The Joy of Awakening
I am not a morning person. I struggle to release my bed’s embrace each morning. No matter how bright the sun outside or how loud the commotion around the house, I’m a bump on the mattress and immovable by mortals. I’m a lump of clay molded asleep by unseen hands and pressed down by the same. Pillows support me and covers wall me in. All the while I refuse to open my eyes to end my stint in the temporary grave. Because I know once those lids crack, the spell of sleep breaks loose. Not completely, mind you, but it at least loosens.
When I finally get up, I loosen the chains more with an energy drink, like a Bang or Reign, whichever as long as it’s cold. See I’ve never been a coffee drinker and only drink the stuff with friends. And the caffeine in Coke to me isn’t much stronger than the carbonation is. So with my eggs and bacon, I swig fruity, fizzy Rainbow Unicorn. And my eyes finally open.
I’m calmer now after the drink than while getting out of bed. See, while getting up I have anxiety about facing the day, with its troubles and injustices, inconveniences and petty arguments. But while drinking my Melon Mania my brow relaxes for a while. My frown neutralizes and my dimples reappear, though more as a suggestion since I’m yet to really smile. That’s when I turn to my phone for my morning dosage of memes and forums. A lol here and a lmao there keep the psychiatrist away, I always say. It’s a kind of joy, I guess, before I let the day just happen to me.
At least I’m awake, right?
There’s a story of Elisha the prophet in 2 Kings 6. At the time, a nation called Aram would plan attacks against Israel but each time God would reveal to Elisha the armies’ location. Elisha would then warn his own king to avert defeat. Pissed, the King of Aram demanded Elisha be captured one day, so his armies surrounded the city Elisha was in.
“When the servant of the man of God got up early the next morning and went outside, there were troops, horses, and chariots everywhere. “Oh, sir, what will we do now?” the young man cried to Elisha. “Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!” The Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.” (2 Kings 6:15-17 NLT)
I feel like I’m still asleep when I see the world around me, my sleep-deprived eyes only aware of satan’s armies surrounding us. Because I still see peoples oppressed, injustice rampaging, and death of all varieties by human hands. Evil still exists. Yet God’s word tells us all the powers, governments, and rulers of the spiritual world have been neutralized and conquered. What am I missing? Am I looking in the wrong place, or am I still asleep?
“I look up to the mountains— does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth!”
Psalms 121:1-2 NLT
Mountains used to be symbols of divine power, places where only gods dwelled and humans did not. Think Mount Sinai where God descended to give the Law to Moses. Think Mount Olympus with its pantheon. The latter were broken and sad beings posing as God. Those supposed gods were creatures that throughout history gave legitimacy and power to pharaohs, kings, and caesars in the eyes of the Earth’s people. Yet God crushed those gods and goddesses at the event of the Crucifixion. God wiped clean Mount Olympus and all other mountains, stripping satan of any glory he’d stolen for himself and for his demons. And Jesus and his army come from a place higher than any mountain to save us, just like in Elisha’s time. In Revelation, the book that unveils Jesus to us, we read:
“Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war. His eyes were like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns. A name was written on him that no one understood except himself. He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his title was the Word of God. The armies of heaven, dressed in the finest of pure white linen, followed him on white horses. From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will release the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty, like juice flowing from a winepress. On his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords.”
Revelation 19:11-16 NLT
Yet I have to ask, why do I still see the pharaohs, kings, and caesars—along with their oppressive power, injustices, and evil judgments—still crawling all over the Earth like dirty roaches? Perhaps, I reason, I’m not fully awake if my eyes are not yet opened. Because once those lids crack, satan’s spell breaks down. Let’s explore what this all could mean.