Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A GREAT AWAKENING

What do I mean by a great awakening? I’m talking about what Paul describes as a revelation and enlightenment: “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power” (Ephesians 1:17-19).

Paul was telling the Ephesians, “I pray that God will give you a fresh revelation, that he’ll open your eyes to the calling he’s given you. I’m asking him to give you new understanding about your inheritance, the riches in Christ that belong to you. There is a mighty power God wants to unleash in you. It’s the same power that was in Jesus. Yes, the same power that is in the enthroned Christ in heaven is in you right now.”

According to Paul, “[God’s mighty power] which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,” is the same “exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe” (1:20, 19). For this reason, Paul exhorts, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith” (2 Corinthians 13:5).

How are we to examine ourselves? We do it by measuring ourselves against the awesome promises of God. We’re to ask ourselves: “Do I draw on Christ’s resources to resist the devil? Do I access his power to overcome sin? Do I live continually in the joy, peace and rest Jesus has promised to every believer without exception?”

Your personal “great awakening” comes the day you look at your life and cry out, “There has to be more to life in Christ than this. All my plans have unraveled, all my dreams have been shattered. I’m living as a slave to my fears and fleshly lusts. But I can’t do it any longer.

“I know the Lord has called me to more than this defeated life. And I won’t be a hypocrite. Oh, God, is there actually a place where you’ll supply me with strength to live victoriously? Are you really willing to make me more than a conqueror in my trials? Is it true you’ve provided a place of perfect peace for me in the midst of my battles?

“Is it really possible for me to have continual intimacy with you? Is it true I don’t have to slide into apathy anymore or struggle to please you? Is there actually a place of rest in you where I’ll never again need revival, because my faith remains steadfast?”