Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wake Up from the Dream

I woke up early one morning with a startling dream still hanging in my head. The hazy afterimages danced through my thoughts like a parade. It all seemed so real and so intellectually sound that I began to relate the dream to my wife. The longer I talked the more awake I became. When I was fully cognizant, the dream sounded so foolish that we both simply laughed at its audacity. It’s wonderfully amazing how the clarity of being fully awake dispels the phantasms of foolish dreams.

Do you recognize how real the things of Christ are in comparison to the things of this world? In relationship to the eternal, this world is nothing more than hazy, dream-like thoughts that will be dispelled when we are fully awake. Paul told the Corinthians, “So we fix our eyes on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18). Why, then, do some believers in Christ hang onto the things of this world with such tenacity? It’s as if the world, which is temporary, has more power over our thoughts than the world that is eternal—not unlike how a dream controls the thoughts of the dreamer until they are fully awake.

So what can you do?

The first thing to do is to wake up. Ephesians 5:14b, “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” As long as you’re spiritually asleep, you will never have any greater awareness than a man who is stuck in a dream. It was only when I woke from my dream that I had the opportunity to increase in clarity.

The second thing to do is to draw near to Christ. “But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away” (2 Corinthians 3:16). Just as I talked with my wife about my dream, and became more aware of how ludicrous the dream was, so when you speak with Christ about this world, the more you find clarity about how things really are. You need to speak to one who is fully awake to find clarity for yourself—and that is, ultimately, Christ.

The third thing to do is to live in reality rather than the dream. “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above and not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:1-2). If the greater reality is Christ and eternity then it stands to reason that the greater life is to live for Christ and that which is eternal.

How do you know the difference? It all comes back to God’s word. The Bible is God’s conversation to lead you out of the twilight of the world and into perfect clarity, and total wakefulness, in Christ.

Rev. Michael Duncan