This week, I am praying for awakening because this God that we are dealing with, He is a fierce God. Several nights ago, I sat in my basement praying against the brute force of a tornado. None of my friends hardly cared about the tornado signs, however, my heart was racing because He was speaking. It is nothing new to know that He awakens us to different things at different times. For me, it was on saturday night at 11:35 pm with a tornado siren. I ran to scoop up Carter and Michael grabbed Collins. We hustled all the way to the basement, holding our breaths. We forgot a bottle so Michael ran upstairs to grab one, knowing that a tornado could hit at any moment. The details become big in the face of fear.
From the instant the siren went off, I started praying, “Oh God, protect. Oh God, relent. Oh God, have mercy.” Never have I been more desperate for Him; holding so closely to my babies – understanding all to well, I have made them my own, and not His, because when His power hits there is no denying an Almighty God.
While huddled on the couch, my insides practically could have been on my outside, everything was aching so much, and I hurt. I really didn’t care about any of our things; but the people – all the people – I cared about them.
I moaned out prayers. Literally, because when you are faced with the power of God, you stand still and cry out to Him. I couldn’t think straight after that, the siren turned off and God had mercy on us. I made Michael stay downstairs for a while longer so we could continue to pray. I was rattled and nothing had settled in my soul. Still nothing has settled because He spoke about His power through that tornado – the brute force of who He is.
We, the church, are staying in bed while the sirens are going off. All around us, shrills are piercing our ears, and we are choosing our comfortable over the necessary. Being brave shouldn’t be a choice anymore, because our nation is face-turned away and ISIS is attacking 9-year-olds and 25 babies were killed today in my city. The homeless have no home, their are hungry stomachs that are our neighbors and people without ever knowing love. How dare we be so limiting of a God that sends tornadoes? The most powerful force, we have limited to a Sunday morning; I am actually disgusted with myself.
He is not a tame lion, Church. He sends tornadoes and earthquakes and parts Red Seas. How dare we be such a fearful people?
And so I spent time on my knees Sunday morning in repentance. To the very big God I have made entirely too small. And because of this view of a small God, I have become small with it. I would spit me out of my mouth if given the choice, too.
So how do we get with the program, Church? How do we wake up? How do we get out of bed?
We repent and we repent and we repent before God and then we go and shine like the Noonday sun. The earth is aching for a love-drenched Savior and we get to bring Him – powerfully, magnificently and fearlessly – to others. Isaiah gave this same warning to the people – I can’t even summarize it well enough – so, instead, I hope you read the whole thing:
“Cry aloud; do not hold back;
lift up your voice like a trumpet;
declare to my people their transgression,
to the house of Jacob their sins.
Yet they seek me daily
and delight to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that did righteousness
and did not forsake the judgment of their God;
they ask of me righteous judgments;
they delight to draw near to God.
‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not?
Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’
Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure,
and oppress all your workers.
Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight
and to hit with a wicked fist.
Fasting like yours this day
will not make your voice to be heard on high.
Is such the fast that I choose,
a day for a person to humble himself?
Is it to bow down his head like a reed,
and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him?
Will you call this a fast,
and a day acceptable to the Lord?
“Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up speedily;
your righteousness shall go before you;
the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you take away the yoke from your midst,
the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
if you pour yourself out for the hungry
and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness
and your gloom be as the noonday.
And the Lord will guide you continually
and satisfy your desire in scorched places
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters do not fail.
And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
the restorer of streets to dwell in.
We are a people who are fasting and going to church and looking to heaven and wondering why we are not seeing the very power and utter authority of our God. And I see God, in Heaven, being held back by our own hands, because we are choosing our comfort, so He is choosing not to listen.
Silence. The weight of silence. And we are cupping it in our own two hands.
We must begin to get out of bed and do something. We must become God-bringers everywhere. This means forsaking parts of us and choosing more of others. It means fighting for justice. It means pointing the finger back at ourselves and not at everyone else – including our government. It means sharing our bread, undoing the yokes, satisfying the afflicted. It means loving extravagantly and unleashing the power of God.
But instead we are too busy arguing within our church and our denominations and we are letting the enemy win. We care more about having our opinionated voice heard in our small groups than making sure stomachs are full and people feel they even have a voice. We care entirely too much about ourselves, church. We move from our comfortable beds to our comfortable churches, and all I can say is that —
I have spent my time repenting. And I know I will have to repent again. But now I know the power of God. He has shown me it in His Word, and I felt it in my basement. I unleash the power of the Holy Spirit. I am willing, God, to live untamed, unafraid, and fearless bringer of You to the ends of the Earth.
I pray that you would join me, too — let’s see God be unleashed.