newspapers, watching televisions, and eating. I was sure
everyone could see the light if they wanted to – even more sure that we
all knew His glory was near.
There were even a few
people reading the Bible and praying, but everyone maintained the
downward thrust of their gaze; they all had a mental barrier of some
kind between them and the place of God's presence. No one, in fact,
seemed capable of standing up, turning, and steadfastly walking into the
very near glory of God.
As I watched, suddenly my
wife lifted her head and beheld the temple in the field. She stood and
walked without pausing toward the open front. As she drew closer to the
light, a garment of glory formed and thickened around her; the closer
she went, the more dense the light surrounding her became. Finally, she
stepped in front of the temple, turned, and stood in full view of the
blazing glory of God. Then she entered the temple.
How jealous I felt. My wife had entered the glory of God before me! At
the same time I realized that there was nothing stopping me from
approaching God's presence - nothing except the multitude of things to
do and responsibilities that, in truth, ruled my life more than the
voice of God.
Pushing the weight of these pressures
from me, I determined to rise and enter the temple myself. But, to my
great regret, in my dream as I rose up, I suddenly woke up! The longing
and disappointment within me seemed unbearable. I had been so close to
entering God's presence. How I wanted to enter the temple and be
swallowed up in His glory!
I cried, "Lord, why did You let me wake up?"
the word of the Lord responded. He said, "I will not have My servant's
life fulfilled by a dream. If you want your dream to come true, you have
to wake up."
Breaking Passivity; Setting Priorities
today God is awakening us to the reality of His presence. The promises
the Lord gives us in the Scriptures must become more to us than
dream-like realities reserved only for the hereafter. Moses frequented
the glory of God. Israel's seventy elders ate and drank in God's
resplendent glory (Exod. 24:9-11). Jesus unveiled God's glory to His key
disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration! Paul says that beholding the
glory of the Lord is the very means of our transformation (2 Cor.
For this reason the Scripture says, "Awake,
sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you" (Eph.
5:14). If we truly want Christ to "shine" upon us, we must arise from
the distractions that entomb us in lethargy and spiritual drowsiness.
at this moment, the presence of the living God is near enough to hear
the whisper of our hearts. But if we want our dream of standing in the
presence of God to come true, we must wake up.
my heart, Lord. Open my eyes to all that You are and everything we can
be together. Lead me to Your presence and show me how to truly keep You
first in my life. Show me what will have lasting significance. I want
all of You, and I want to experience Your glory!
Adapted from Francis Frangipane's book, "And I Will Be Found By You" available at www.arrowbookstore.com.