“Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.” Romans 13:11
Our nation and society are in big trouble! As our people have been squeezed more than any other time in recent history, societal cracks and weaknesses have become exposed. Much that has been hidden has come to the surface. Every area of society has been impacted in the last year. Homelessness, fatherlessness, financial strife as businesses have been forced to close, racial and political strife and the totally abysmal effects on education are just a few of areas that have been shaken.
In many ways this global crisis took us all by surprise, especially the community of faith. We were asleep on the watch and largely had no clear response about what to do about it. Our biggest concern was how to keep our church services going as the modern church model revolves around the weekly productions we call church services. Most had no solutions to the needs that have arisen out of this time.
Lethargy easily set in during the early months as people were strongly encouraged to shelter in place. Binge watching of Netflix series became the normal response for most. What else could we do to pass the time of being shut in. A feeling of powerlessness blanketed many, and the response was to shut down and hope it would all quickly be over. Now a year later we are facing the educational, economic and political fallout of this difficult season with no clear end in sight.
It’s time for us to shake off this slumber and begin to realize that we are not powerless and there is hope for a better tomorrow. Romans 13:11 says, “Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.” Many have taken this difficult time and made it the most productive and fruitful time of their lives.
A pastor in Broward County told me at the beginning of this year the he proclaimed over his church, “2020, the best year ever!” He was able to say this because this crisis brought his church together, focused their vision and activities and bore more fruit than ever before. Lives were deeply impacted by a powerful response by God and they have gone many weeks experiencing a sweet and powerful visitation of the Spirit in all of their services. Another pastor in Ft. Worth, Texas told me his church adjusted to the conditions of the pandemic and has prospered more than ever in the last 30 years. Pastors have come together in unity and many say they don’t want to go back to the way things were before the pandemic. They have found more success in individual discipleship in this new season.
The world today needs an awakened church! The world doesn’t have answers to the pressing problems of the day and for that reason many live in fear and confusion. The church…The Body of Christ…has access to the Heavenly Father who has the answer to every problem known to man. It’s time to wake up, shake off the powerlessness, seek God as never before and become vessels through whom God can move to meet the needs of society.
In John 10:10 Jesus spoke of “the thief that comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” That thief is Satan who orchestrates the world system. He has come to rob, kill and destroy more than I can ever remember in my lifetime. He has used this time to divide and conquer through political and racial strife. Our enemy is not those of the other political party or another ethnic background. “Our adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour,” 1 Peter 5:8. “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places,” Ephesians 6:12. If you don’t believe there are a devil and demons at work then it is easy to see your neighbor as your enemy. You must wake up!
If we will awaken from our spiritual slumber in this hour it can be the greatest time in human history. We must take a stand against the wicked plans of the enemy and seek opportunities to bring reconciliation whenever possible between political and racial groups. We don’t always have to be right, we do have the responsibility to bring understanding and healing. If we operate in the opposite spirit of the enemy, then we will cancel out his efforts. If the church would truly come together in faith-filled intercession, this pandemic would be over immediately by God’s mighty hand. In John 10:10, Jesus finishes the verse by saying, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Let’s be His representatives here on earth so that His will be done. There is hope for a better tomorrow but He is waiting for us to awaken and to work with Him to bring change.