I’m convinced that we are in the last days and that the Lord’s return is very close. Jesus predicted in Matthew 24 of pestilences and this worldwide pandemic clearly fits as the day of His second coming approaches. God is using this virus with a three-fold purpose: revival , awakening and outpouring. Last week I shared about revival; this week I’m writing about awakening.
Awakening from spiritual death: Ephesians 2 says the lost are “dead in transgressions and sins” (vs.1). That’s why the Bible says with some urgency: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you” (Ephesians 5:14).
This is the time when many, worldwide, will turn to God. Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). He also said, “I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:11).
It’s been said, “The glory of God is man fully alive.” Now is the time to share with those who need to be awakened spiritually. God is the One who will bring them to new life, but we must share God’s grace and gospel with them.
Awakening from spiritual dullness: the story of the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane is a good illustration of spiritual dullness. Jesus is about to be sacrificed for the sins of the whole world. He asks them to watch and pray for Him. But they couldn’t stay awake with Him even for one hour. When they do finally awake, it’s too late. They were totally unprepared for what they were about to face. Jesus told them what they needed to do to prepare, and they were too dull spiritually to do what He said.
The core problem is that many of us have allowed our lives to get in a rut. We have settled for a life of apathy and indifference. God’s not in control, our activities are in control. Jesus tells the church at Ephesus, “You have left your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen. Repent and do the things you did at first” (Revelation 2:4-5).
Awakening from spiritual deafness: this is the ability to hear God and do His will. The problem is our ears are filled with so much noise from the world that we don’t hear the voice of God. Jesus said, “My sheep listen to My voice … and they follow Me” (John 10:27). But hearing His voice takes regular quiet times of prayer and listening.
The Bible says, “The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber…let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:11-12).
The Lord is bringing an awakening. The psalmist said, “I will see Your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness” (Psalm 17:15).
Rev. J. Patrick Street is Lead Pastor at Redeemer Church, Marion. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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