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STILL SLEEPING, STILL DREAMING

 

The more you try to wake them the more they prefer sleeping. The ongoing dream they are having is much more desirable and comforting than the waking present.

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When will you arise from your sleep? “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest”— [Proverbs 6:9-10]

LOST IN A DREAM

The following may appear at first glance as a strange idea, far from Biblical orthodoxy, something concocted by a writer doing a story featuring a full-tilt New-Ager with stars in her head. She can see the future in a crystal ball mounted on a small round wooden table of early vintage in her dark backroom parlor decorated with heavy felt drapes, multicolored hanging bead curtains, and the usual accouterments used by fake-out confidence artists who know vulnerable marks can more easily be had in the midst of over-the-top and off-the-wall surroundings and imagery. Her clear ability to see what we cannot and her flawless emotive verbal declarations attests to her authenticity. What need can there be for greater verification than this? She fulfills the need in one’s soul. She allows one a glance within the dream…  

And that’s where they would rather be. In the dream. They spent a lifetime creating the dream, fashioning everything that must fit within it in order to honor tradition, their family religion, and their own deep set desire for what “works best for them” regardless of what the Word of God might say. The Word reveals a common truth for all, of course, devoid of partiality or designer beliefs, and invokes requisite commands which must be addressed by each and every disciple-to-be. Rejecting such pure truth is infinitely preferable by these due simply to the maintenance of a faux comfort zone which includes, by forced option, rebuffing the Lord Jesus Himself and His problematic “hard sayings”—the One they claim to follow, though they assert otherwise, since He apparently would never actually claim such discomforting notions, which means there must be a problem with those Christians who spout such clearly penned New Testament verses or even a problem with written Scripture itself.

I mean, who can really trust what the Bible says after eons of translations and endless word-of-mouth renderings? Better to not get too dependent on the off-putting black and white in-your-face dictums of ancient epistles and primitive apostles whose authentic words are likely lost in the gray mist of ages past. One must leave a reserve from which to insert calming rationalizations and soothing validations in order to walk with head held high in smiling peaceful rectitude honoring one’s own grand and gallant noble views which the better people of this world surely appreciate and recognize…

THE WISE STILL SEEK HIM

Though many strive for a salvation process featuring peace at all costs in an effort to bend spiritual reality toward an impossible concord, neglecting to acknowledge the presence of evil in this fallen world, there is actually no such thing as a peaceful coming to Jesus moment. This phrase has been made fun of by the devil, of course, and those who rest assured in their own standing often use it to both disavow those idiot real Christians who make it a thing, as it were, as well as forswearing the entire idea of the need for soul salvation in the first place. They are simply not aware of their sin or they are and don’t care. One wonders how the rude and sacrilegious enunciations of a culture gone bad can mute the unrelenting loud speakers of one’s conscience incessantly warning of an unaddressed terminal threat on the very threshold of one’s future. But an ongoing dream state could fit the bill. Being lost in a dream of one’s making could certainly be the cause.

No, the reality of coming to the Lord as an otherwise hopeless sinner, the so-called Come to Jesus Moment, is anything but peaceful. If one actually makes it that far it will have involved the greatest decision of one’s life and the wrenching of oneself free from the binding chains of willful living, personal sin, immoral cultural mores, and traditional belief systems holding one in check. It is a wholly solitary place as will be the final Judgment when one must face God alone. There is no greater gut-check occasion in life. It is the height of courage to recognize the depravity of one’s condition and attempt to remedy it. No, there is no peace until afterward, until after one has repented profusely, throwing oneself upon an altar of sacrifice and having the old man and all his sin burned away, until after one has faced spiritual reality and caught a glimpse of hell. It should be characterized as a RUN To Jesus Moment because those who finally awake from their enchantment waste no time in getting right with their Savior.

OF THE FOOLISH AND THE FEARFUL

Would that this wise attitude could be had by all professed Christians but as it is, far too many remain ensconced within disguised sleeping stations—traditional Christian versions of the old hippie sleep-ins where everyone is crashed out in the pews in a haze of otherworldly religious languor and far out abstraction while a weirded-out droning guru sets the laid back tone for religious repose and holy hibernation.

