Burn Chapter 1. Entry #1

SLEEP WALKING 

 

I’ve been waking from my sleep  

I hear you calling from my shattered dream

into Your light  

into Your love  

I’ve been listening to the rain  

Sounds like all of heaven’s calling my name  

calling me out 

calling me home 

 

     On Jesus’ last night with His disciples, knowing what was coming fast upon Him… and them… He pleads that they watch and pray. They may have given it their best, but it was after dinner and late, so Jesus keeps finding them snoring away. He needed them to WAKE UP!!! Even so, Jesus understood, the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. This basically means, your mean to is often bigger than your will do. Sometimes it is even bigger than your can do. The Spirit, the fire of God, has a way of waking us from our sleep, a way of burning through our lethargy and burning us up with passion for Him, for His purpose, for His great plan. 

     I have a close pastor friend who was renting the top floor apartment in a three tenement in Providence, Rhode Island with his wife and kid. He woke in the middle of the night; someone was yelling his name outside. He got out of bed, looked out the window; his large, hairy, shirtless neighbor was in the street screaming for him. “The house is on fire, you’ve got to get out!” My friend panicked. He woke up his wife and child, “There’s a fire! There’s a fire! There’s a fire! We’ve got to get out!” 

     As they were scrambling, grabbing what few valuables they could take with them, he remembered what he was wearing. His clothes were in the wash, so he had borrowed his wife’s pink sweat pants; they had the word FLIRT stamped on the rear end. No time to change, they fled down the fire escape out the third-floor bedroom window. My friend descended the steel ladder last. When he reached second-floor, he heard Hairy Shirtless Neighbor yell, “Jump!” Imagining that the fire must be too fierce for him to make it any further, he leapt. 

     The small gathering of neighbors, along with his wife and child, watched in shocked amazement as my friend inexplicably jumped from the second-floor fire escape. He fell like a dying pink flamingo; the word FLIRT, streaking through the air, to the cement below. There the flamingo lay, writhing on the ground, back hurt, pride shattered. Hairy Shirtless Neighbor hadn’t yelled “Jump” after all, but “Hurry up!” Increasing numbers of bystanders watched in confusion as my friend, injured back, wounded pride, and pink sweats encouraging flirtation, trotted by, riding over the shoulder of Hairy Shirtless Neighbor. His mortification worsened when he learned that the fire didn’t even reach the second floor. It was easily contained. His possessions were fine, all was intact… only his self-respect perished. 

     Perhaps, like the sleepy disciples you’ve been feeling a bit drowsy in your spiritual walk yourself. A good fire can do wonders. Fires have a way of waking you up. They get you moving… fast and furious. A fire can cause you to go out in public with pink sweatpants with romantic encouragements embossed on your behind, they can make you leap from tall buildings in a single bound… onto hard concrete. It works the same way when that fire is inside you, shut up in your bones, burning your heart. The prophet Jeremiah felt it, the Acts 2 brigade in the upper room felt it. The fire of God turned sleepy disciples into Spirit lit lamps, lighting the way for the biggest altar call Jerusalem had ever seen. Fire spreads. If His Spirit, His Word is burning within your heart, it will cause you to change, to move, and to set others ablaze.

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