Terry R Baughman is Lead Pastor for LifeChurch in Gilbert, AZ. See his complete bio at trbaughman.com
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Awaken to Opportunities
The 2020 Awakening!
Terry R. Baughman
“Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you” (Isaiah 60:1–2 NKJV).
When we awaken we become alert to our surroundings and sensitive to our environment. In the process of awakening it may be common to be confused as to what day it is or where we are, especially when traveling and in an unfamiliar setting. It often takes a few minutes to get our bearings and become aware of our surroundings. Once we are fully awake we should be able to think more clearly and begin to make plans for the day.
Culturally it is possible to become dulled to our surroundings and drowsy with the familiarity of wickedness. Things that once were offensive become tolerated. The open expression of immoral conduct and social acceptance of that which was once forbidden become less alarming to the Christian simply because of the repetition and frequency of exposure. We become desensitized to sin and tolerant toward that which is offensive to God. We have become sleepy and our senses dulled.
It is time to awaken, to arise from the slumber of our spiritual paralysis and to acknowledge the shame of sin that pervades our society. While we may wring our hands in despair or struggle in surrender concerning the condition of our world, we must never concede defeat nor condone the conduct of our culture. Awaken to the light of truth and the illumination of the Holy Spirit to expose the corruption of sin around us. The prophet predicted that, “darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people,” but he did not stop with the doom and gloom. He went on to declare, “The Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you” (Isaiah 60:2).
Rather than looking at the negatives, and there are plenty to choose from, let us focus on the positive opportunities before us. The darker the night, the brighter the light will shine. We know that Jesus is the light, but it is interesting that the prophet said, “Your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you” (Isaiah 60:1). While we understand it is the light of the Lord, yet it becomes our light when He shines upon us! It is our time to shine. Not to bring glory upon ourselves, but to acknowledge His presence and power shining through us, bringing honor to Him. “His glory” is to be seen in us and upon us.
Paul wrote about the revelation that comes when, “the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them” (2 Corinthians 4:4). When the glory of God shines upon us we become illuminating in our darkened world. While most do not wish to draw attention to themselves it is our privilege to reflect His life and bring Him glory!
Paul said, “If our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing” (2 Corinthians 4:3). The only way for people to be saved is to see Jesus Christ in us and hear the saving gospel from our lips. Our greatest opportunity is to share the Light of the World in a culture that glorifies the dark and finds satisfaction in the shadows.
It is time to awaken to our opportunity, to clearly see the privilege we have been given to shine in the end time. We have been called by God, “that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). Awaken to the light, “a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19).
“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” (Romans 13:11).