April 28, 2023
Download MP3 (right click to save)
Some people seem to have a special gift for sleeping. So much so that waking them up is more like a resurrection. We had one of those gifted people staying at our house for a few weeks. Greg was a young intern helping out and training in our ministry. And he did a good job - once you got him out of bed. He stayed at our house - so I got the joy of figuring out how to get him up each morning in time to start his work day. I started with just an alarm clock. Forget about that - no alarm so much as phases this boy. I tried shaking him, and then I tried shaking him violently. I tried bells. I tried water. Yes. If he ever did wake up, he just went back to sleep until I landed on the Extreme Wakeup Option - the pan. I got the biggest metal pan we had. I got the biggest metal spoon we had and I marched into his room playing percussion. If standing at the door clanging that pan didn't do it, I just moved progressively closer until he was up and out of bed. Look, I was a desperate man. Look, I'm really sorry it had to go that far, but he had to wake up, and it wasn't easy.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Why God Is Turning Up The Volume."
Could it be you're one of God's hard-to-wake children? I think we all take our turn being spiritually asleep, oblivious to something He's trying to say or do in our life. And that may explain some of the pain, some of the struggle, some of the frustration that's been building lately. It's God trying to get your attention. And like me with our deep-sleeping friend, if one kind of wakeup call doesn't work, He will escalate His methods. He will not just let you sleep.
God's been having to turn up the pressure to wake His children for a long time. That's why He told His people about His Extreme Wakeup Options way back at the dedication of the magnificent temple that Solomon built. It's recorded in 2 Chronicles 7:13-14, our word for today from the Word of God. You might recognize 2 Chronicles 7:14. "If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sins and will heal their land." So much they need done in their lives that only God coul do - just like us. But first they've got to wake up and deal with their pride, their self-reliance, their casual relationship with God, and the things that they're not doing God's way.
So, what does God do to wake them up? His "banging pan" is spelled out in the previous verse: "When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among My people, if My people who are called by My name," and so on. See, it's going to take serious pain to wake them up to what God wants them to do. Unfortunately, it's often that way with us, too.
As you're searching for answers and reasons for some of the painful or difficult things going on lately, consider the possibility this is God's tool to wake you up for what He wants to do. Not because He doesn't love you, but because He does. Hebrews 12 tells us, "Do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when He rebukes you...Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness." So, if you're going to get the pain, get the point. And sooner rather than later.
If God's been turning up the volume, don't just turn over and go back to sleep. The noise is only going to get louder. Because God loves you too much to stop trying to get your attention; to stop working on you to live the way He created you to live. The sooner you wake up, the sooner it will let up.