On the flip side of this LP, as proven in these most recent times, fear acts as a wide door to such a dream, an entry portal into transchristianism, as one can be driven by fear into a psychological corral with no egress, since one rejected the door to life which obliged one to embrace the only other door—the entrance beyond the great gaping chasm separating Paradise from Gehenna—the ultra-tropical other side of Abraham’s bosom—the hot place where rich man Dives begs for a drop of H2O not to be had.

In other words more simply stated: Unrepentant sin causes massive deception. Personal pride, as with Mr. Dumpty, leads to a great fall. Refusing to be cleansed of sin causes the attached sin within one to act as a powerful attractant to the great death magnet sucking souls into the black hole of eternal damnation. The temporary corral on this side of life acts as a deceptive soothing waiting room inhabited by those of like minds who reassure one another and confirm each other’s wayward eternal choice since for many there is great comfort in numbers. Rather than solitarily entering the diminutive unpopular gate and taking the difficult road narrowed by pressure on both sides as an ongoing lifespan birth canal toward eternal life to validate their choice per the Scriptural directive, many people choose choice validation by the numbers following great groups of the like-minded who prefer well-lit free-wheeling Broadway, and the larger the group the better. This latter view places great faith in people in great need of a Savior rather than in the Savior Himself who is often on the outside looking in and thus stuck fast in the shunned group.

From a Christian perspective, the members of one’s local church or denomination and the doctrines thereof serve as the large validation sample group of one’s chosen beliefs rather than the Lord Jesus and His difficult though pure teachings. This means that rather than seeking validation for one’s beliefs from the Word of God one will instead trust the collective word of one’s chosen group and its chosen leaders.

WHEN THE DREAM BECOMES A NIGHTMARE    

Even though an apparent majority of Christians still grapple with what should otherwise be a flawless Biblical fact, that the Creator Himself became a Man and visited His Creation, we can still learn an otherwise obvious truth by simply observing how this world treated Him when He was here as one of us: The greatest Light was vociferously and repeatedly opposed and attacked by the greatest darkness. If nothing else, this proves the great darkness existing in this world, its residence also within certain humans, and their connection to the devil. Whoever sided with such people could not possibly be on God’s side, and owing to the devil’s bewitching ability, those hesitant to go all in with the Lord would inevitably gravitate in the other direction, being gently pulled along by the malevolent magnet, the enemy making sure not to rattle them so as to bring them closer to his trap (corral). It’s why antichrist spiders spin their webs on the beaten path, on the major cultural highways inhabited by the teeming masses who most always look with disdain upon those who stray from established societal methods and mores though such straying often avoids the web.

If one looks closely one can see that this is what they did in the Lord’s time. They first took control of the crossroads and the few major thoroughfares. In time they controlled religious thought. They decided what one should believe and practice to be in good standing within the culture. In essence, they captured the media. The same thing has occurred in our time. This would otherwise be blatantly obvious if so many were not enchanted and sleeping. Those lost in the dream do not know they are heading for a bad one. 

“If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes.” [Luke 19:42]

One MUST understand that the deception was so thick among these people in that little land in the first century that the Creator himself could not get through to most of them. No matter what He did the majority could not be broken free from the devil’s trick. They were greatly afraid of being in the synagogue and also greatly afraid of being out of it. While in the synagogue as bona fide members they were subjected to the vindictive religious control of the leaders thereof and without the synagogue they could hardly function in society because the vindictive leaders saw to it that they would be outsiders within their own culture. SOUND FAMILIAR?            

Therefore everyone must choose from where they will gain their comfort, either from going along to get along, adhering to the dictates of the sinful culture, and obeying without question the pronouncements of the beguiling gurus in charge OR following the Lord Jesus with one’s whole heart. And whereas one might trust in and accept any number of false belief systems, faux Christian or not, and gain the comforting sleep and enchanting dreams thereof, there will come a day when one will be forced to wake up, though they would not awake for the Lord.

