Tuesday, May 22, 2018
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Some people really have the gift of sleeping. One of our young friends, Michael, he stayed with us for several months. Oh, does he have the gift of sleeping, but not the gift of waking up. No. It actually became my job to wake him up every morning to get to work. Did somebody say, "Mission Impossible"? It seemed like no matter what I tried, I could not get him to wake up-and if I could, I couldn't get him to stay awake. No alarm clock we tried could do the job, no calling his name, no calling him very loudly, no shaking him. Somehow he always managed to stay asleep or go back to sleep...well, until the pan. Yeah, one morning I marched upstairs, into his room, and right over his head, I banged a metal pan with a metal spoon with everything I had. Yeah! I mean, the neighbor down the street woke up! Michael woke up, got up and stayed up!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "Banging The Pan."
Now, I'm not necessarily recommending that as a method of waking people up. But I do know this, when someone needs to wake up, you do whatever it takes to get the job done. And you know what? God does whatever it takes to get the job done. Even if He has to resort to a "banging pan."
Our word for today from the Word of God is about those times when God's people have fallen asleep and need to wake up, and times when we haven't responded to His gentle wakeup calls-like Bible verses, sermons, advice, or the Holy Spirit's conviction. But, like me with our friend Michael, God will not leave you sleeping. He will step up the pressure. Some of the trouble you're dealing with right now might just be God's banging pan.
Our word for today from the Word of God is from 2 Chronicles 7:13. It's followed by that very familiar formula for revival, 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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." Man, we'd all love to have that kind of power and healing poured out on our lives from heaven wouldn't we?
But what gets God's people to the point where they wake up spiritually? Well, let's go back a verse, to verse 13. God says, "When I shut up the heavens so 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 will humble themselves...." So, God sends or allows major disruptions, major stresses, not to punish us, but to wake us up...to get our attention! To give us what we need and He's wanted to give.
God might be banging His pan loudly right now to wake you up, or to wake up your church, or your ministry, or your family. What's God trying to wake you up to? Well, maybe to your growing tolerance for some sin in your life, or maybe He's trying to wake you up to that neglect of what really matters...you just not been giving attention to the stuff that really counts. Maybe your family. Maybe He's trying to wake you up to some messed up priorities. Or God might be trying to wake you up to your complacency about the lost people around you, the dying people around you. Or maybe He's trying to get your attention to deal with that area of pride, or compromise, or that motive or attitude that's out of line.
When we need to wake up-and we don't respond to God's gentle approaches, well He brings out something heavier, something so "un-ignorable" that will finally get our attention.
There's only one way to silence God's "banging pan." Wake up!