Tuesday, September 16, 2003
Some people really have the gift of sleeping. Yep. One of our young friends, Michael, recently stayed with us for several months. He definitely has the gift of sleeping - but not the gift of waking up. It 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 couldn't get him to wake up - and if I could to get him to wake up, 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 violently. Somehow he always managed to stay asleep or go back to sleep ... until the pan. Yeah, see, one morning I marched upstairs, into his room, and right over his head, banging a metal pan with a metal spoon with everything I had. I had neighbors a block away waking up! And Michael woke up, and got up - and stayed up!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Banging The Pan."
When someone needs to wake up, you do whatever it takes to get the job done. Actually, God does whatever it takes to get the job done. Even 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, 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 great 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." 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, 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..." God sends or allows major disruptions, major stresses, not to punish us, but to wake us up ... to get our attention!
God may be banging His pan loudly right now to wake you up, or your church, or your ministry, maybe your family. What's God trying to wake you up to? Well, maybe to your growing tolerance for that sin in your life, or maybe He's trying to wake you up to that neglect of what really matters ... maybe of your family. Maybe He's trying to wake you up to your messed up priorities. Or God may be trying to wake you up to your complacency about the lost; the dying people around you, or an area of pride, an area of compromise, some motive or attitude that is out of line.
When we need to wake up - and we don't respond to God's gentler approaches, He brings out something heavier, something so "unignorable" that it will finally get our attention. There's only one way to silence God's "banging pan." Wake up!