Wake Up! Wake Up!
Isaiah 52:1 Awake, awake! Put on your strength, O Zion; Put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city! For the uncircumcised and the unclean shall no longer come to you. Shake yourself from the dust, arise; Sit down, O Jerusalem! Loose yourself from the bonds of your neck, O captive daughter of Zion!
Zion sometimes fell asleep with disastrous consequences. Zion is the place where God chose to put His name. Similarly the Assembly of God that His Son Jesus the anointed king is building is the place where God has put His name. When the church sleeps the enemy comes in.
When we go to sleep, it is usual to undress. Especially if one was a soldier with heavy armour and equipment. When one sleeps it is normally assumed that it is safe to do so. It is never safe for the body of Christ to sleep.
Romans 13:11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of (the) light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
At night, before sleep is the time when folks are most likely to indulge in various excesses. Having worn themselves out with these excesses they then fall asleep. This is disastrous for those called to walk with Christ, putting Him on daily.
The Lord Jesus Christ is our only strength. When we wake up we should cloth ourselves with Him, that we do not be naked and vulnerable to the attacks of our enemy, Satan.
Exodus 15:1 Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to the LORD, and spoke, saying:
“I will sing to the LORD, For He has triumphed gloriously! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea! The LORD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; My father's God, and I will exalt Him. The LORD is a man of war.
What or Who is our strength? It is not any skill set hat we might possess. It is not good habits or a certain way of behaving. Our strength comes from the Lord Jesus the Christ because He is our strength.
Judges 6:11 Now the Angel of the LORD came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites. And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him, and said to him, “The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valour!” Gideon said to Him, “O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the LORD has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.” Then the LORD turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?” So he said to Him, “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house.” And the LORD said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.”
Gideon was not acting like a mighty man of valour when the angel spoke to him. He was hiding for fear of the enemy. He was not going to be changed but the Lord was going to be with him and the presence of the Lord would be his strength and the source of victory.
2 Samuel 22:33 God is my strength and power, and He makes my way perfect (complete}. He makes my feet like the feet of deer, and sets me on my high places. He teaches my hands to make war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your gentleness has made me great. You enlarged my path under me; So my feet did not slip. I have pursued my enemies and destroyed them; Neither did I turn back again till they were destroyed. And I have destroyed them and wounded them, So that they could not rise; They have fallen under my feet. For You have armed me with strength for the battle; You have subdued under me those who rose against me. You have also given me the necks of my enemies, so that I destroyed those who hated me. They looked, but there was none to save; Even to the LORD, but He did not answer them. Then I beat them as fine as the dust of the earth; I trod them like dirt in the streets, and I spread them out. You have also delivered me from the strivings of my people; You have kept me as the head of the nations. A people I have not known shall serve me. The foreigners submit to me; As soon as they hear, they obey me. The foreigners fade away, and come frightened from their hideouts. The LORD lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let God be exalted, the Rock of my salvation! It is God who avenges me, and subdues the peoples under me; He delivers me from my enemies. You also lift me up above those who rise against me; You have delivered me from the violent man. Therefore I will give thanks to You, O LORD, among the Gentiles, and sing praises to Your name. He is the tower of salvation to His king, And shows mercy to His anointed, To David and his descendants forevermore.
The Lord Jesus is not our strength so we can simply relax in that knowledge. He is our strength so that in Him we can wake up, get up, stand up and wage warfare against the enemy – Satan, and prevail.
Psalms 18:2 The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies. The pangs of death surrounded me, and the floods of ungodliness made me afraid. The sorrows of Sheol (the grave) surrounded me; The snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry came before Him, even to His ears.
We can run to the Lord Jesus the Anointed King and hide in Him for protection from all the attacks of the wicked one.
Psalms 37:39 But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; He is their strength in the time of trouble. And the LORD shall help them and deliver them; He shall deliver them from the wicked,
And save them, because they trust in Him.
Salvation is not like a pill or medicine that we take to cure all that ails us. Salvation is of the Lord Jesus Christ – Christ that is in us is the Hope of Glory.
Luke 22:45 When He rose up from prayer, and had come to His disciples, He found them sleeping from sorrow. Then He said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.”
Although it was late and the disciples of Jesus had had a long, tiring day; this was not the time that they should be sleeping instead of praying as Jesus had asked them. But due to sorrow – Jesus telling them that He was going away – they give way to sleep. When we go through a time of sorrow we can be most tempted to just go to sleep, to switch off.
2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
The strength we can put on is not natural, of our flesh. We cannot get it from books, from our thoughts or our ways. It comes from putting on the Anointed One – Jesus the Lord.
Galatians 3:26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Through the grace of God leading us to repentance; through being washed from our sins by being baptized into the name of Jesus the Christ; we are baptized into Christ Jesus and are clothed with Christ through receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. This is our strength, our shield, our salvation, to be clothed with the Christ.
Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
The weapons of our warfare are not carnal as our enemies are not of the flesh either, but wicked spiritual hosts in the heavenly places. But God has given us access to all the weapons we need to fight this enemy. The ultimate purpose of us waging this war is that the mystery of the good news might be made known through the preaching of those sent by Jesus Christ; By which means many may be saved.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Let us awake and look to Jesus, our strength, our shield, our fortress, our deliverer, our ever present help in time of need.
Colin Thompson, Gateshead, England.
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