I pray everyone has enjoyed the New Year of 2012; God has some amazing things in store for us! One thing to know about me is that while I do my best to not jump on the bandwagon and using the “in” words in Christianity, this is unavoidable it seems as now as of Jan 2, 2012, many are singing, praying and speaking of awakening. As I fore mentioned that I have been praying and seeking God on this since Thanksgiving when he brought to me this subject and began opening it up to me. Before we dive in on this let me stress that in this series when I speak of “awakening” and of “revival” they are two separate events, though while similar in nature, awakening is the spiritual forerunner that always produces revival. In the past, these words have been used interchangeably but I believe that is because they naturally flow together but God has made it clearly separate. Feel free to disagree but this is how I am approaching it. Awakening, in my opinion, is the steps preceding revival and has three stages. Each stage builds on top of the other and rolls over into the next so don’t isolate these steps for they always overlap but I believe the distinction between the stages is clear. Some places in this country are already in the latter stages but rest assured it is here and growing!
In this post we will cover the first stage of Awakening and that is repentance in mass driven by prayer and a lifestyle of holiness. In this stage the Bride of Christ begins to understand her role in authority and power as each member lives with the Kingdom mindset. As the Church begins to do this, prayer reclaims its centrality in the life of believers and holiness becomes second-hand nature as the Lord begins to revive those who seek Him. God moves in His people to provoke them to pursue Him relentlessly and live life as His Word says. Once this is in place in a community of believers it becomes contagious and rather infectious as God becomes more revealed in their lives.
The natural result from this is a deeper consistent prayer life. People will desire to know and hear from God more drawing them to their prayer closets. As people begin to seek God and hear Him they will catch His will for their lives and His heart as well. When believers begin to catch God’s heart first for themselves they will begin to see the need and importance of intercession for those around them. As prayer is lifted up God is then given permission to do as He desires (remember He has given us the authority in the earth and we in prayer and intercession give Him access to our lives and those we pray for) then that is when the Holy Spirit has what He needs to work on the hearts of the people.
This is the first stage of awakening and I believe we as a city (Fayetteville, NC) are experiencing the first stage now. How long we stay there, in my opinion is entirely dependent upon us. The year 2012 may be a year designed to strike fear into people but my belief is that the enemy wants to keep us distracted from what God has planned; not the end of the world but maybe a cultural shift to change the world as we know it! What do you think? Have you begun to realize the same things wherever you may be?
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