Arise!

“Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the watches! Pour out your heart like water before the presence of the Lord! Lift your hands to him for the lives of your children, who faint for hunger at the head of every street.” (Lamentations 2:19)

Now here’s a story that could very well put you on edge. And at the very least, it should humble all of us. The story is of a man named Jack (not his real name) who, one night, was awoken out of bed as God spoke to him, “Go to such and such a location”. He went back to bed and it happened again, “Go to such and such a location.” But the man went back to bed. Jack confessed to me, “I was literally dragged out of bed! I knew it was God, but I still went back to sleep!”

That evening, 6 people died in a blazing fire at the place that God had indicated for him to go. Two of those who died were neighbours of his in that place that was about 1 hour away by car. The man confessed to me that, at the time, he consulted his wife to ask her what she thought of God waking him up in the middle of the night and going to such and such a location. The wife said, “Go back to bed,” which he did. But he later confessed to me, “I was sure it was God. I was literally dragged out of bed! But I still went back to bed, both times!”

What made this man turn back and go under the covers? It was doubt and a reliance upon sinful man for approval. In this case, he was waiting for his wife to give him the “okay” before he actually obeyed what God was clearly telling him to do. Concerning fear, he knew that he had only enough gas in his car to get him to that city, one way, and being the early hours of the morning, was afraid he would have to take a taxi to get back home, which he did not want to have to do. So fear that God would not provide the gas led him to disobey.

What makes us slumber and fall back to sleep, while the world is perishing at our doorstep, or perhaps in the next city, or perhaps just down the road at the next house, or perhaps right beside one cubicle over at our place of work??? How many have died spiritually and physically, so far, because we were too lazy to get in the car and drive to that place that God was directing us to?

“And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, ‘So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ … And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. … Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest?” (Matthew 26:40-45)

“The fear of man lays a snare, but he who trusts in the LORD is safe.” (Proverbs 29:25)

“Therefore it is said, ‘Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.'” (Ephesians 5:14)