Wake Up!

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Wake Up! - a Christian wake-up call

I watched the woman’s eyes begin to droop as she nodded off, open book still in her hands. Before I knew it, she was snoring softly right in the waiting room chair.

I envied her ability to drift off so easily. My eyes were still feeling the effects of the optometrist’s dilating drops, so I couldn’t indulge in my normal waiting room activity, which is reading.

As I continued watching people walk in and out, taking care of business, the privileged few with normal pupils perusing books and magazines contentedly, I was surprised to hear heavy breathing to my right. I turned and looked, and sure enough, the man next to me had also drifted off to sleep.

I thought this was more than a little comical. Perhaps this is a typical occurrence in a quiet waiting room early on a cloudy Monday morning.

I started to wonder what these people were passionate about. What would’ve kept them awake? Was the woman’s nap a sign that she had made a poor choice in reading material? Would the man have slept if his wife had been next to him, chatting about the church potluck next Sunday or how hideous her sister’s new couch was? What would’ve captured their attention enough to stave off their slumber?

As my imagination warmed up, I wondered what would lure them away from their dreams. What would prompt their eyes to open? What would propel their bodies from their leather chairs?

Would they wake up if I started talking to them, acting as though I was unaware of their snooze-fest?

What would happen if I shouted “FIRE!”?

Or stood up and exclaimed, “Hello, Mr. President!”?

Or shot a gun at the ceiling?

What if a baby started crying?

Or someone started cutting their hair?

In my mind’s eye, I began to concoct a scenario in which they slept on no matter what beckoned for their attention, and no matter how urgently.

I daydreamed that amidst the rumbling chaos of explosions blasting and the building imploding, they remained fast asleep.

Ludicrous, right? Something would have to be seriously wrong with these people in order for that to happen.

Dare I say they might even be dead?

Before too long, I sensed the Holy Spirit nudging my memory with some pertinent Scripture passages in which Christ-followers are urged to wake up.

A Christian Wake-Up Call

“For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.” I Thessalonians 5:5-6

“Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.” Romans 13:11

My waiting room experience gave new meaning to these verses. Because really, I kind of think many of us are just like the man and woman sleeping.

You see, we’re in the “waiting room,” anticipating the return of our Savior. But it’s not a get-comfy-with-a-book-and-maybe-even-fall-asleep kind of waiting. It’s a “pick-up-your-cross-and-follow-Me” kind of waiting (Luke 9:23). And I’m pretty sure Jesus didn’t mean “Follow Me in your mind with what you say you believe.” I think He meant “Get up and do what I did when I was right where you are.”

But I’m afraid we’re not passionate enough about the Christ-following life to stay awake. And we’re not fervent enough about the people and the needs and the Spirit beckoning for our attention.

We’re living in sobering times, friends. Thankfully, Romans 13 goes on to offer some valuable guidance for those of us who want to stay awake:

1. Love one another. Waking up involves showing love to one another in intentional and unmistakable ways. Even when someone gets on your nerves. Even when you might get hurt. Even though they might not deserve it. Choose to show love to all of your fellow Christ-followers.

2. Cast off the works of darkness, which include “orgies and drunkenness, sexual immorality and sensuality, quarreling and jealousy.” Many volumes could be written on these alone. Carefully consider each one. Are you engaging in “sensuality” – those things which appeal to your senses rather than your spirit? Are you prone to quarreling? Do you struggle with jealousy? What other “works of darkness” does God bring to your mind? Cast them off and pursue personal holiness.

3. Put on the armor of light. Armor is the garb of one who is prepared for action. Just as you wouldn’t wear armor to bed, you ought not claim to be Christ-following when everything about your posture, your environment, and your attitude reveals that you’re really just comfortable.  

4. Walk properly. Do what you should be doing, and don’t do what you shouldn’t be doing. How do you know what these things are? Dig into God’s Word for your battle plan!

5. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Clothe yourself in His righteousness by receiving the gift of salvation. Then “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” every day as you abide in Him (John 15:4), commune with Him, and emulate Him.

