Another One Bites The Dust

Actually… according to scientists, the Dust Mites may, in fact, be the ones who are biting back!

I’m taking our youth here in Maui, HI through a series we’re calling, “Waking-Up Sleepy Christianity”.

Dust mites love dead skin and some of the best places they feast on are pillows, bed covers, and blankets. This is not meant to freak you out, (but it may have). It’s more to share the spiritual analogy between “dust” and “sleepy Christianity”.

Isaiah 52 says, “Awake, awake! Shake yourself from the dust, arise!”

“DUST”= SLEEPY CHRISTIANITY
Why? Because you don’t know it’s there until you get up close. Sometimes we distance ourselves from people and the church so that they won’t know what’s really going on in our life. Because if you get up-close to me you’ll see that there’s a lot of… Dust. And, dust only comes from one thing – Neglect.

– Dusty Bible
– Dusty Prayer Closet
– Dusty, nasty Attitudes

THE RESPONSIBILITY I HAVE TO WAKE-UP

The Scripture says I have to “shake” myself. The preacher can nudge you, but you’re the only one who can “shake” you. Your friends can try to shake you, They’ll say things like: “You really shouldn’t be doing that. What are you doing?!”, but you’ll just shake it off. You’ve got to shake yourself! It your responsibility. No one can do it, but you.

THIS IS MY WAKE-UP CALL

It’s not that you’re a “bad” person, or a “sinner”, it’s just that me and you, we have neglected our “beautiful garments” (Isaiah 52:1). We have to “put them on”. These are the…

– Beautiful Garments of Salvation
– Beautiful Garments of Forgiveness
– Beautiful Garments of Praise

It’s time to toss that old pillow of sleepy Christianity, and begin a fresh new day with the One who gave His all for you. Don’t be another one who bites the dust, (or is bitten by the “Dust”). What do you say?

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Psychological Procrastination

We’re all familiar with procrastination. “I know I should do it today, but… I’ll do it next week.” But as I was praying, I came up with a term that described the way I feel many times: “psychological procrastination”. This is where you’re at church, or at home, and you begin to think about getting closer to the Lord, or you’re wanting to have a more passionate faith. But then you think within yourself, “I’m not really feeling it right now. I will get closer to the Lord, but just not today. Maybe next week I’ll get something out of church or the sermon.”

And it goes on week after week – a whole year goes by and you’re thinking, “Where has the time gone? My life needs to go to another level!” Here’s the kicker though. We get excited for a day, or week at most, but then gradually decline into our typical ‘mode’, whatever that happens to be for you. But there needs to be a way to really break free from this “psychological procrastination”, so that a change can really take place, and that fruit would follow.

Maybe it’s just being aware that psychological procrastination is taking place, is the first step to change.

Spiritual Sleepiness 101

I’m currently taking our Youth at King’s Cathedral through a series I’ve entitled, “Waking-Up Sleepy Christianity”.

Here’s some “Sleeping Statistics” for You…

  • If you’re between the age of 13-25, about half of you fell-asleep unintentionally this month.
  • If you’re between the age of 18-25, 5% of you fell-asleep while driving this month.
  • Did you know that you will sleep-away about a 1/3 of your life?

Other words for “Sleep”= Siesta, Shut-eye, Catnap, Nod-off, Power nap; Slumber, Take a snooze, or Crash.

Anyone here ever fall-asleep in Class, School? How about in Church? True story: My Pastor in Chicago told me a little story of when he was in High School. After school he got on the bus & happened to fall asleep. That wasn’t too bad except… his head eventually made it’s way over to the chest of the lady sitting next to him. He didn’t realize what was going on. As he slowly came to his senses, his face was right in the breast of a big black lady! He was so shocked & embarrassed he didn’t know what to do. But the lady said to him, (as she put her hand on the back of his head), “There, there, it’s ok, you just rest right here with Mama.”

But What is “Sleep”? Wikipedia:

  • Sleep is a naturally recurring state characterized by reduced or absent consciousness, relatively suspended sensory activity, and inactivity of nearly all voluntary muscles
  • But if I were to defineSpiritual Sleepiness I would say: it is spiritual state of being characterized by reduced (or completely absent) spiritual alertness. With it, there’s little or no spiritual activity. All spiritual progress comes to a screeching halt.

The Apostle Paul says, “It’s HIGH TIME to awake out of sleep!” [Rom. 13:11] “High Time” is the equivalent of it being 12-noon, when the sun is shinning it’s brightest!

Can you imagine someone being totally asleep outside, laying out under the blistering sun of summer? A little drool is starting to form. Face is totally sun-burnt. You’d think, “Whoa? What an idiot?!!” And yet this is the sad state of many Christians today. God says, “It’s time to wake-up!”

