Awake, O Sleeper!
By W. C. Moore
"Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light" (Eph. 5:14).
"But," someone says, "the Church is active; there is a great move on throughout large sections of the earth among Bible-believing Christians."
True, there is a shaking, a stirring in the Valley of Dry Bones (Ezek., chapter 37)--a "sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees," (2 Samuel 5:24)--but immediately the command comes, "Then thou shalt bestir thyself: for then shall the Lord go out before thee."
Our "works" may be dead works (Hebrews 9:14), the very things from which we need to be purged. We, every one of us, need the mighty, quickening power of the Holy Spirit all the time in all our service unto God.
"BE filled with the Spirit," is the command of God’s Word (Eph. 5:18). Our Lord says, "Let the children FIRST be filled" (Mark 7:27).
God commands that His children be filled with the Holy Spirit before they work with Him. "Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you" (John 12:35-36). "Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts" (Zech. 4:6).
"We are labourers together with God" (1 Cor. 3:9). We are praying for revival, but God is not going to send us revival without our sincere and wholehearted cooperation. There are certain things that God has told us to do, and He will never do them for us.
"Take YE away the stone" (John 11:39-41). Lazarus was to be raised from the dead but the Lord commanded that His followers work with Him to get this miracle accomplished. One great "stone" that many of us have to get out of the way before God will work in His miracle power, is the "stone" of unbelief.
Loose Them from Their Graveclothes!
After Jesus spoke the word of resurrection power, and Lazarus "that was dead came forth" out of the grave, Lazarus was still not in any shape either to see anything or to do anything effectively, for he was "bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin."
Our Lord not only wants us to loose such, in His name, but He positively commands us: "Loose him, and let him go" (John 11:44).
Oh, the black folds of dismal graveclothes that drape the Church today! Unbelief, forms, ceremonies, rituals--as though God does not mean what He says in the Bible, and as though the God of all flesh, the Almighty--our wise and holy Creator, wants us to go through meaningless forms and rituals when our heart is not at all in it, and when we ourselves do not either know or believe in the reality of what we are doing.
"Prepare the way, take up the stumbling block out of the way of My people" (Isa. 57:14).
"Prepare YE the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones" (Isa. 62:10). To remove all hindrances to revival is absolutely necessary, but this is only preliminary for we are then to "Lift up a standard for the people" (Isa. 62:10).
Oh, for the standards of holiness, love to God and love for souls, purity, zeal, humility--Oh, for God’s own standards to be lifted up for the people! Oh, for a Jeremiah to weep over this nation and over a world in sin!
"Awake thou that sleepest" (Eph. 5:14). Even if now we are asleep, there is hope for us if we will now repent and believe God and act accordingly! May God, for Jesus’ sake, put it on the hearts of His ministers to "Cry aloud, spare not," (Isa. 58:1), even though it hurts pride and crucifies self.
Also, to lift up their voices like trumpets and show God’s own people their tremendous need of repentance, and a wholehearted forsaking of every form of compromise with the world, the flesh and the devil, not at all in a "holier-than-thou" attitude, but because God Himself is giving a crisis-hour call to us today--before His judgments sweep the world--and be sure of one thing, our nation shall not in any wise escape, unless we repent, and turn wholeheartedly to God!
Jesus, our Lord, the Head of the Church (Eph. 5:23-24), tells us plainly, "The night cometh, when no man can work" (John 9:4).