Church, Awake in 2008
I had asked the Lord what His Word was for the church in 2008. I did not hear from the Lord immediately. A few days later, I was busy in my home, and I heard the voice of the Lord so loud and clear in my heart. He said, “Church, awake in 2008.” I sought the Lord concerning His Word.
The Lord reminded me of the Word that He spoke for 2007, “…New beginnings; Open doors; New doors; Doors of Opportunity.” I realized that a few of God’s children had entered through these doors but many had not. Could it be that the doors of opportunity were available, but many in the church were asleep? The doors are still our opportunity, but we must wake up to what our God is speaking.
We read in 1 Cor. 16:9, “…For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.” Paul may have alluded in this scripture to the throwing open of the great doors of the Circus Maximus before the chariot races began. These events did not have any rules, so men drove their horses with a sense of intense aggressiveness, pushing aside those who would oppose. God gives to us “great doors” and “effectual.” “Effectual” literally implies full labour. Adam Clarke translates this verse, “God has made a grand opening to me, which I perceive will require much labour, and besides, I shall have many adversaries to oppose me.”
Jesus took with Him, Peter, James and John into Gethsemane to pray. He expressed to them the agony of the oppression that He was experiencing in Mt. 26:38. He asked them to “watch with Him.” What was He really asking them? “Watch” actually means to keep awake; to abstain from sleep; be vigilant; wake; be watchful; to guard against danger. Jesus goes away to pray again, returns, and find the three disciples fast asleep. Jesus addresses Peter, “What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” Mt. 26:40&41.
Peter had been quick to tell Jesus in Lk. 22:33, “I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.” Jesus responded to him that before the cock would crow, he would deny him three times. Jesus is showing Peter and us what we must do in order to avoid temptation. We must stay awake and pray. As we know the story, Peter went back to sleep. Later, Peter is confronted by three different individuals saying, “Thou wast with Jesus.” He denied knowing Him three times, and the cock did crow. Peter went out and wept bitterly. He found forgiveness from the Lord. Did he enter a new door? Peter was in the upper room on the Day of Pentecost. He was very much awake and prayed. He was gloriously filled with the Holy Ghost and preached a powerful sermon. Three thousand people were born again.
Church, awake in 2008. The Lord has a great door for you, but it will require full labour to go through. Why? ...Because there are many adversaries. (To be continued)