by Tracy Manno
I have been noticing a pattern over the past couple years with the use of the phrase “A Great Awakening.” In spiritual terms this is speaking about a national, even global revival; an awakening to God in the midst of an anti-god culture. This will certainly be amazing to be a part of, and many believe it to be soon on the horizon. But what does that mean for those of us who are already chasing after God and walking in faith?
I believe there is a greater awakening already happening for Christians right now. It is an awakening at a personal level, which will extend to the effectiveness of the church as a whole. And it is an awakening, in my opinion, that has to happen before the global spiritual awakening.
The greater awakening is based on a personal awareness and pursuit of God's truth for the full realization of our identity, calling and purpose as sons and daughters of God. Some call this our destiny in Christ, while others refer to it as walking in God's perfect will. Whatever definition suits you, I believe God is opening the eyes of those that would see, and the ears of those that would hear on massive levels within the body of Christ to a greater knowledge of our end time assignments.
The word “awakening” implies we are currently sleeping. For most this sleeping state is unknown to them. Some coast through life content with a desire to simply maintain the status quo. Others remain asleep out of hopelessness or cynicism, convinced life will always be the same regardless of what they do. Whatever the reason, being asleep is a resignation to pursuing the greater works God has planned for each of us and the abundant life promised to us in Jesus Christ.
Most of us have come to believe that our abundant life is fulfilled in the next life, when we are given the full measure of our inheritance in Christ; the redemption of our bodies. I know that I was taught that growing up, even though scripture commands us to start taking hold of our eternal life right now! (see 1 Timothy 6:12) But when we are taught things without other ideas to challenge them, we unwittingly become captive to their narrative.
This process happens all throughout our lives. We are conditioned within certain narratives from a very young age. Not all are malicious in nature. Most are simply products of our upbringings, social and economic status, ethnicity, political bents, and many other influences.
I say all this because waking up requires us to recognize the snow globe of narratives and mindsets we've existed in for so long. To be awake means to be free from the chains of bias, prejudice, and excuse. In order to walk in the new we must be free from the bondage of the old. And the Bible says the battleground over bondage and freedom is in the mind! (see 2 Corinthians 10:5)
The narratives we live in are based on patterns of thinking that have become established and now influence how we see things, interpret them and make decisions. Narratives are useful in creating consistent and known responses, and because of this they are not objective, and rarely capable of leading us to unbiased truth. Jesus told us that we are to "know the truth and the truth will set you free."
Before he became the apostle Paul, his narrative on Christians was firmly established. His belief that they were blasphemous traitors to the faith deserving of death came from false religious narratives taught to him from a young age. These teachings controlled all of his decisions until one appointed day when “Truth” Himself woke Paul up. Paul's life-long narrative was disrupted instantly on the road to Damascus when the glorified Jesus revealed Himself to him. And at that moment he had a choice to wake up or stay asleep.
We all know the end of that story, and Paul later wrote that he wasn’t living life in relationship with God, but was ignorantly (asleep) living life in relationship with his narrative. (see 1 Timothy 1:12-13)
When we blindly live life in obedience to preconditioned narratives we live as those sleep walking. We coast through situations without expanding our awareness and challenging our understanding. We give our ability to think and make decisions to others by following the familiar narrative. But when we live our lives inside relationship, specifically our relationship with Jesus through the Holy Spirit, all pre-existing narratives of who we are and what truth is dissipate in the brightness of His light!
Here's the heart of the greater awakening: You were made to be in relationship with God, and to fulfill very specific things that He not only planned for you but also provided and gifted you to fulfill. But in order to finish the race planned for us we MUST wake up from our pre-existing condition, the way we’ve always been and thought, and take on the mind of Christ, letting Him renew our thinking and lead us into all truth. (see Romans 12:2 and John 16:13) The greater awakening is all about your freedom!
So what does this mean for you? What does this look like?
Well there are many of you sensing the awakening deep down. It's a sense that there is more, that everything isn't as it seems. God is stirring this awakening, and it is your job to pursue it. We are waking to Truth. God’s truth to who He is and who you are in Him. The truth of identity, calling and purpose to do and fulfill what He created you for! In this fulfillment there is nothing more satisfying. It’s the call to awaken from the malaise of half met longings and dreams to the reality of abundant life, fulfilling the desires He Himself put into your heart!
Seem unattainable? Seem impossible for your life?
I love the way the Amplified version translates Ephesians 2:10…
For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us].
If these words stir you, know that it is the Spirit of God that brings His Word to life in us. And ask yourself one question: Why would you not believe what it says? Be honest! What voice, what thought, what familiar excuse is trying to tell you it isn’t true for you?
Your awakening to greater relationship and purpose in Christ is hindered only by false mindsets and narratives. This is what the Holy Spirit is waking us up to. The truth of the perfect will and plan for each member of His Bride, to play their role in the grandest final act this world has ever witnessed!
As Paul quotes to the church in Ephesus: “Wake up, sleeper, rise form the dead, and Christ will shine on you!”
Are you ready to take your place?
Next in PART 2 we will take a look at what it means to walk in truth.
Founder of His Way Worship, Tracy Manno is a Christian artist, worship pastor, life coach and author with a calling to come alongside other Christian’s to help them fulfill God’s calling on their lives.