Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Awakening a Generation

Sunday night, C4 Charlotte welcomed Pastor Keith Collins from Fire School of Ministry to come and speak to us. He has been in pastoral ministry for over 25 years and the founder of Generation Impact Ministries. God definitely spoke to us on Sunday night.

What would happen when a generation realized the reality of Jesus...when he became more real to them than the chairs they sit on? Think on that for a minute...what would it look like if this generation of young adults suddenly became aware of just how real and present Jesus is? What would change? What would this world look like?
1 Samuel 3:1 Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the LORD in the presence of Eli. And the word of the LORD was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision.
There was a dullness across the nation of Israel. There was no life, power, glory, anointing or understanding.
1 Samuel 3:19-21 And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established as a prophet of the LORD. And the LORD appeared again at Shiloh, for the LORD revealed himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the LORD.
1 Samuel 4:1 And the word of Samuel came to all Israel.
What's going on? What we see in 1 Samuel...the dullness of a nation...seems to be a distinct characteristic of our present generation. Our generation is not living in the power and glory of God. We are dull. We are asleep.

So who is Samuel? Samuel is just a young man...a young man that had a calling on his life. His mother begged and begged God for a son...she promised God that she would give that son back to God if he answered her prayers. She fulfilled her promise and Samuel was basically raised by Eli in the temple. In 1 Samuel chapter 3 we see God speaking to Samuel. Samuel was asleep...he heard his name and went to Eli thinking Eli had called him...but Eli hadn't called him and sent him back to bed. That happened 3 times! Eli figured out that it was God speaking and instructed Samuel to ask God to speak to him. In 1 Samuel 3 we get a picture of God speaking to the next generation...awakening him from sleep. Samuel became a prophet of God and in some translations it says that "none of his words fell"(4:1)...meaning that the words he spoke were heard throughout the nation. Samuel was attuned to the voice of God. He realized that there was more to God than just sermons...that he's alive and speaking to us.

What would happen if we prayed that God would go beyond ourselves and touch the nation? If we prayed over UNCC? If we start praying, if we start asking, if we allow ourselves to be used...God will do crazy things through us and around us...no one will be able to deny him when we, as a generation, are awakened to his reality. He didn't save us to sit in church...he saved us to go out and make disciples.

Back to 1 Samuel...how did such a dullness come over the nation? Well...people began abusing the temple basically...people became apathetic and didn't deal with sin. There was no revelations anymore and dullness settled in. Samuel had a calling upon his life...even his name means "heard of God". Through Samuel's awakening and attentiveness to God's voice...the nation was changed.

Now, lets fast forward to today...can you see the dullness?

Over the last 40-50 years:
  • the divorce rate has doubled
  • the rate of babies born to unwed parents has more than quadrupled
  • the rate of violent crimes (rape, incest, murder, robbery) has quadrupled
  • the rate of suicide for people under the age of 20 has tripled
  • the rate of illegal drugs and sex trade has skyrocketed
How about now? Do you see the dullness now? Our grandparents didn't see these types of things. Our nation is called one of the greatest nations but why then does it have the highest rates of single parent families, teenage birth, teenage drug use, and abortion???? Our nation has become dull to the reality of God! We need to burn with a fire and a love for God and speak it out over our nation! We need an awakening!

What would happen if YOU began to seek the face of God...for him to pour out his glory over our nation? Over our city? Over your campus? We as a people need to get hungry for more of him! We need to get desperate to see his power and glory displayed in our lives and in our nation! The word of God is needed NOW!

The greatest battle we face in our generation is a battle for passions. The devil causes a stupor to fall on you when he holds your passion. Where are you finding your passion? Life is brief...James says that live is like a mist or a vapor.
I know this now. Every man gives his life for what he believes. Every woman gives her life for what she believes. Sometimes people believe in little or nothing yet they give their lives to that little or nothing. ~ Joan of Arc

What are you living for? What would it mean for you to wake up? What are the characteristics of an awakened generation?
  • They have an accurate picture or vision of who Jesus is.
    • They are captivated by him and have a fresh revelation of him.
    • They have an unquenchable passion for him.
    • Psalm 41:1-2
    • They know that he cannot be exhausted...there is always more of him.
  • They have a distaste for man made religion.
    • They yearn for Jesus himself.
  • They have an unusual boldness, anointing and authority to do the work of God in their generation.
    • Persecution is a badge to them because the advance of the gospel is more important than themselves. 
  • They have a great love for true holiness, purity, and righteousness.
    • The cross is a life long theme for them.
    • They have a distaste for the things of the world because they distract you from the greatest thing.
    • They know that nothing else will satisfy them.
  • They have an all-encompassing burden for their generation.
    • People are dying without Jesus...they are living lives consumed by death...no joy or hope...they want something real.
    • God is speaking to you...what are you going to do?
    • Eternity is real and it is before every single one of us.
  • They are not for sale
    • They live lives fully devoted to Jesus Christ
    • The enemy cannot get to them because they are not willing to give their lives to something that grieves God.
    • They burn with the glory of God
    • All that matters to them is what they do for Jesus.
Have you been awakened to the calling God has on your life? Are you attuned to his voice? Are you ready to see change in this generation? Pray...listen for his word...and go. Tell the world of his goodness...surrender all your fears and doubts to him...he will light a fire and through you he will awaken a generation of people who burn with a love for God.

Awakening
by Chris Tomlin

In our hearts Lord, In this nation; Awakening
Holy Spirit we desire awakening

For You and You alone
Awake my soul, Awake my soul and sing
For the world you love
Your will be done, Let Your will be done in me

In Your presence, In Your power awakening
For this moment, For this hour, awakening

For You and You alone
Awake my soul, Awake my soul and sing
For the world You love
Your will be done, Let Your will be done in me

For You and You alone
Awake my soul, awake my soul and sing
For the world You love
Your will be done, Let Your will be done in me

Like the rising sun that shines
From the darkness comes a light
I hear Your voice and this is my awakening

Like the rising sun that shines
From the darkness comes a light
I hear Your voice and this is my awakening

Like the rising sun that shines
Awake my soul, Awake my soul and sing
From the darkness comes a light
Awake my soul, Awake my soul and sing
Like the rising sun that shines
Awake my soul, Awake my soul and sing
Only You can raise a life
Aake my soul, Awake my soul & sing!

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