Theme of 2012 Daniel Fast : Awakening the heart.
The passion of God has been steadily growing in our hearts as we prepare for these three weeks of seeking the heart of the Father.
It is not a mistake that you found this blog; we pray that you will also find in your heart the desire to seek Him with everything you have. He has something so powerful He wants to do in your life in this special season of seeking Him. So we invite you to join us on this wonderful adventure as He awakens our hearts to His purposes in the earth.
Recently I was in Redding, California at the Bethel Church for a conference on leadership. The level of passion for the presence of God in this local church had a significant impact on my life. I have seen many places where there was passion; but it was a passion for what was DOING in the place. This was the first time I had seen a local church where the leaders had intentionally built a culture of passion for WHO God is. And having drunk from this fountain, my heart began to awake!
I have since discovered that the notion of awakening from sleep is a very strong spiritual concept clearly marked out in scripture. Even God, who neither slumbers nor sleeps, is called ocassionally to awake.
Awakening someone from sleep is not as strong a feeling as reviving someone who is dead. It is more like turning a light on in a room that is already occupied. Hence, God doesn’t need to wake up, as though He were in a state of unconsciousness. But He is awakened in the sense of bringing something to the forefront of His thinking; or turning to save, heal and deliver. When God performs a miracle for us, we might say that He has awakened His strength to save.
The Hebrew word most often used to awaken someone from sleep is akin with the idea of “opening the eye.” In the morning we might say to someone, “OK sleepy head; time to open the eyes.”
In the sense of awakening someone from a spiritual or moral sleep, the scriptures are not referring to some who is not born again. Rather it is referring to someone who has grown dull or has fallen into a state of spiritual comatose. We read the prophet Isaiah who said, “They have eyes, but do not see; ears but do not hear.” It is not the physical aspect of seeing and hearing; but rather it is the moral, intellectual and spiritual understanding and enlightenment.
The strange thing about being asleep is that you don’t realize you are asleep until you wake up! Your brain doesn’t ever sleep. When your body sleeps your brain continues certain subconscious processes which we call dreaming. The dreams we have create a kind of “alter-reality.” Our dreams can be so real that they can evoke fear, pleasure and all kinds of other emotions. When we are in a state of sleep, we “live” our dreams as though they were real. That is until we awake.
Many of us parents have run into our child’s room in the middle of the night after he’s had a “bad dream.” We reassure the child by saying, “It’s alright honey. It was only a dream!”
God is awakening our hearts out of our personal sorrows, and out of our self-induced failures, out of indifference and out of ego-centrism. He is saying to us, “It’s alright My child; it was only a dream.”
During these 21 days of consecreated prayer and seeking the face of God He is sending forth through His Spirit a crfeative word into our soul: “Wake up, oh sou; awake the dawn. Your time has come!”
He is awakening our hearts to His presence, His love, His holiness and His purposes. You may think that you already know these attributes in intimate ways already. However, I want to challenge you to ask God to awaken you to another level of understanding. During these twenty-one days, God is awakening the heart!