6. Make no provision for the flesh. Refuse to play footsie with those things that tempt you. Don’t yield to the lie that says you can play with fire and not get burned. Submit yourself to God – body, mind, and soul – and resist the devil (James 4:7).

Do you sense the Lord rousing you to wake up? Why not post Romans 13:10-14 in a visible spot in your home? You might even devote time toward memorizing it. Click here for a free printable of a graphic featuring this passage. 

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Did this post strike a chord with you? I realized not too long after publishing it that I missed a critical aspect of this discussion! You can read it by clicking here.

 

 

Want more encouragement in your Christian walk?

My 30-day devotional, Drawing Near: 30 Days Toward Intimacy With God, is now available on Amazon! Drawing Near 3D cover

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8 thoughts on “Wake Up!

  1. Leah Adams

    Jennifer, this is so timely for me. My small group is doing Beth Moore’s study “children of the day”, based on 1 and 2 Thessalonians. Paul urges the Thessalonians to stay alert and be ready. It is a clarion call for Christ-followers in 2015, as well. My mind has been taken with world events and the rise of ISIS and other terror groups who are targeting Christians. We must be alert. We must be ready to stand for Christ. Our brothers and sisters around the world are faced with persecution every day. It is coming to the US, and we must be prepared. Blessings, friend.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Clarke Post author

      Your thoughts echo my own, Leah. I, too, believe intense persecution might just be heading our way. We would do well to take advantage of the freedom we have while we still can, strengthening our own faith and spreading the gospel far and wide. May He grant us alertness and determined focus like never before!

      Reply
  2. Tammy

    Jennifer, thank you for this reminder to “wake up!” Sometimes we can drift off in our walk with Christ, I know I can. We need to be ready and walk in action with the truth we know.. I love the little printable you made, so cute. I will try to commit this to memory.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Clarke Post author

      Hi, Tammy, and welcome! We’re living in tough times, perhaps only to grow more intense. I pray our God finds us ready warriors and faithful stewards. Thank you for stopping by!

      Reply
  3. Rebeca Jones

    This is so good, Jennifer. It brings to my mind a powerful song by David Crowder, ‘Come Awake’. We are all called to open our eyes and be awake in Christ.

    Your points here on how to accomplish this are practical and clear. I love the printable too! Thank you for this thought-provoking post.

    Grace and peace to you!

    Reply
  4. Hortense They

    The church indeed needs a wake up call to many issues. What you have written touches on an upcoming episode we will air on our site later this summer. The Lord is coming soon and I wonder how many of His children are truly conforming to the image of Christ, walking in Christ, totally sold out to His desires and prepared for what they will face. We are in over 130 countries and it’s amazing how many from foreign lands (outside the USA) are under severe persecution, searching for Christ with all their being and finding Him in ways the church here knows little about. From India I have a Pastor friend who oversees 300 churches. So many young people there receive Christ with such depth ,they accept the mission field very quickly, leaving home, family, everything to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost and are being murdered for the faith. They have something we do not. Not only a revelation of the times in which we live, but also an unselfish love for souls. As Christ Jesus did, they lay down their lives. It’s something to think about as we comfortably fill the pews and then simply live our lives without total commitment to the Gospel. Name of our upcoming episode is “Sold Out”. If you are interested you can sign up on our site, http://www.drandmrsthey.com and you will be informed when it airs. It’s all absolutely free.

    Reply
    • Jennifer Clarke Post author

      It wouldn’t surprise me to see persecution heading our way, Hortense. I’m even mindful of this as I train my children. We talk about persecution in the world (appropriately, according to their maturity level); we memorize Scripture; we talk about prayer and not being afraid and building a strong faith through a real, living, breathing relationship with God through Jesus Christ. As far as the blog goes, I’m passionate about urging people closer to our Savior, because when we draw near to Him, He changes our perspective in the way only He can, precisely in the ways we need. How good He is to do this for us! Thank you for sharing about this vital topic, and for letting me know about your ministry. I pray that your influence expands for the glory of God. Blessings!

      Reply

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