This morning I woke up with a burden on my heart for some individuals I know who say they are Christians and that they have been saved, yet they seem to be spiritually asleep. I had a burden on my heart for them and for any who are in the same situation: unconscious of the weightiness of spiritual and eternal matters. I realize that I have been in this same situation before myself. I wish someone had shaken me sooner and had awakened me so I could know even more joy in knowing and serving Jesus during those times. I hope that I wake up more even now.
I wrote in my prayer journal, “My Father, I am often burdened for those who claim to be saved but are not following you. Why aren’t they awake to spiritual realities? Why don’t they realize the weightiness of who you are and what you’ve done?”
Then, immediately afterwards, I read Isaiah 49-52. Three times in Chapters 51 and 52, God tells the people His people to “Wake up, Wake up.” I don’t think this is a coincidence. I believe it’s time to sound the alarm! I believe it’s time that we encourage each other that we confront each other to wake up! It’s time to make sure that we don’t allow each other to fall asleep spiritually! The third time that God tells His people to wake up here He says,
“Wake up, wake up;
put on your strength, Zion!
Put on your beautiful garments,
Jerusalem, the Holy City!
For the uncircumcised and the unclean
will no longer enter you.
2 Stand up, shake the dust off yourself!
Take your seat, Jerusalem.
Remove the bonds from your neck,
captive Daughter Zion.”
3 For this is what the Lord says:
“You were sold for nothing,
and you will be redeemed without silver.”
The idea here is to get rid of the wickedness in our lives and to step out of the chains that sin had bound us in. As Christians, we are no longer slaves to sin! Jesus has unlocked the chains that we might serve Him freely and out of gratitude! We were in slavery, but now we have been redeemed! It was without silver but it was with the precious blood of Jesus! He died for us! How could we live our lives in apathy toward Him? How can we live our lives like His didn’t matter?!
Church, it is time to get real! If you say you have been saved but this salvation has not made a big difference in your life, it is no salvation! True salvation changes a person completely! It makes us a new creation! It gives us a new birth! It causes us to obey God where we only desired to rebel before! The last sermon I preached was from Malachi 3. After realizing that Jesus changes everything, this message about returning to the Lord helps us to test our faith! Three questions you should ask yourself to see if you have really been converted are: Do I desire to study and obey God’s Word? Do I give sacrificially and joyfully? Do I serve God gladly with my words, time, and energy?
I am not saying that we earn our salvation or that we have to change ourselves. I am saying that if a person is truly saved, God’s Spirit, which entered him or her upon repentance and faith in Jesus, will not allow that person to remain as you are but will be making him or her more like Jesus (Rom. 8:29).
Brothers and Sisters, it’s time to wake up! The apostle Peter tells us,”Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour.” Satan is trying to make sure that you go to Hell! If he can’t have you, he will try to make sure that you don’t lead your wife, husband, children, grandchildren, parents, friends, neighbors, and co-workers to Christ so that they will be damned to the Eternal Lake of Fire. If you remain asleep to spiritual and eternal matters, that may happen! If you are saved, he will try to make sure that you don’t lead others to Jesus! Satan wants you to sleep! It’s time to wake up!