blogs about awakening
Wow! Have you ever experienced anything like what we are going through now? Restaurants, movie theaters, sports facilities, schools, colleges, and our churches all closed! And it all has happened so quickly!
Fortunately, we can rely on the fact that this doesn't take our Sovereign Lord by surprise. Nor does it stop our prayers to Him, prayers that we know He hears.
Like many of you, we have been faithfully praying for revival and spiritual awakening for many years. There have been times I have been led to pray, "Lord, if your Church needs a wake up call--even if that call is painful--bring it on!" No way could I have foreseen this as a possible way for God to answer our prayers.
Now, I don't like pain any more than you do. But, we desperately need revival and spiritual awakening! And let's face it: we don't typically change our course in life unless we become uncomfortable with the way things are now.
You can see the same pattern throughout Scripture: when God's people lose their first love of God, God brings discipline in an attempt to bring them back. But if they don't respond to His discipline, while He is slow to anger, He will ultimately bring devastating judgment. Folks, He's clearly talking to our nation! But will we respond? I pray so!
I think God gets tired of our assuming that "real Christianity" is just putting our time in at church every week, throwing a few bucks in the offering plate, and otherwise just trying to be "nice" as we pursue what we selfishly think is really important in life.
My friends, Jesus gave His all for you and me. After we accept His free gift of salvation, He asks us to give ALL of ourselves to Him, to hold nothing back, to love Him with ALL our heart, soul, mind and strength. Not just "sprinkle a little Jesus" on top of the other interests in our lives that we consider of greater importance than Him and His Kingdom.
Since He put an end to our church attendance for awhile, as we sit in our homes, what will be our response? Like C.S. Lewis's comment at the top, It's high time to BE the real deal: our families, our relatives, our neighbors and our friends need to see Jesus Christ in and through us.
What will that take? Five things:
1. Daily reading the Word of God. Not just to check off the block, but first to ask God to show us, by His Spirit, what He wants to say to us. Then read it, alert to His word to us today.
2. Daily communicating in prayer with our Lord. Be IN His presence. As someone said, "Pray until you pray." Linger with Him, telling Him your heart, but also listening to His heart for you.
3. At least weekly engaging in life-on-life fellowship with other believers: "And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near." (Hebrews 10:24-25). While you can't go to a church building, you can still meet with small groups of believers to help you and them deal with your blind spots. Feel free to meet as couples and/or families, but same gender gatherings can also help us be especially vulnerable and real. In many ways, this could be far more life-changing than merely going to a big church gathering and checking off the block: "Done!"
4. Being consistently filled with the Holy Spirit. Daily confess any known sin of pride, self-pity, fear, lack of faith, etc., and pray to be re-filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18)
5. Being ready to give away your faith to those who don't know Him or have back-slidden and need to come back. Here is a helpful tool to sharing the Gospel. The fields are white unto harvest, but the laborers are few. Pray for more to go gather in the great harvest! And join them yourself!