Blessed Is The One Who Stays AWAKE!
Paul L. Garlington
 


“Behold, I am coming like a thief. BLESSED IS THE ONE WHO STAYS AWAKE and keeps his garments, lest he walk about naked and men see his shame.” (Rev 16:15)

The blessed one is always enjoying prosperity, well-being, contentment, fullness of joy, and pleasures forever more. The absolute assurance of such an estate belongs exclusively to the One who STAYS AWAKE. On the mount of transfiguration, “Peter and his companions had been overcome with sleep; but when they were fully awake, they saw His glory...” (Lk 9:32) If we would say, along with Moses, “I pray Thee, show me Thy glory!”, then we must also be fully awake. To be awake means to be aware and ever alert to the truth that God is One, all, besides whom, there’s none else. To this end, the scripture says, “Yield now [mg., know intimately the living God who is all in all] and be at peace with Him; thereby good will come to you.” (Job 22:21)

The analogy of the coming of the Lord, good, to the way or method of the thief is simply a reminder to us that we should not sleep as others do (i.e., succumb to the belief in two powers), but we should be ever vigilant and sober. No thief will ever call your house to say that he’ll be over at 12:15 a.m. to steal you blind. Of course not! No self-respecting thief would even countenance such an absurd proposition. There may not be any honor among thieves, but they do have their reputations to consider. As the thief always comes without warning, so also will be the manifestation of the ONE who said, “Is there anything too wonderful for the Lord?” Hence, Jesus admonished His disciples, “You too, be ready; for the Son of Man(-ifestation) is coming at an hour that you do not expect (i.e., think or suppose, hence the futility of trying to predict the time that your good will be revealed).” (Lk 12:40)

The simple, albeit, extremely important message is not just to stay awake and aware, but let this be your lifestyle. Jesus called this “way” of living abiding. We are abiding continuously, with joyful celebration, in the consciousness of, “It’s All Good.” Heaven is wherever God is and do you know of any place God is absent? Should you feel privy to such astounding intelligence, how do you reconcile the report of God’s alleged absence with His omnipresence? Moreover, wherever God is present, so also is perfect everything in superabundance. How, pray tell, can anything but joy, peace and continuous celebration characterize such a joyful, yea even, enviable state of existence?

In the modern day vernacular, the one who is fully awake would be described as, “Bright-eyed and bushy tailed,” alert and ready for action (i.e., to embrace with joy the good as it is manifested); ready for anything; wide awake; prepared for any opportunity; vigilant; sharp; active. This expression, dating from at least the 1930s, alludes to the seemingly attentive behavior of squirrels, chipmunks, and other animals that display wide eyes, quick movements, and a high degree of energy. The expression is usually used in reference to those people who rise in the morning wide awake and ready for the day’s action or to those who are attentive, energetic, and prepared for any situation. (Picturesque Expressions: A Thematic Dictionary, Second Ed.)

The pervasive belief in two powers, in stubborn, yea even, arrogant denial of the One God who is the only power, has caused darkness to cover the earth and deep darkness the people. This state is often described in spiritual literature as being asleep. However, I would hasten to encourage you not to cave in to despair. Isaiah said, “The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them.” (Is 9:2) The leavening influence of the truth that glorifies the One true God is irresistible. It will not return empty without accomplishing what God desires and succeeding in the matter for which it was sent. (Is 55:11) Many will awaken from their spiritual sleep and exclaim, like Jacob of old, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it...How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of Heaven.” (Gen 28:16,17)