At that time, with their ears ringing from the blasts of angelic shofars, the simulated reality of their chosen comforting dream state will suddenly fade away like fog in the morning light, and they will find themselves in an eternal nightmare from which they can never awake.

This is the real fate that must be avoided at all costs.

When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” [Luke 19:41-44][1]

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

The Edge of Faith

         I remember when I was a kid there was a soap opera on television called The Edge of Night. I had no idea what the words meant or whether they were supposed to mean something. I never watched it, and thus have no memory of the content, but I do remember the stark black and white graphics of a downtown cityscape on the opening title card.

         In retrospect, someone had come up with a great name, full of meaning and pathos, and the hard reminder that life often boils down to a very rough edge. Kind of like a concrete jungle. And you better get yours or life will get real bad real quick. And along the way we’ll engage in sin to help us make it through the dark nights of our respective, though not respectful, souls…

         It’s kind of like this with faith.

         Now, hear me out, says the man who’s going to drop a nonsensical bombshell or an invitation to a multi-level marketing meeting…

         Faith actually does contain a very rough edge. Its edge can also be very fine, like a tightrope, and require a spiritual balancing act. The Lord Jesus kept referring to faith as a commodity one could possess. But He also said faith is no good unless it is invoked and used. He also seemed to say that many people are afraid to use it.

         Why is this?

         I think it’s because it’s an all or nothing proposition. Faith doesn’t work unless the 100% rule is invoked. One has to risk everything. If one tries to do the sensible thing and hold something back in case one’s faith doesn’t work it won’t work. And there is no tangible guarantee that it will work. In this regard it is not rational, like so many other spiritual things.

         Faith is an all your eggs in one basket deal.

         Faith demands 100% commitment.

         This is why faith doesn’t work for a lot of people. They hold back. They want to be assured of success before they act. They might have stepped out in faith before and things didn’t work out. But the Lord said we must keep trying.

         His Word also says a very scary thing for new Christians battling with faith:

         And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. [Hebrews 11:6]

         In other words, if a person has doubts regarding the goodness of God, one will never please God. One might still try to approach God and make entreaties, but unless pure faith in God is involved such a person will only be whining. And God does not care for whining.

         The woman who had long been sick with an issue of blood and had spent all her cash on doctors without any relief reached a point of total desperation and decided to lay everything on the line.

         First, she purposed in her heart that if she only touched the edge of His garment she would be healed. Then she had to fight her way through a crowd to get close to the Master. Then she had to violate a powerful taboo about women steering clear of teaching rabbis and actually approach the Master and (gasp!) touch His garment! This took some powerful boldness!

         And when she touched the Master’s garment she was instantly healed! And the Master had done nothing. But He made a very curious statement:

         “Who is the one who touched Me?” And while they were all denying it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing in on You.” But Jesus said, “Someone did touch Me, for I was aware that power had gone out of Me.” [Luke 8:45-46]

         We know by this that the power of God for whatever we may need is always available and is activated and released by our faith. We don’t really have to ask. This woman didn’t ask. She did everything correctly, though. She honored and respected the Master. She was greatly thankful. And she is an awesome example. She showed us how it’s done!  

         Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. [Hebrews 4:16] [1]

         The KJV says, Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace…

         One must be bold when one approaches the Lord. One must also be supremely respectful. These two don’t seem to go together. One would think a person should almost grovel before God as a sign of deference and honor. But such groveling, though one’s heart may be right, is not conducive to showing strong faith.

         Sons of God do not have to grovel before their Father!

         Remember, one must please God by knowing God is good, righteous, tender, merciful, loving, kind, warm, understanding, benevolent, holy, strong, and has a smile and a twinkle in His eye for His children. And one must know He loves us regardless of what someone or everyone else thinks of us or what we may think of ourselves. And we must believe this and act on it in pure faith with no holding back.

         We have gone before other people in authority thinking we would be treated well and we were often treated bad. But God is not like this. He loves us.

         So let’s believe the truth that God IS, that He is GOOD, that He is a REWARDER of those who SEEK Him, and come before Him in FULL CONFIDENCE, that we may RECEIVE the mercy and grace and help we need.

         Go ahead. Make His day!

         © 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. 


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.