Thursday 20 September 2012

Joel 3:7-9 « “See, I am going to rouse them out of the places to which you sold them, and I will return on your own heads what you have done. I will sell your sons and daughters to the people of Judah, and they will sell them to the Sabeans, a nation far away.” The Lord has spoken. Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare for war! Rouse the warriors! Let all the fighting men draw near and attack. »

Joel was a prophet who God raised up to speak to the His people living in Judah at a time when the northern tribes of Israel had become extremely corrupt.  It is likely that Joel prophesied shortly after the time of Elijah and Elisha, putting him at the school of the prophets at that time.

If the northern tribes were completely dead, Judah was quickly falling asleep, despite the repeated calls from the prophets.  So the LORD “awakened” His prophet Joel and sent him to awaken the people of Judah.

In verse nine of this text we read, “Prepare for war!  Rouse the warriors! Let all the fighting men draw near and attack.”  The word rouse literally means “to awaken.”  This speaks so strongly of the child of God who is at ease, enjoying life, while his spiritual armor gathers dust in the closet.  He is involved and occupied by all his many activities in life; but the warrior inside of him has fallen asleep.

His prayers rarely go beyond the, “God bless me today.”  The worshipper inside is asleep; the disciple inside is also asleep.  Just as it was in the time of Joel, war is on the way, but the warriors have fallen asleep.

Friend do you really believe that we will change the world while being so casual in our faith?  If we pray so little for our neighborhood, our city, our nation, should we be surprised when God does so little to save it?  When we can find the extra money for a large screen TV but have to cut back on what we send to support missions around the world, isn’t that some indication that we’ve lost sight of what is important in this life?

When we can find the time to watch a sports game with our buddies and do a little extra shopping for that pair of shoes, but we don’t have time to pray with our children, and are too busy to pray as a married couple, haven’t we fallen asleep?  When we are willing to work those few extra hours to make a little extra cash, but can’t help out at church to move along a project, haven’t we lost sight of the purposes of the kingdom?

Did God really promise us that if we surrendered to His plan for our lives that everything would be easier?  Does the Bible promise that persecution will only visit those who live in foreign lands?  Did God just install a spiritual mircrowave for western nations while allowing all the other peoples to languish with unfulfilled hope?

My friend, I know that life can be tough at times.  I know there are a lot of people suffering.  But this is NOT the time to fall back asleep.  This is the time to awaken the warrior within; it is time to hear the trumpet of God calling for all the valliant men and women to step up, get on their knees and intercede for their nation.

God is arousing you today, my friend, to seek Him as you have never sought Him before.  He is arousing within you the warrior, the worshipper, the lover, the disciple.  He has sent you His prophets, and He has poured out His blessings; He has healed your heart; He has blessed your lands.  But now, it is time to wake up, and get out of bed.

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