How do people pray who have fallen into spiritual sleep? Like Adam, they always locate God as an entity separate and extremely distant from themselves and their situation. Moreover, they are totally convinced that their plight is due entirely to the strange absence of divine activity from their life by the allegedly benevolent Being. Hence, they pray, “Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord; awake as in the days of old, the generations of long ago.” (Is 51:9) Do you see it? Their position, to put it mildly, is that God is the one, who in fact, is asleep. And they, being awake, must somehow arouse the slumbering deity. Isn’t this strangely reminiscent of Elijah on Mount Carmel who mocked the foolish worshippers of Baal when he said, “Call out with a loud voice, for he is a god; either he is occupied or gone aside, or is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and needs to be awakened”? (1 Kg 18:27) They had forsaken the omnipotent, omnipresent ONE that never sleeps or slumbers, for a “god” that needs to be aroused, yes, even motivated to act on their behalf. What is the word of the Lord to those who are sound asleep, but dreaming they’re awake? “Rouse yourself! Rouse yourself! Arise (wake up), O Jerusalem.” (Is 51:17) It is impossible for God to ever be asleep. Infinite consciousness, awareness of being that changes not, is the eternal, indestructible nature of the One in whom we live and move and have our being. “When I awake, I am still with Thee.” (Ps 139:18) Therefore God is not only saying wake yourself up, but if indeed you are ready to return to Me with your whole heart, I’ll show you how to become fully awake.

“Awake, awake, clothe yourself in your strength, O Zion; clothe yourself in your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city.” (Is 52:1) All those years of slumbering in the belief in two powers has left us naked, ashamed, and bereft of the glory of God which is our true covering. “The man and his wife (i.e., before they imbibed the knowledge of good and evil, belief in two powers) were both naked (innocent) and were not ashamed.” (Gen 2:25) Having exchanged the truth (the glory of the One God, besides whom there is none else) for a lie, we became “streakers”, walking about naked, ashamed and laden with guilt. But again I say, do not despair. The undeniable sign that you are already stirring out of your deep spiritual sleep caused by the belief in good and evil is your commitment to count it all joy. Having conceded that only One power is possible, operating omniactively, all is well. The joy of the Lord is our strength and we clothe ourselves in this awesome garment of power by boldly and triumphantly declaring, “Since God’s omnipotent life is the life that I am, I am strong! In God’s presence is fullness of joy! Therefore, since I am the presence of the power and the power of the presence, joy unspeakable and full of glory is my daily experience.” Do you see it? To concede with great exultation that God, good is all in all is the way we put on strength.

Having clothed yourself in your strength, you should encourage yourself daily by being ever mindful of the fact that only those who have arisen from sleep can actually begin to get dress. Let us now complete the outfit by putting on our beautiful garments. Don’t worry at this point if at times you still feel a bit drowsy. Again, I would hasten to encourage you by reminding you of the fact that only those who are awake can even recognize and experience the drowsy state. You must, nevertheless, be persistent. Remember, when Peter and his companions were fully awake, they saw His glory. Until we are all fully awake, we are doomed to the condition that Paul described as, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Rom 3:23) We do not deny that sometimes we can all be rather sluggish, dull and listless in our response to the appearance of lack that so terrified us when we were spiritually asleep. This drowsy state, however, must always be met with an absolute, unshakable resolve that says, “NO! A thousand times NO! Returning to the sleep of separation from God, good is simply not an option!” “I will sing, yes, I will sing praises! Awake, my glory; awake, harp and lyre, I will awaken the dawn!” (Ps 57:7b,8) The days of my sleeping are over! I have had it with the night! I will arise and command the morning and cause the dawn to know its place.

Like the priests of the old covenant who drew near to God to serve the Lord with gladness, clad in garments of glory and beauty, we also when fully awake and fully clothed will realize that we have not only shaken off the drowsiness, but the curse, the chains of slavery, and the poisonous vipers as well. This is our Jubilee in which we have received a garland (beautiful garments) instead of ashes; the oil of gladness (the joy of the Lord that is our strength) instead of mourning; the mantle (garment) of praise (ascribing greatness to God alone) instead of fainting (weakness, weariness), so we will be OAKS of righteousness, the planting of the Lord (always bearing abundant fruit in season), that He may be glorified. (Is 61:3)

How blessed is the one who keeps his garments by staying awake to the truth that there is only One God, one power working omniactively, and nothing else is or can be going on but what Infinite Being is being and doing. Everything else is but the illusions of a vain imagination created by a mind filled with futile speculation. Rouse yourself! Wake yourself up and stay awake! It has often been said that eternal vigilance is the price of freedom. In order to guarantee the realization of this grand purpose, David said, “I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore, my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;...” (Ps 16:8,9a) In other words, David maintained a state of continual awareness of God, good as all there is. Or, as Jesus said, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow (remember, Judah, i.e., praise, shall plow. That is, ascribe glory exclusively to the One God) and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” With your attention focused steadfastly on God, good as all there is with great rejoicing, I assure you that before you know it, “Whoomp—There it is!” These blessings must overtake you for the blesser and the blessed are One.

