Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. Ephesians 5:14
Heartbeat of God, page 253
I absolutely love that I get to write on Friday. I think I like it, because anything is good on a Friday, right? I feel like I have less pressure than the other writers, because we read with more natural excitement of Fridays than other days. Maybe it’s the school teacher in me, but it’s not called “FriYAY” for nothing.
I also love writing on Friday, because it means I get the privilege of wrapping up a study when we come to a close. Today, we are closing out 40 Days of Praise, and we have had such a wonderful time in the Word and with worship. Thank you, Chris Baxter, for writing The Heartbeat of God and for putting this 40-day study together for us.
At the beginning of the year, I chose a “word” for 2020. Amazingly, my word this year is AWAKEN, and the verse I chose is Ephesians 5:14. I’ve been reading this verse over and over. I’ve been asking God what He’s waking me up for. Actually, I’ve been asking Him what He means, because I didn’t think I was asleep.
What a journey He and I have been on! I want to share with you a few of His answers back to me. First, He took me to the next two verses and Paul’s words directly after the reminder to WAKE UP,
Be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity….. Ephesians 5: 15-16
God wants us to wake up and participate in His work on Earth. What a privilege! If we aren’t careful, though, we’ll make this thing too much about ourselves, and we will end up paralyzed. We will freeze trying to figure out the next 20 years and forget to own this moment with Him and for Him.
See, God doesn’t ask us to do anything that He isn’t ready and willing to initiate, strengthen, and fulfill. He wouldn’t call us to wake up if He didn’t intend to be the One to do the waking. That’s good news to me, because it means that I don’t have to have all of the answers. The One who wakens me each and every morning simply asks for me to live carefully, to look for those living awake, and to follow them. In this way, I can make the most of my days.
These are the lessons God was teaching me at the beginning of the year. Then, in March, we entered into the season of a worldwide pandemic. I don't know about you, but this whole thing feels like a GIANT wake-up call.
I'm treading lightly, and I don't want to be insensitive. I know people are hurting. Yet, I can't help but feel that our loving Father is getting our attention and drawing us back to Himself. Let's not miss it.
Look for and follow the wise.
Then, praise the One that allows us to participate in His good works!
For further reading: Isaiah 52:1-2; Luke 2:10-11; Isaiah 60:1-2; 2 Peter 3:9; Ephesians 2:5
God, You are the One Who Awakens, and I’m thankful. We don’t want to miss out on all that you are doing in the world right now. We don’t want to miss out on what you’re doing in our hearts! My ultimate prayer today is that You’ll hide us in YOU so that all we can see is Your beauty, Your abundance, and Your direction, because I believe that’s how You’ll awaken us. It will be impossible to remain sleeping when that happens. Thank you for being a God worthy of 40 days of praise (and so many more). It only takes a moment of pause to realize that You deserve every ounce of our praise and that we will live our best lives in a wide-awake awareness of YOU.