Many are talking about “awakening” these days. We are praying for it. We are believing God for it. Yet will we recognize it when it comes? (Glimpses of it are already here – can you tell)?
Do you know what an “awakening” would look like?
Some think that it means there would be large meetings where almost everyone present would turn their lives to the Lord. That may be the case sometimes, but not always. Some think that street preachers would suddenly begin seeing many salvations. Maybe so, but not necessarily. Some think that TV and radio ministries would be bombarded with requests. That could be, but again not necessarily.
You see, in the 70’s and 80’s (and maybe a little before), there was an awakening – and I was in on it. At the time, it was obvious that something unusual was happening. Looking back it is even more obvious.
It was an exciting time, for sure. My husband and I both came to the Lord during that season – even though we didn’t know each other at the time.
So what was it like?
As most of us know, salvation is a personal experience. Whether we are standing in a large crowd or on a beach alone, the connection we make with our Creator is personal. God and you, God and me, God and them – one on one. Hearts desiring more of Him – and receiving His very nature. That’s awakening, but what get’s someone to that point?
If you talk to people who were a part of that great move of God, every story will be different. In my case, I had been going through some very rough waters, and knew that I needed God’s help to survive. And I had a friend, Cathy, who would drop gentle hints which were easy for a hard-headed person like me to receive. The day finally came when I laid down on the floor of my home and prayed to receive my Savior – if He was real. He changed my life forever.
My husband’s case was different. The life of a single professional – with plenty of money and lots of good times, was leaving him empty on the inside. There was something nagging at his heart, drawing him to seek more of God’s will in his life. He was ready when a friend gave him a copy of The Late Great Planet Earth. Finally he knelt at the foot of his bed, and asked Jesus to come into his heart.
I have heard many of these stories, and all of them are different. Yet there are some similarities. My husband and I – and many others – had a stirring in our hearts which lasted for awhile. There wasn’t a one-day episode; there was a season of seeking, though we might not have known what we were doing. Thoughts, questions, desires, all drawing us to want to know what life was all about – and wanting to know more about God.
In reality, God was drawing us to Him.
When the day finally came for us to make a commitment to Jesus, that commitment was total. Though we had been living very selfish, worldly lives, that moment of salvation threw us onto a trajectory which was totally new and different, and we have never turned back. Of course, we had a lot to learn, but day by day, year by year, the new course was eternal – and nothing could ever turn us back to our original paths.
Another similarity is that we – along with many others – had a close friend or acquaintance who spoke some words, or gave us a book, or invited us to a small meeting – planting seeds into the thirsty ground of our hearts. And, no doubt, those same people and others were praying for us. reaching out to God on our behalf when we didn’t know how to do it for ourselves.
There was a drawing, a seeking, and a permanent change. There was an unprecedented hunger for God’s Word and His Spirit. There was also an individual who was willing to be used by God to steer us to the truth.
During those years, there were countless stories with these similarities. In many different ways and under many different circumstances, peoples’ lives were being transformed by the power of God and by his Word.
As a result of this great move of God, many churches began to spring up. These churches were led and attended by those who wanted to experience God’s best through His word and by His Spirit. There was energetic praise and powerful teaching of the Word. There were also demonstrations of the Holy Spirit’s healing and deliverance.
Exciting times for sure!
Now as we are looking for an awakening, are we ready to be a part? Are we ready to toss seed to our friends or co-workers or pray for them as God leads? Do we realize that we have a part in this?
Oh, for sure, there will be dreams and visions and life-changing events which seem to come from God alone. Yet our God always uses the individual, because there is nothing quite as beneficial as one-on-one mentoring.
Are you ready? Am I? I pray that we are willing to listen and to obey His bidding. If we do, we have some great times in store.
One here, one there, just as the awakening of flowers in the spring, we will see an awakening which not only match the one we saw before. We will see the greatest awakening of all times.
That’s what our father has promised.
Blessings and Forever Upward!