Sunday, January 15, 2012

Post # 17 - AWAKENING

Two thousand years ago, the Apostle Paul penned the following words to a young Grecian named Timothy:

Don't be naive. There are difficult times ahead. As the end approaches, people are going to be self-absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting, stuck-up, profane, contemptuous of parents, crude, coarse, dog-eat-dog, unbending, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, treacherous, ruthless, bloated windbags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God (2 Timothy 3:1 in The Message).

The earth has always been a dysfunctional planet to live on. The first couple we know of, Adam and Eve, had two sons. One of the sons, Cain, murdered his brother, Abel. Even the first earthly family was marked by great tragedy and disappointment. They were unable to achieve the idyllic life they hoped for.

With the passing of time the world is more and more shattered and needy. Watch the evening news: murders, rapes, sexual crimes, nation warring against nation, lying politicians, corrupt governments, poverty, starvation, neglect … watching the news is a depressing experience.

For this moment, for this hour … Awakening

Almost like a hypnotic state, most of us are lulled into an inner numbness by all of the horrible things that we hear or see on a daily basis. It’s like the cares of this world and the pursuit of material things choke the life of God within us (See Mark 4:18-19). We work hard at preparing ourselves to get a good job, to earn enough money to provide for our families, to have a decent home to live in, and seek a fulfilling life. But more often than not disappointment and failed expectations are our lot in life. We can’t get the job we want. We lose our job. One of our children goes through a crisis of some kind. Marital difficulty and pain chips away at the joy we search for. Illness and accidents rob us of our physical health. Mortgages foreclose. We suffer great losses.

In one of the oldest books in the Bible, Eliphaz counseled Job:

The hot temper of a fool eventually kills him; the jealous anger of a simpleton does her in. I've seen it myself—seen fools putting down roots, and then, suddenly, their houses are cursed. Their children out in the cold, abused and exploited, with no one to stick up for them. Hungry people off the street plunder their harvests, cleaning them out completely, taking thorns and all, insatiable for everything they have. Don't blame fate when things go wrong — trouble doesn't come from nowhere. It's human! Mortals are born and bred for trouble, as certainly as sparks fly upward (Job 5:2-7 The Message).

Holy Spirit, we desire … Awakening

I’ve had the privilege of being able to travel to five of the planet’s seven continents. In the last few weeks’ people have visited this blog from places I’ve never visited. Today there were more visitors from Moldova (30) than the US (21). People also visited from Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Georgia, and Cambodia.

Some nations seem better off than others. Many people groups are more family oriented and relational than the US. This makes them more attractive to live in. But even the people who take more time to slow down and smell the roses, and aren’t as driven as the industrialized west, experience incredible brokenness. 

Like the rising sun that shines, from the darkness comes a light, I hear Your voice say … This is my awakening!

I sense we are in the end times (the last days preceding the return of the Messiah). Even if you don’t share this belief, you’d have to admit that we’re in the midst of very difficult times where the people of all nations would greatly benefit from a spiritual awakening. It’s like the advice Paul gave to the church in Rome:

But make sure that you don't get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed. We can't afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours in frivolity and indulgence, in sleeping around and dissipation, in bickering and grabbing everything in sight. Get out of bed and get dressed! Don't loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about! (Romans 13:11-14 The Message).

A while back I came across a song by Hillsong of Australia. I spent some time worshiping God through this song this morning and experienced a closeness with God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit that refreshed my parched soul. I wanted to share it with you.  I’d love to hear your feedback on how this worship song impacts you, especially from those of you who live in the countries I mentioned earlier.

I hear Your voice say … This is my awakening!

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