Awakening Happens Suddenly and Slowly

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January 18, 2018

Ezekiel 37:7

So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone.

CONSIDER THIS

Awakening does not happen all at once. It comes in stages and grows by degrees. We like to reference the contrast of night and day while forgetting the similarities of evening and morning. Still, evening and morning are two quite differing phenomena. Just as night falls by the slow descent of the sun beneath the horizon, morning breaks well before the sun makes its appearance over the land. Remember, darkness comes slowly and by shades well after the sun itself disappears. Sunsets leave a brilliance of slowly fading color, leaving us with a last and even nostalgic remembrance of days gone by. Darkness comes by a slow fade. Morning rises by a slow growing light and at the right moment, the sun breaks the horizon with the luminosity of a thousand blazing fires.

There are always many more people to gaze at the sunset than those who gather to await the sunrise. Many who seek an awakening make the mistake of asking the Lord to, “do that again,” longing for the return of days gone by. Sunsets give us a self-satisfied gratitude for the day past but they do not increase our anticipation for the next sunrise.

Bones do not appear until after the long slow rot of decomposition. It takes even longer for bones to detach and dry out. Why do we think everything will come back together in response to a few prayerful meetings? In this age of technological wonder, where everything is immediate, have we come to believe we can flip the switch on awakening? There’s a seductive form of revivalism that believes if we do a, b, and c that God will be forced to do x, y, and z. After all, that’s how it worked before. Right?

Wrong. To sow for awakening means coming to the sobering awareness that God owes us nothing and there’s nothing we can do to somehow get God in our debt. The Lord is searching for a generation of sunrise people; those whose hearts are completely his—come what may—and who have the audacity to be forerunners of the morning, the courage to awaken the dawn.

THE PRAYER

Sovereign Lord, only you know if these bones can live. It is in your hands and yet we will not cease crying out to you. We know you aren’t looking for some kind of fervency in the form of our prayers. You are looking for your own broken-hearted love for lost generations to rise up in us. Let that be the measure of our fervency. Lord Jesus, awaken your broken-hearted holy love in us that we might be part of that sunrise generation on the horizon. For your sake and in your name we pray. Amen.

THE QUESTION

  • Are you more of a sunset person or a sunrise person?
  • How do you understand the difference when it comes to sowing for awakening?
  • Where do you hear even the faintest echoes of that rattling sound bones make when they are starting to come back together?
  • How about your Band—are there signs of awakening emerging among you?

If you’re interested in getting this Daily Text series in book form, you can pick up Awaken: From Dry Bones to the River of Life from our store here.

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J.D. Walt, is a Bond Slave of the Lord Jesus Christ. jd.walt@seedbed.com.

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Farmer. Poet. Theologian. Jurist. Publisher. Seedbed's Sower-in-Chief.

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