Rom 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
There are two messages that stand out from my devotional reading in this past week. In fact, these two themes have been front and center throughout the recently completed three days of prayer and fasting that our church has undergone. The first of these messages is on the need for vigilance.
The call to wake-up and assume the positon of a watchman kept coming in church meetings as well as in dreams, visions and impressions that people were having. This is not a coincidence but rather a warning for us to shake the shackles of apathy and indifference. The world around us is shaking in the realm of economics, terrorism and natural calamities. Have you been able to sense the spiritual tremors taking place? What does this mean to us as believers? Here is what I am sensing in my spirit.
There is the expression that fish like to bite when the waters are troubled. Are we preparing for the harvest that is at hand? The Bible speaks of gross darkness that will come upon the world but there is also the glory of God that will shine forth. (Isa 60:1-2) Are we heeding the call to be labourers in his vineyard? Do we have the needed capacities to facilitate the anticipated influx of souls into the kingdom? The parable of the great net speaks to the mighty harvest to come in the last days. It also suggests a limited window of opportunity in being able to maximize the harvest. (Matt 13:47-50) We need to be prepared and ready for what is coming.
There has also been the sobering call to build up the walls of protection around our homes, church and nation. The example of Gideon comes to mind when he fought against the Midianites. The quality of vigilance and alertness is what distinguished his army of 300 men from the original 32,000. It is clear that God puts a high premium on those who are watchful. The parable of the ten virgins can also be applied in this context. (Matt 25:1-13) One other example of vigilance is seen through the ministry of Nehemiah. He functioned at a time when the enemy was actively engaged in trying to stop the work; a scenario very similar to what is seen today. He had the ability to keep the work going while maintaining vigil against potential attacks from their foe.
Neh 4:16 And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah.
Now is not the time for sleep and slumber; a wake-up call is resounding throughout the church requiring a response.
A second message has been strongly impressing upon my spirit as well. It is the wake-up call to break free from the world’s system of conformity.
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God
Have you noticed how the world seems to be morphing from reality into a virtual world? Take a look around and notice how enraptured people are becoming in their use of mobile devices. Their device is becoming their world and it helps set the plate for conformity to the medium of today’s destructive culture. It is one thing for this to be happening in society; but what about the church? Is it possible that the church is becoming virtual as well? The values we esteem and uphold are being redefined through a daily conditioning process which seems to go unnoticed. There is an inculcating of values that seeks to redefine right from wrong, how to live and how to act. Resistance to this message makes one a target before the newly employed cultural police.
Let’s insert today’s modern means of conformity into the days of Daniel to find some helpful perspective.
Dan 3:7 Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of musick, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
Everyone in the kingdom conformed to the cry of the herald and bowed before the image; everyone except three non-conformists by the names of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Their decision to stand apart from the masses resulted in a death sentence. God miraculously delivered them due to their testimony. The price of not conforming to the modern day culture is a costly one; will we stand true or dance to the tune of the modern day pied-pipers? Daniel and his three friends were vigilant and intentional in their relationship with God. They were men who chose to be defined by God’s divine plumb line rather than be drawn into the hypnotic allure of Babylon and its message.
The Bible warns the church of the last days to come out of Babylon and not be conformed to its ways. (Rev 18:4) It is more than just a church or city it is a system. Like Nimrod of old, this system is drawing people into its web of conformity; the church is not exempted. There is a very strong cry sounding forth to wake-up and discern the hour. There is a great opportunity before us as a church with the mighty harvest at hand. There is also a strong warning; it is time to wake up with a seeking to conform to God and His ways.