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The call to awakening is the call to come home.
Come home from our impossible schedules that have left us out of breath and out of touch with God. Come home from the trivial diversions that have robbed us of time with the Lord. Come home from loud radio commercials, loud television shows, and other mindless chatter that keep us from hearing God's still, small voice.
"'They will come trembling like a bird out of Egypt and like a dove from the land of Assyria" (Hos. 11:11a).
When knowing Him is our personal prayer, awakening stops being theoretical and starts becoming deeply personal."Yes, certainly, I count everything as loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have forfeited the loss of all things and count them as rubbish that I may gain Christ, and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Chris" (Phil. 3:8-9).
The call to awakening means coming to God daily just as we are. Jesus invites, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28).
We come to Him with all our baggage, knowing that He already knows what we are carrying inside. This means coming to Him as one who has been "damaged in shipment." It means coming as a broken vessel in need of repair, a vessel that needs to be reshaped. Our Savior decrees, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted" (Matt. 5:3-4).
The call to spiritual awakening is a call for us to come to God as children who have wandered from a loving parent. "Yet to all who received Him, He gave the power to become sons of God, to those who believes in His name" (John 1:12).
The call to spiritual awakening is to all of us who want to know we are forgiven, accepted, and loved again—as if for the first time.
In this way the love of God was revealed to us, that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 John 4:9-10).
Today, many of us have heard this call to a Jesus-Now Awakening, the ones who have been gripped by conviction, confession and repentance. "Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in His holy place? he who has clean hands and a pure heart; who has not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully" (Ps. 24:3-4).
The called are the men and women coming home to the Father we had once forgotten, ignored or for whom we've simply been too busy. We are like a remnant in a dry season crying, "Oh God, move. Move in me!"
We pray for God's children today as Hezekiah prayed for Israel's delivery millennia ago, "O Lord of Hosts, God of Israel, who dwells above the cherubim, You are the God, even You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Incline Your ear, O Lord, and hear. Open Your eyes, O Lord, and see, and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God. ... Now, O Lord our God, save us from his hand that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You alone, Lord, are God" (Is. 37:16-17, 20).
Is this your voice? Is this your prayer? Do you want to know what it feels like to be alive again? Would you like to come home?
Come home to Jesus. He is waiting.
"Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with M" (Rev. 3:20).
Reprinted with permission from Broadstreet Publishing Group. Excerpt from Jesus Now: God is Up to Something Big by Dr. Tom Phillips. Dr. Phillips is vice president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and executive director of The Billy Graham Library. He has also served as the director of counseling and follow-up, working in that capacity in the United States, Canada, Australia, England, Mexico, Brazil and the Far East. He has played a key role in the development of current materials and programs. Dr. Phillips serves on the Billy Graham Center Committee at Wheaton College. He is a member of the Mission America Executive Committee. Tom and his wife, Ouida, have three grown children and make their home in Charlotte, North Carolina.
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