Where are you at today in your relationship with God today?
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5 Ways to Wake-up Spiritually

1. Set an alarm. With all our modern-day gadgets it’s easily to set a unique alarm on your phone, once a day, once a week, to remind yourself of your new season. Or it can be to remind you to stick with your goal of reading the Bible each day, or whatever. [Joel 2:1]

2. Flush, purge, and clean it out. Spiritually awake people are always scanning their life to make sure that garbage doesn’t pile up. They take a few hours on a Saturday and delete old music and files off their computer. They clean their room or redecorate so their environment is conducive to growth. [2 Chron. 34:8, Acts 19:19]

3. Create a “Prayer-Time” playlist on iTunes. This one has helped me alot. When you’re getting ready to spend time with the Lord it’s good to have some worship music on. (One of my playlists is 1.1 hours long, and I devote that whole hour to prayer). [Psalm 108:2-3]

4. Start a Bible reading plan. My wife and I have been doing this for years. Everyday you know exactly what you’re doing to read. It’s amazing how God can speak to you, even while going thru an obscure book like, Obadiah or Jude. [Matt. 24:35, Heb. 4:12]

5. Memorize scripture. Ok, ok… I know this sounds childish, or “Sunday-school-ish”. But if you’re wanting to really be awake spiritually, at some point you’ll need to renew your mind, (Rom. 12:2). Next time you’re at Walgreens pick you up some 3×5 index cards. Write-out the verse on one side, and the scripture address on the other. [Ps. 19:7-8, Ps. 119:11]

Spiritual Stragglers

Far too many of us Christians struggle with spiritual amnesia—walking around with a constant bump on our forehead, forgetting just how sly the devil moves and operates.

“Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you were coming out of Egypt, how he met you on the way and attacked your rear ranks, all the stragglers at your rear, when you were tired and weary; and he did not fear God.” (Deuteronomy 25:17–18, NKJV)

Amalek here is a type of the enemy. In fact, the root meaning of “Amalek” means: To work, toil endlessly. To “Straggle” means just about the exact opposite: To dawdle, walk slowly, lollygag. So, while the enemy is staying awake at night, scheming how he can destroy a life, a family, a church, a nation—Mr. Christian is at the end of the line, in last place, oblivious to the fact that the devil has his sniper scope all dialed-in to pick you off when you least expect it!

Also, notice the timing of the enemy’s attacks: “…when you were tired and weary.” It’s not to say the he can’t, or doesn’t attack believers when they’re on-fire for God, but (being the sly devil that he is), he knows that spiritual stragglers are easy pickings, and he (in a sense) get’s more bang for his buck. Always remember that the devil is your enemy. Never hope that he’ll have mercy on. The Bible says of Amalek, “…he did not fear God.” The reason I say this, is because many Christians have the idea, “Well, I don’t want get too serious about my walk with Christ. I’ll just go to church, not be too bad, that way the devil won’t bother me.” Watch out. With that type of thinking, you might actually be a spiritual straggler, at the end of the line. Everyday you find yourself getting more tired, more weary; and the devil is watching you with a smile on his face—just waiting for perfect the right time to pull the trigger and take you out.

Romans 12:11 says, “…not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” The King James says, “Not slothful in business.” Hebrews 10:38… “Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.”

We can’t afford to lag behind!
We can’t afford to be slothful!
We can’t afford to draw back!
We can’t afford to take spiritual vacations!
Now is the time to AWAKE!

“And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” (Romans 13:11–14, NKJV)

“Christian Astrology”

I’m in shock as to just how many Christians today are dabbling in Astrology, and how many of them post their horoscope on Facebook. “Well, you’re a Picees, and I’m a Virgo, hmm… what do the stars predict for me today?” Some may say they’re just having a little fun, and it’s no big deal, but what does the Bible have to say about Astrology? Listen to what God says, through the prophet Isaiah.

You are wearied in the multitude of your counsels; Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, And the monthly prognosticators stand up and save you From what shall come upon you. [Isaiah 47:13 NKJV]

Astrolgy is a major slap in the face of a loving God, who has revealed Himself through His Son, Jesus Christ. Astrology is also a form of witchcraft, because it is seeking to know about furture events without God’s Word, the Holy Bible, or through prayer.

Don’t allow yourself to get sucked into the trap of taking some sort of a shortcut in finding the will of God for your life. Don’t dabble in witchcraft, because the enemy will use it to against you, and will laugh in your face. Rather listen to what God says, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you
great and mighty things, which you do not know.” [Jer. 33:3 NKJV]

If you’ve dabbled in Astrology, or Witchcraft, pray this prayer outloud:

“Dear Jesus, I now realize that Astrology is witchcraft, and I ask you now to forgive me. I renounce all occultic practices and behaviors, no matter how insignificant it seemed. Wash me now in the precious blood of Jesus, and give me a new hunger for Your Word and a desire to come to You in prayer, that I might know the will of God for my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

Beach Bum or Battle Ready?

This passage paints a vivid picture in my mind of a soldier who is doing his own thing. While others have their uniforms starched and pressed, ready for the day, I see another soldier who is wearing his bermuda shorts and aloha shirt – totally not ready for service, battle, or even the daily line-up before the commander.

“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning.” [Acts 24:5 NIV]

Could it be he has a lamp that’s been neglected and snuffed-out from sin, and thus his sloppiness doesn’t really seem to matter? Jesus isn’t offering a mere suggestion in verse 35, it’s a command! I can just see the commander’s veins popping out from his neck as he shouts to his troops… “BE dressed! Keep your lamps BURNING!”

I wonder what most of us look like in the spiritual-realm? Are we beach bums or battle ready soldiers? The New King James version says, “Let your waist be girded…”. Could it be that we’re so self-absorbed, self-conscious, self-centered, all because we’re walking around with our spiritual pants around our ankles? Our lives must be girded with truth like a soldier’s belt. Can you imagine worshipping Jesus – Sunday morning at your Church – and having your pants down around your ankles? We wouldn’t be worshipping, we’d be worrying! It time to get clothed in Christ [Gal. 3:27] first thing in the morning. It’s time to get into the Word of God [Ps. 119:105], and allow it to get our hearts burning once again for the things of God! Don’t settle for a mediocre life when God has so much more! Christ is coming, and we must be battle ready.