A golden harp plays soft music as the fearsome giant sleeps nearby. Jack creeps toward the harp. Reaching the table, he grabs the harp and darts for the door, eager to get away with his prize. “Master, Master,” the harp cries out.

The sleeping giant awakens. Full of resolve to regain his treasure, he pursues Jack across the verdant valley and toward the beanstalk.

Most people like stories about giants, including the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. Often, the “giant” is a metaphor for something else, such as a challenge, or a difficulty that must be overcome. Most fairy tales and folklore portray giants as bad characters, with strength and determination matching their great size.

In reality a “giant” lives inside each of us. Not an evil monster with malevolent intentions, but the giant-like potential for spiritual awakening, a religious experience involving a realization and increased sensitivity to a divine dimension of reality. This veiled capacity contains both a napping ability rivaling Rip Van Winkle and the powerful potential to pursue the object of its desire with furious determination.

Being spiritual beings, every individual is designed to commune with God. At the dawning of our spiritual awareness our spirit bore witness of the existence of the Divine Creator, alerting us to our great need for Him. When this sensitivity is fully awakened and cultivated, we can worship God in a way that touches His heart and positions us to receive His loving reciprocation.

Personally, I’ve found that times of genuine and sovereign visitations of the Divine don’t occur in my private or corporate worship as often as I would like. There have been times in my life when passion and longing for God led me to prolonged periods of deep intimacy with Him. In these times, my heart, mind, and soul were filled with awe, reverence, adoration, and devotion. These intimate encounters not only changed me, but also filled me with first-hand knowledge of the Lord.

I yearn for more regular occasions of deep worship.

Perhaps by surveying your spiritual life, you’ve uncovered an inward dissatisfaction. Possibly you’ve found your quiet times with God lack power, intensity, and passion. A desire for more increases in urgency, demanding to be appeased. Or maybe you enjoy nice one-on-one moments with God, but you too hunger after a deeper union—a keener sense of connectedness to the Living God.

God wants us to draw near to Him and to commune with Him. So, why do we not enjoy a sustaining intimacy with God?

We fail to connect deeply with God because we neglect to properly develop spiritual consciousness.

Arrested spiritual development occurs for many reasons. Many distractions draw our attentions and vie for our affections. Some may be legitimate activities and good deeds, but they serve to halt the pursuit of deeper spiritual matters. Others may be horribly wrong and extreme wastes of time, talent, and energy. When we do lift our heads to assess our schedules and priorities, we find that we are far removed from where we thought we were headed.

Diffusing Spiritual Awakening 
We involve ourselves in ministries, participate in sacraments, and dutifully perform spiritual disciplines, but fall short of experiencing increased spiritual perception. We are busy doing, giving, and attending, but fail miserably at knowing and being known. We’re superior in the externals, but inferior in the internals, largely because we diffuse our initial spiritual arousing. We stifle our spirit’s cry for more in several ways.

·        Misidentifying the Need

·        Accepting Counterfeits

·        Settling for Less

·        Ignoring the Hunger

·        Lacking Intention