Sunday, April 1, 2018

Come Awake!


I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately. I’ve also been doing a lot of procrastinating. Frankly, I’ve known God wants me to do something and all I’ve been doing is making excuses. That, my friends, is blatant disobedience. For that, there is no excuse.

Oh, I could give one reason after another why I haven’t followed through. But I even have a reason for my reason; it’s an excuse. And an excuse is just a lie, disguised as a reason. Ouch. So, for that, Lord, I’m sorry.


The truth is, every day we are attacked in one way after another. The enemy of our souls has asked to sift us like wheat. Lately, much of that has looked like death to a good number of us. Some of us have lost family, and friends. Therefore, our focus has turned to the tragedy, the loss, the grief, and overwhelming sadness.

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.” –Luke 22:31-32 (NLT)

I’m not diminishing it one iota. It’s all overwhelming sometimes. But as I started to write this it was just a few days before we celebrate Easter, and it was raining. For days. Thinking back on why we celebrate this occasion, I’m reminded of what Jesus went through just before His crucifixion. I can’t imagine the weight He must have felt. Nor can I imagine the confusion, sadness, and heavy feelings the disciples must have felt. Then again, maybe I can… just a little. While I’m feeling quite a bit sifted myself, I also have hope and an excitement building.

We often focus on the problems in our lives…maybe a little too much. In so doing, we have allowed a drought to take over our minds. This is exactly what the enemy wants to happen. If he can get us to believe we are dried up, shriveled, useless, then he can prevent us from growing. Remember, whatever we sow, that we shall also reap (Galatians 6:7). Therefore, if all we speak are negative things, if all we do is focus on the bad things that have happened, or are happening in, or around, our lives, that’s exactly what will continue.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.” –Proverbs 18:21 (NKJV)

I had put my writing down for a couple of days, and now here it is, Easter. The rain stopped for a while and the sun came out. You know, we celebrate Easter because, although Jesus went through probably the worst death anyone could go through, He came back to life. He rose again. People… Jesus. Got. Back. Up. He’s alive!


That in itself is cause for celebration. As I sat in church and listened to my pastor’s message, I began to realize that the message of the cross; the death, burial, resurrection, is more than just that. It’s not just about salvation. It’s about life! It’s about healing. It’s about forgiveness. It’s about renewal, safety, love, grace, mercy, abundance. It’s about everything because it is everything.

Maybe that’s confusing for some. But look at the cross. It’s so much more than just a tree. There was a t-shirt I saw once that stated, “Jesus beat the devil with a big, ugly stick.” It’s kind of funny when you read it, but ponder that for a minute. The cross wasn’t just about Jesus dying and coming back to life. The cross, while it is a big, ugly stick, is also the source of our healing, salvation, even our very lives. Once we see that, it changes everything.

So, this Easter (and really every day) is, and should be, so much more than we can imagine. Therefore, no matter what you’re going through, grab onto the cross, heave it up, over your head, and declare victory over every aspect of your life!

“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].” –John 10:10 (Amplified Bible)

The devil (the thief), may be trying to sift us, attack us, or destroy us, but we have the upper hand because of Jesus. Once we grasp this very truth, we become a force to be reckoned with. We need to come awake and pay attention. The devil wants to keep us from becoming who we were meant to be. He wants to prevent us from encouraging and helping others. The devil actually wants to keep us from discovering who we really are. But, he cannot win because he has already been defeated. More than that, because of Jesus, WE WIN… and not just a little. We win BIG!

“No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” –Romans 8:37 (NLT)




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