Early morning and the alarm was blaring as usual. It was still dark outside, but it was time to get up. I rolled over and hit the snooze button once, twice, three times. Each time I hit it, the hit got a little harder with a little more irritation. However, after the third time I knew I had to get up and get moving. My Uncle was going to be to the house, and I had to be ready to go when he got there. We were headed out of state to work on a building, and we had a week in which to do the job. There were 4 of us going to do the job. I knew that if I was late, I was going to be in big trouble. So, I finally drug myself out of bed and into the shower to wake up. I sauntered downstairs, grabbed some toast and juice and out the door with my bag before he got to the house. I stood on the sidewalk and waited for everyone to come so we could pack up and head down the road.
Looking back to that day I think, “Wow, I can’t believe I used to hit the snooze on my alarm. Today, I wake up without an alarm, even though I have one set. What’s wrong with me?” Did you know that we, as believers, have an alarm as well? It’s our spiritual alarm. These are the moments when the Spirit speaks to our spirit to pray, to speak to someone, to move, to wait, to not go there, to go there, to study, to understand, etc. But I wonder how many of us have rolled over and hit the snooze button on our spiritual alarm?
There have been times in my ministry that I have been awakened in the middle of the night with urgency to pray for someone. I must admit that sometimes I’ve rolled over and gone back to sleep, only to be awakened a few minutes later with the same urgency. After I started praying, there would come a peace and eventually I was free to go back to sleep. I found out later that the person I was praying for was battling spiritually, struggling physically, emotionally, or some other emergency in their lives.
Most of the time when I would be awakened by the spiritual alarm, I wouldn’t know what to pray, how to pray, what to say. All I knew is that I was to pray. I personally believe that these instances became cases of Romans 8:26, which boldly declares, “The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” Today this is one of the most neglected truths in the whole New Testament. We Christians seldom admit that we don’t know how to pray. Many of us have been taught since childhood how to put sentences together that sound like a prayer, to the point that we are professionals at it. Some can turn out an eloquent presentation to God at a moment’s notice.
But prayer born of the Spirit, now that’s another dimension of calling of God to the point of having the Holy Spirit supernaturally assist us. This is not a worked-up emotionalism but a powerful promise of help from God Himself! Each time my spiritual alarm clock went off, it was the Holy Spirit that helped me pray for those burdens. There is no way that I would have been able to pray for those individuals, let alone wake up, had it not been for the Holy Spirit. But this is the very reason that the Spirit has come: to equip ordinary people like you and like me to work for Jesus. He equips us to not only pray, but also to share, love, show mercy and grace to others.
I’d like to close with this quote from Samuel Chadwick: “The work of God is not by might of men or by the power of men but by His Spirit. It is by Him the truth convicts and converts, sanctifies, and saves. The philosophies of men fail, but the Word of God in the demonstration of the Spirit prevails. Our wants are many, and our faults innumerable, but they are all comprehended in our lack of the Holy Ghost. We want nothing but the fire.
The resources of the church are in ‘the supply of the Spirit.’ The Spirit is more than the minister of consolation. He is Christ without the limitations of the flesh and the material world. He can reveal what Christ could not speak. He has resources of power greater than those Christ could use, and He makes possible greater works than His. He is the Spirit of God, the Spirit of truth, the Spirit of witness, the Spirit of conviction, the Spirit of power, the Spirit of holiness, the Spirit of light, the Spirit of adoption, the Spirit of help, the Spirit of liberty, the Spirit of wisdom, the Spirit of revelation, the Spirit of promise, the Spirit of love, the Spirit of meekness, the Spirit of sound mind, the Spirit of grace, the Spirit of glory, and the Spirit of prophecy. It is for the church to explore the resources of the Spirit; the resources of the world are futile.”
No matter what difficulties confront us as believers or as local congregations, God is calling us to receive today this great promise of power as a living reality. Then in victory we will praise God alongside those believers down through the ages who have experienced for themselves the truth that “greater is He that is in you, that he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
Until Next Time,