So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. 1 Thessalonians 5:6 NIV
I have to be honest with you. I’m feeling a little lost.
You may already know from some of my recent posts that I’ve been away on vacation. I spent two glorious weeks at the beach with my husband and boys, and we enjoyed the added blessing of sharing portions of that time with extended family members from both sides. For the past two weeks, I have been caught up in the rich blessing of God, reveling in the beauty of His creation and enjoying the love and fellowship that only occurs when Christ rules the hearts of very different people.
I have to say, the food was pretty good too. Our bellies had no excuse to groan in hunger, although at times they ached from the sidesplitting laughter that erupted frequently during nightly games around the dining table.
Life is so much better when it’s shared.
But now I’m home, and my view has changed. I’m not just talking about my inability to watch the waves pound the shore or see the sunlight glistening on a seemingly endless sea. I’m talking about a subtle change, one that seems to have occurred within me. Apparently my heart so enjoyed that period of rest, it continues to long for more of it.
Have you ever noticed how easily our enjoyment of the blessings of God can take our eyes off the Giver of them?
Hang with me for a minute here. I’m not saying we forget God altogether. But sometimes we lose sight of the whole of who God is. We relish one aspect of His character and allow His other Truths to fade in significance. Not intentionally, mind you. It’s simply the nature of our fallen flesh.
I think that’s what started to happen to me. My lips uttered praise every day for His gifts. My Bible still opened with my morning coffee, the thin pages rustling in the ocean breeze. I remained extremely aware of His presence. I simply felt a strong longing to stay right where I was, basking in His love and resting in His embrace.
The trouble is, I started to lose sight of my purpose.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
You see, God is so good, His faithfulness so sure, His love so abundant that it’s easy to get caught up thinking that our salvation is all about us. We think, “For God so loved… that He gave…” and we make our lives about seeking and receiving the rich blessings He pours out through Jesus. It becomes easy to forget that where much is given, much is also expected.
From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. Luke 12:48
Dear one, God didn’t give to you and me simply so we could receive. He gave so that you and I could also give. He doesn’t merely want to bless us. He wants to bless the world through us.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2
Jesus beckons us to follow Him, beloved. By definition, that means we can’t simply remain at rest. Let’s not get distracted by our blessings and lose sight of our purpose.
Christ is coming again, but He will not return to a sleeping church, bobbing along in a sea of grace. He will return to a church in glory, to a bride who has made herself ready (Matthew 25:10, Revelation 19:7). Let’s awaken from our rest and usher in the glory of God.
Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory… Luke 9:32