Tuesday, March 29, 2011

AWAKE, SLEEPER !

Ahh, spiritual sleep.  
Such sweet repose
instead of spiritual warfare...
a dangerous condition for all !
.
If you sleep a spiritual sleep , you will join the ranks of several mentioned in Scripture, such as  the 5 un-wise virgins who were unprepared for the coming of the Bridegroom+.
.
You also join the ranks of the disciples of CHRIST who would not fight their sorrow of heart nor weariness of body to stay awake and keep watch with Our LORD before HE+ entered into HIS+ Passion, HIS+ Sacrifice for us.
.~  ~  ~
Now, an aside: In ancient times, the bridegroom and his bride had entered a covenant, a betrothal, a contract involving BOTH parties, that they would be joined into one new unit.  This was a very serious contract. If the bride had played the harlot before the wedding day, she was supposed to be stoned.  If the bridegoom did the same with another woman, it was likely that the bride's parents would have stopped the contract.
.
But if both parties did their part and were faithful, the covenant would be fulfilled. According to our Pastor's sermon on Sunday, in the Hebrew culture, the bridegroom was usually away from his birth home, building a house for his new bride and the family to come.
.
The bride knew the "season" that he would be coming, but she and her wedding party did not know the exact hour. I believe it usually was at the fall of evening. She simply had to be prepared at all times for his arrival as the "day" drew nearer and nearer. Also, her bridesmaids had to be ready for whenever the bridegroom appeared.
.
Usually, a spotter would be watching. He'd announce: "The bridegroom is coming! He's coming! "  Then came a flurry of excitement as the bridal party gathered their things, fixed their garments, trimmed their lamps to await the bridegroom's party at their doorstep. When the bridegroom arrived, they all moved in joyous procession lit by torches and lamps to the place prepared with the wedding canopy and feast established. 
.
That is how it will be when Our Divine BRIDEGROOM+ comes for HIS+ Bride, the called-out ones, the sanctified ones, who have remained Virgins (undefiled by the world), prepared solely for HIM+ and HIS+ New Life. When we are spiritually sleeping we are in danger of missing the call that "the BRIDEGROOM+ cometh!"

~ ~ ~
A Cure for Spiritual Sleep
.
How do you "cure" the condition of spiritual sleep ? [Assuming you love the LORD and have entered into the Covenant through Holy Baptism and Communion, you are then able to put this into practice.]
.
Spiritual discipline awakens the soul. It becomes watchful, on a spiritual level.
.
The first step is to submit the physical body to a spiritual life. 
.
Flesh must become
subject to the Spirit.
.
If you don't rule over the flesh,
your flesh will rule over you.  
.
Thus, you must put into practice those things which will bring your flesh into submission:

>>> Make the flesh a wee bit uncomfortable. Walk in the cold or rain or snow, if you must, while you pray or recite Psalms or Scriptures. Do something. 
.
>>> Pray outloud. Clean the atmosphere around you, as it were. Find a room... attic, cellar, or other place where your eye will not be tempted to think of temporal duties or things.
.
>>> Change physical position.  Get on your knees with nothing to lean on. Stand. Walk. Make the sign of the cross as you mention HIS+ Name in your prayers. Raise your hands, your arms. Kneel as the knights did, on one knee, with their arm and fist across their body and heart, pledging their fidelity to their king.
.
>>> Pray the Scriptures. Chant the Psalms with an easy one or two-note chant of your own making.
.
.>>> Keep the 9, noon, and 3 o'clock prayer stations. Set an alarm to remind you. If you have children, call them into order at that time: stop your and their activities for a 5-minute prayer station.
It will teach them to honor The LORD, that HE+ comes before temporal activities... a valuable training! When they are old, they will not forsake your training.
.
The Prayer Stations:  Recall the time of HIS+ crucifixion, for us. Recall how the world was darkened at the noontime hour. Recall HIS+ Words at 3 p.m.: FATHER, forgive them for they know not what they do. Give thanks, give thanks, give thanks... and repent of any sins The LORD brings to mind.
.
[ Email me if you would like copies of the prayer stations we use here. They are Scriptural in nature, recalling what happened at those 3 hours. We also have worship Scriptures from Revelation. To do these stations takes less than 5 minutes, but they become anchors for your day, recalling you to CHRIST'S side every 3 hours. ]
.
>>> Set aside the 6 p.m. hour for prayer and meditation with HIM+.
.

>>>> Relate to all through CHRIST JESUS our LORD. Do not allow carnal nor simply "natural" interactions with others. Be pleasant, but redeem the time with your attitudes and words. Pray even as you interact with them.  
>>> Do what you can and HE+ will meet you there.
.
Awake, Sleeper!
.
+  +  + 

No comments: