Tuesday, April 28, 2015

It's Time To Wake Up

About eight days after Jesus had said this, he took Peter, John, and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem.
Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, 'Master, it is good for us to be here.'" Luke 9:28-33a
Can you see it?? I love this passage of scripture! Oh, to be one of the three men who got to see Moses and Elijah and be with Jesus as they "discussed Jesus's departure." Do you wonder what they talked about? Were they encouraging the Lord, knowing what He was about to face?

The section beginning in verse 32 really grabs my attention:
Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw Jesus's glory..."
Have you been there? I have.

The past two years I feel like I've been waking up from a long slumber. I've been "very sleepy." But, as He has relentlessly pursued me, my eyes have begun to open. Streams of light are starting to peek through the slits of my eye lids.

And I am seeing His glory.

And, let me tell you, saying, "it is good to be here" is the understatement of the millennium!

The second half of verse 33 is Peter finishing his thoughts to Jesus...
Let us put up three shelters--one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah. (He did not know what he was saying),"
I believe that in his exuberance and grogginess, Peter was so excited and so READY that he presumptuously suggested the altars.

I love that God's Word contains these little bits of insight. How many times I've run at the mouth to glorify things that were never meant to be on par with Jesus.
While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. A voice came from the cloud saying, 'This is My Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.'" Luke 9:33b-35
My pastor recently explained that the meaning for the word "listen" in verse 35 means "listen to obey."

The Lord was telling these men not only to hear Jesus out (and shutty their mouths with their foolish ideas), but to obey what He said.

Here I stand, guilty as charged, when it comes to listening and running off half-cocked with my brilliant ideas.

The Lord has had to gently remind me more than once to listen...and then obey.

Interestingly, James (a different James) 1:22 mirrors this same concept:

Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." 
So what was so terrible about Peter's suggestion to build altars? After all, the Old Testament is filled with stories of altars being built to the Lord. Commentary suggests that the Lord interrupted Peter because Peter was focusing on the wrong thing. He was in awe (understandably) at what he'd just witnessed (plus, half asleep), and was probably looking to prolong the experience a little longer. He wasn't focusing on the right thing: Jesus and the enormous sacrifice He was about to make.

How many have been there?

I'm raising my hand.

Sometimes, I am so moved by the Lord, so knocked over by Jesus that I jump up and dash off to do something. In my zeal, like Peter, I miss the point. I totally skip over the crux of the matter...Jesus.

In my crazed desire to commemorate or pay homage to Jesus, I miss what He's actually saying and the very important fact that it's all about Him--not me.

My ideas may be good--and even well-intentioned, but if I'm not listening fully--and obeying--it's not pleasing to God.

Have you been there? Are you there now? Are you so ready to do something, but maybe you're not listening fully? Not obeying?

Or are you still asleep?

If you're still asleep, friend, let me gently nudge you awake.

There is absolutely nothing like having your eyes wide open and being awake before the Lord.

If you're starting to see light stream through sleepy eyes, may I suggest that you sit and listen? Chances are, your excitement and the vigor may supersede your reason in that moment.

And if you're listening? Follow through with obedience.

That is sometimes the hardest of all.

Doing when it's all our idea and seems right and good to us (like Peter's altar idea) is great, but obeying when it's scary, unknown, or outside of our comfort zone is another thing.

Here's to all the Sleeping Beauties out there...may the Lord awaken you with Sonlight streaming through your window.

And may you listen and obey.

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