I didn't get it. I was taught right from wrong, good from bad. I'm the son of a preacher and I was raised in a solid Christian home from day 1; but I didn't get it.

            I went to school and got a degree. I got a job, then bought a house and a car, and I very rarely ever miss a day of work; but I didn't get it.

            I consider myself to be a nice person and for the most part treat people the best that I can; but I still was not getting it.

            Something was missing. I was so far off. No, No..I was completely missing the mark. I was stuck in this mindset that seems to be quickly becoming the norm for Christianity as we know it.

            You may have heard the definition of insanity said to do the same thing over and over expecting different results...well that was me. I was expecting to go about my life doing things the way I wanted to. To do what I thought was best, and when necessary, or out of shear desperation, I would ask God to be a part of it.

            And that is the problem that so many face today. We've put God in a box. Or even more-so, that box is what we call church. We think that's where He belongs. But could we be anymore wrong?

            A horrible trap that we as Christians get caught up in is sticking to the “norm”, whats comfortable, because it's “the way we've always done it.” And what I mean is, that if we assume that showing up on Sunday’s and Wednesday's and running our “in-house” programs is cutting it, in what we have been called to do, then let me ask you this...How much fruit is being sown?

            Now please don't get me wrong here. I don't say this to criticize because remember what I said to begin, I DID'T GET IT. And I still don't understand it all. So this message is for everyone in this room, myself included. But it's a message worth hearing and taking to heart because it's not me who wrote these word but by God grace I'm just doing my part.

            The problem with doing things the way we have always done is that it doesn't require faith, and to be honest, those programs , the order, and fun little games we think are essential to services and meetings probably don't even require God to show up. Are you following me here? What I'm saying is that too often us as humans try to take the control of telling God how things should be run and that leaves no room for His Spirit to come. So what are we there for? An inspiration pep talk and some songs that we enjoy?

           What does it mean to truly become Awake? The word Awake can be defined multiple ways but the term in which God intends is one that requires actions. To become active; that is a verb. It's not just a simple little word. You see, I can come out of my sleep and just stay in bed but to truly become awake, my feet have to hit the floor and move.

            If we are going to “Be the Church” then we have to be ready to let faith be faith. If I choose to sit in my favorite pew week after week and be content with that, then it's honestly all just been a waste.  Our weekly gatherings should number 1, be for giving God the glory and praise that He deserves and then for equipping His people to scatter and grow. Not just for our own needs and a cool rock and roll show.

            When you've accepted Jesus and said I will follow you, you're also accepting the call that's been given, what The Bible calls our Great Commission. Go! And make disciples of All nations. Yes, that means including our own!

            So when you begin to sing, “Spirit lead me where my trust is without border,” then your feet had better be ready to move because otherwise your just creating a false mood. 

            And when you “Go down to the river to pray” pray big Bold prayers that take Crazy Faith.

            And if you tell Him that He is a “Good, good Father” it had better be that same attitude of thankfulness when your life seems to be at it's lowest because out of our weakness He can display His Majesty.

            Please keep in mind that “The same power that rose Jesus from the grave, lives in us so as we welcome Him in and say “Holy Spirit you are welcome here” expect the supernatural hand of God to cast out all fear.

            Because this life as Christians isn't for those looking for an easy way to Heaven. This is for the Bold, the Courageous, and those willing to put everything at stake.

            So please don't wait any longer. Please don't hesitate. It's time to BE the church. It is time to become AWAKE!

Israel Lopez