Sunday, July 11, 2010

Awake O Zion!!

I had a post written about my current dilemmas and thoughts on "Total Forgiveness" and was planning to post that - but was just sorting through my email inbox after my week away in Spain and was reading some of Terry Virgo's most recent blogs. This post caught my eye because it reminded me of a fab song we used to sing as kids that went;

"Awake, awake O Zion - come clothe yourself with strength! Put on your garments of splendour - O Jerusalem".

The blog post of Terry's is working through the book of Jonah and he wrote;

"The church is God’s messenger to a storm-tossed world. She holds the keys to the nations. She knows the answers that everybody needs to hear. How can the church sleep while the world is agonizing with such colossal pressures? How can she drift while people’s hearts are failing on every side? Suicides, drug addiction, mindless brutality, abused children, elderly people terrified to answer their doorbells at night – what a world we live in. How can the church, God’s prophetic voice to the nations, become so purposeless and fall asleep?".

Sleep. Am I sleeping spiritually and personally? Is the church sleeping spiritually and corporately? It's not something you hear suggested very often. But if we are sleeping then who is acting as God's watchmen for the world? If we are sleeping spiritually then no wonder the prophetic is so lacking in passion and strength. The one prophetic word that we may not be actually hearing from God is;

"Wake up!".

Terry went on;

"Today, God wants you to share His anguish. ‘Look at those huge cities: London, Birmingham, Manchester …’ he’d say. ‘Their wickedness has come up before me, and I’m angry at their sin, but I love the people and long to show them compassion and mercy. Take the gospel to them. I want to display my love and power in your cities, to give them the opportunity to repent.’ Are you personally obeying God in this great commission, or have you fallen asleep?".

Waking up. Maybe that is the central word to my current situation. And the response? Terry Virgo's next blog post brings a response to that; "Help!".

"‘Help!’ That’s where you start. You don’t begin by trying to work out exactly how God might want to be addressed – ‘I beseech thee, almighty God, creator of the universe …’ You don’t begin by reviewing your own unworthiness and the various sins you’ve committed since you drifted away. There are times when urgency totally eclipses formality".

Too often Christians judge those struggling because they speak or write or act angrily. Such people are often seen as rebellious or backsliding - whereas actually could it be possible that "urgency is eclipsing formality"?

I love these next few words. These are the words of a pastor.

"‘Help!’ is a cry God will not ignore. You could be restored to God as you read these words. Why don’t you cry to him for help even now, at this very moment?".

And the next stage? Well Terry answers that in his next post; "What I have vowed I will make good".

"Jonah – far removed from God’s will, alone, tired and miserable – prayed, ‘What I have vowed I will make good.’ In that moment, as if a severed electric cable had been rejoined to its source, there was light, power, revelation and a shout of assurance, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord’ (Jonah 2:9). His declaration triggered an immediate response in heaven".

Have you (like me) forgotten some of the promises you made to God in the initial rushes of "first love" towards Him? Have you forgotten how strong you felt - how passionate you felt about reaching the lost and changing the world for God? Has constant weariness, battle and cynicism worn you down so that you (like me) have become bitter and disappointed and wondering at times whether God too has forgotten the promises He made you?

I'm ready to take a risk and hope that electric cable will be rejoined to it's source. I am so so grateful for Terry Virgo and his faithful prophetic ministry that just manages to speak to exactly where you are at.

1. Wake up!

2. Cry "Help!".

3. Remember "What I have vowed I will make good".

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