ARISE AND SHINE!
You don’t tell someone that is standing up to arise. You don’t shout arise, get up, into the ears of someone that is awake. You don’t tell someone who has just climbed up to a high place to arise, nor would you tell someone who is well known and visible to arise. Who needs to hear the word arise? Arise is for someone that needs to get up. Someone that is down in sickness, poverty, depression and sorrow. Someone whose skills, potentials and God given gifts are lying dormant. Someone whose hopes and dreams have been shattered. Someone that has refused to step into the shoes; responsibilities and assignment God has given the person. Someone whose spiritual life; prayer life, study of God’s Word, relationship with God is neglected and suffering. Someone who doesn’t bother to witness and impact lives for Christ. Someone who is spiritually asleep.
Many people confuse activity with being spiritually alive and awake. In Revelation 3:1-4, God rebuked the church in Sardis for not being watchful; for not being spiritually awake. Jesus said about this church that “you have a reputation of being alive”. You could have a reputation of being alive; being fervent and committed to God. People may see you involved in various Church activities and programs, but between you and God, you are fast asleep. You don’t spend quality time alone with God, you can’t discern His voice. Yes, you are seen doing a lot of things for God, but you are not living for God. Ephesians 5:14 calls on everyone who is sleeping spiritually to wake up, so the light of Christ can shine on them.
Some people use alarm clocks to get them to wake up and start the day, some wait for the piercing crow of a rooster to know what time of the day it is, if they should get up or sleep a little bit more. While some depend on the early morning Muslim call to prayer to alert them that it’s time to get up. All these can get you up from your night sleep or afternoon nap, but to get up from a spiritual sleep, we need much more. Isaiah 52:1-2 gives us a picture of what it entails to arise spiritually. Isaiah 52:1 calls on us to awake and clothe ourselves with strength. To arise and shine, we need to clothe ourselves with strength. You shine when you carry the strength, power and anointing of God. No one can prevail with human strength. Our strength will fail us when the storms of life come our way. Total dependence on the strength of God for every responsibility, every step, every season of life is what keeps us going, even when we have fallen so low and flat, even when everything around us is going haywire. Isaiah 52:2 says shake off the dust. We need to shake off the dust of sins that easily beset us, we need to shake off the dust of the disappointments, pains and mistakes of the past. These are things that can keep us from arising to take hold of the great things God has prepared for us. Isaiah 52:2 also tells us ‘loose yourself from the bonds’. We are to loose ourselves from every yoke and chain tying us down. The phrase ‘loose yourself’ means it is something we can do ourselves. We don’t need to run from pillar to post looking for how to get free from satanic chains that hold people down and captive. Through faith in an all-powerful God who says nothing is too hard for Him to do, through prayer and the life-giving power in God’s Word, we can secure our deliverance from everything God has not planted in our lives; everything keeping us from arising and moving forward in life.
When we arise, shining is guaranteed. The shining comes after we have arisen; after we have woken up. So, if you want to shine this year, arise! Arise from fear, arise from your past, arise from people’s expectations and perception of you to who God says you are. Arise from every limitation placed before you. Arise from darkness to the light of Christ; arise out of sin, yield your life completely to Jesus. Arise from every lukewarm state, arise with a fresh passion for God and His work. Arise from everything distracting you from consistently dwelling in the presence of God. Arise, get to know the Word, start living the Word. Arise and the Lord will arise over you and His glory will be seen all over you.
PHOTO CREDIT: Somnox Sleep on UnsplashC