“Be (i.e., permanent state of being) dressed (i.e., in garments of praise and in garments of glory and beauty) in readiness (i.e., awake, alert, ready to receive the good that always manifests suddenly), and keep your lamps alight (i.e., joyfully challenging every appearance of something not good by relentlessly conceding all glory to God).” In other words, while we do concede that our days are often fraught with appearances that contradict the truth, we still delight to concede that God is all, ascribing with joy, glory, honor, presence, power, and intelligence to God alone. As we persist in this daily practicum, our lamps shine so brightly that not a shadow of doubt, fear or uncertainty remains anywhere in our world. Confident that this too shall pass (i.e., all contrary appearances), we have learned through the observance of our daily practicum to be still and know I Am God. We are, “Like men who are waiting for their master (i.e., as opposed to watching the appearance to see if and when it leaves) when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door to him (the manifestation of good in our life experience) when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master shall find on the alert (awake) when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them.” Clearly this is the manifestation of the good word that you decreed, proving that it could never return to you as a barren or unfruitful word. Hence, the very strong admonition of Jesus: “Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third and finds them so (awake, dressed, and ready to open the door when the manifestation knocks) blessed are those slaves.” (Lk 12:35-38)

Perhaps at this juncture, you might be stirred to ask, “Just how blessed is this man who stays awake, alert and dressed?” Jesus said to Peter, “Truly I say to you, that he will put him in charge of all his possessions.” (Mat 24:47) Do you see it? Nothing but the joyful discovery that all that the Father has is ours can be the glorious estate of the man who stays awake and keeps his garments.

It is time. It is time to arise and shine for our light has come. The truth of God being the One and only power is the light that has illumined our darkness and nations shall most assuredly come to the brightness of our rising. Knowing beyond shadow of doubt that the whole earth is full of His glory, hence it is all good, it is absolutely mandatory that we embrace a new lifestyle based upon doing all things without grumbling or disputing. All things came into being by this One power who always looks at everything He has conceived, calling it good and very good. Everything created by God is good (and there is no other creator) and nothing is to be rejected, for we acknowledge only one power, presence and mind in operation that is infinite good. Therefore, in everything, we rejoice, resisting nothing because God, good is in all, through all, to the glory of His great name. We realize that whenever we think we see something to grumble, complain, or dispute about, our quarrel is exclusively with God and constitutes prima facie evidence that we have forsaken our faithfulness and returned to the slumbering state of belief in two powers.

The legendary power of “open sesame” (i.e., any marvelously effective means for bringing about a desired result, Random House Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary) is ever available to the blessed one who stays awake and keeps his garment. It is he who says with authority, “Open the gates, that the righteous nation may enter, the One that remains faithful.” (Is 26:2) “The sound of joyful shouting and salvation is in the tents of the righteous; the right hand of the Lord does valiantly.” (Ps 118:15) Is it starting to come together for you now? Because of one’s commitment to God, truth and the celebration of it’s all good, there can be nothing in his tent (dwelling, habitation), but the sound of joyful shouting. This is always followed by the sound of salvation and the demonstration of the right hand of God doing valiantly. Obviously the awake one never followed the herd to complain based upon imagining a vain thing. WAKE UP, STAY AWAKE!

“And this do, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation (the freedom and liberation that you so greatly desire) is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand.” (Rom 13:11,12a) Those who are awaking from their spiritual slumber, even though they still appear somewhat lethargic, know in their hearts that the God who will help them when morning dawns is the same One who functions as them and commands the morning and tells the dawn its place.

Are you awake yet? Do you actually believe that there is anything that can compare to the glorious liberty of the fully awake sons of God? If not, rise up, even now; shake yourself and loose yourself from the chains. You have seen all of your enemies for the last time. IT IS TIME!

 
 

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