We’ve all been there, in that place where the desire to open up God’s word just isn’t there. When the service projects feel like too much of a sacrifice (or if you’re like me, sending your husband on a Saturday morning to participate in the service project while you spend another morning at home alone with the kids feels like too much of a sacrifice), and evangelizing seems not only uncomfortable but almost fake because the zeal we once had is gone. We’ve all opened up our bibles and read the promises of an abundant life, not free from trials, but full of zeal and purpose only to look at our own lives and be discouraged. We’ve asked ourselves the question, “Would I really be willing to die or go to prison for the glory of Jesus’ name?” And found the answer to be more hesitant than we’d like to admit.
I found myself at a cross roads less than two years ago, asking these questions, and facing shame laid on thick by the enemy. It was a cross roads where I looked at my life and relationship (or lack there of) with God and looked at the lives of those around me and those depicted in the bible and realized that there was more available to me.
I realized that I’d been living the “Christian” life for all the wrong reasons. I’d been making it about me and what I could offer God, how I could serve Him, when what I really needed to be focused on was Him and what He did for me. I’d grown comfortable and familiar with the rhythms and practices of Christian culture and lost sight of the heart behind it. I was trying halfheartedly to do it all on my own, and failing miserably.
Thankfully God in His loving faithfulness wasn’t content to let me stay in that place. He used my husband, a close friend, and a handful of believers who were much further along in their faith than me to call me out of the obligatory mindset and into the truth of who God created me to be and the freedom Jesus died for me to have.
In many ways He awakened my soul from its slumber and reignited the flame in my heart for Him.
thisyou 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. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.”
-Romans 13:11-14 (ESV)
I love this passage because it speaks directly to my experience a little over a year ago now. I had fallen asleep the first 3-4 years out of college. Not all at once but slowly over the passage of time, I’d grown comfortable. Even though I believed still, I wasn’t living in the fullness of life God had for me.
Last August, I felt the Lord flip a switch and wake me up. It was as if He spoke that first verse to my soul, “the hour has come for you to wake from sleep.” And just like that I was able to see clearly again, my eyes were opened, and my soul was no longer satisfied with the comfort of my routine, but longed for more. I began to long to live my life with the kind of purpose and zeal I read about in Acts and the rest of the new testament, with such force that I couldn’t help but obey. I literally felt compelled to act.
I could go on and on about how God has continued to deepen my understanding of what it means for me to truly live surrendered to Him (and I have spent a good amount of time writing about some of those lessons in these posts: Be Encouraged, Who Said That?, Enough), but what I really wanted to share with you today is how the name for our Fall women’s event came about, the heart behind the whole event, and why I hope you will join us.
I sat down one morning after meeting with Hilary the previous weekend to discuss the blog and what each of us was working on, etc. In our time together Hilary mentioned the idea of having a small event for our friends, a dinner where we would set a beautiful table, and create a space for fellowship and encouragement to happen amidst community. I loved the idea so much that when I sat down to pray about it a few mornings later I felt my spirit soar with the possibilities.
I started pinning things on Pinterest and creating this vision in my mind of all it could be. The dreamer in me came alive, and I began to pray and ask God what He would have
Immediately I realized how much both of the passages spoke directly to my own experience with a long season of dryness and even disinterest in the things of the Lord, and how as believers we can fall prey to that without even realizing it. Sitting there reading those passages with the Lord as my guide I got SO fired up.
There is SO MUCH MORE available to us.
I HATE how the enemy is so good at lulling us into this state of comfort and then piling on shame to keep us there.
I LONG with such passion to see others who find themselves in similar seasons SET FREE and commissioned into experiencing the fullness of life God has for them.
I want SO BADLY to see the body of Christ as a whole living the abundant life promised in the bible.
I LOVE when I hear testimonies of believers boldly following the dreams the Lord has placed on their heart, not out of selfishness and conceit but out of love and trust and passion for God and the life He created them to live.
There is SO MUCH MORE!!
That is what we will be discussing as a panel at Awaken O Sleeper. We’ll each be sharing from our own personal experience how choosing to say yes to God NO MATTER WHAT has set us free in the most amazing way. We’ll discuss how saying yes has made us love Him more, given us more chances to experience His power, faithfulness, and love more deeply and intensely than ever before. We’ll talk about how different it feels than where we found ourselves before, and how quickly we deteriorate on every level (emotionally, physically, spiritually) when we stop abiding in Christ.
I hope you’ll join in on this conversation with us, and even read through both passages and pray about the condition of your own heart and relationship with the Lord in the days leading up to it.
Even as a believer who’d gone on mission trips, served with zeal in the past, and truly would say I had an intimate connection with Jesus at one time in my life, I fell into the false comfort of the day to day Christian routine. Paul writes to the Romans and the Ephesians about the same things, believers who had fallen asleep on the job. None of us are immune, and we should all be on guard.
So pray with me will you? And join us at the Awaken O Sleeper event on November 3rd at 6PM. We are praying for all those who are coming/hoping to come that the Lord would make a way for you to be there and that He would touch your heart in a meaningful and powerful way.
In the words of A.W. Tozer, “I would rather have a big, little meeting than a little, big meeting. There are a lot of big meetings that are little because the God in them is a small God. And there are a lot of little meetings that are big because God is big in the midst of them.”
Our prayer is that our little meeting will be made “big” in the hands of God.