Our hike required a heightened awareness of my surroundings, including my children. The same is true when I think about the fact that Jesus is coming back. I cannot think of a phrase that more powerfully calls us to wake up than that. This phrase calls us to repentance, to growth, to commitment to see others come to know Him, and to a deep joy at what is to come. These four words draw us, comfort us, and challenge us. The call to wake up, though, indicates that, in some ways, we are asleep. How easy is it to steer clear of the very challenges that will draw us closer to Him and to our purpose?
Romans 13:11 says “And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.” Looking into the surrounding verses, we see the actions Paul intended for us to take include “putting off the deeds of darkness (Rom 13:12)” and “clothing ourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom 13:14).” Likewise, the church in Sardis was warned to wake up and repent, and that if they did not, He would come like a thief (Rev 3:2-3). Revelation 16:15 mirrors these two sections of Scripture so well: “Look, I come like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.”
Scripture upon scripture prods us to stay awake while the world around us increasingly tries to lull us back to sleep. I’ve been connected to this idea of awakening since 2020, when I chose the word “awake” for my word of the year. That year’s experiences, like the hike above, woke me up to fears I was mingling with faith and to things I couldn’t have learned about my children or myself without experiencing some turbulence. If we allow ourselves to be lulled to sleep, we won’t make it where He wants to take us.
Being awake is life giving, but not without its fair share of challenges. I know well the desire to check out for a moment of “peace.” But what if we didn’t? What if we didn’t check out but rather stayed awake and kept moving forward? As we start this time of fasting and prayer, let’s seek Him and what He wants to awaken in our lives.
“Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6 (NIV)
Devotionals by Author
All Abby McDonald Alexa Gearhart Angi Morrison Anna Bearden Anne Say Audra Powers Breanna Faith Spearman Brenna Kurz Brittany Marlow Caroline Hultgren Courtney Filippin Dana Schaefer Danielle Biddy Debbie Burns Heather Kenny Jannetta Cox Jessica Parker Jess Ridgeway Joan Lavori Katelyn Wilson Katie Gibson Kelly Orlowski Kerri Barfield Keryn Stokes Kristen Williamson Laura Pendley Lindsay McNeely Lonette Baity Martha Rudolph Nancy Ehlinger Renee Robinson Saretta Wells Tara McGill Taylor Watkins Tierney Nashleanas Wendy Gerdes