Lenten Season 2020
No more being a "lamer." It’s time to be SPIRITUALLY WOKE. WOKE as in enlightened and aware to the presence and purpose of God. WOKE as in watching and praying. WOKE as in no more being too clueless, too careless, too cautious, and too irrelevant to engage myself in the process of bringing life and light to the death and darkness of the day. Time to be awake, aware, wise and willing to re-engage in what God is doing in the moment. I’m guessing Jesus knew it would take more than one-hour of prayer in a garden to get WOKE.
“woke” is the past tense of the verb “to wake” and a dialectal variant of the adjective “awake" as in, someone who is past the process of waking up. They're done with it. They've moved on. They've evolved from, you know, being asleep and hitting the snooze button 15 times. In pop culture, woke is used metaphorically as a more direct version of “to have one’s eyes open(ed)”, which itself is a metaphorical expression; being aware of or enlightened to - knowing what’s going on in the community; social injustice, prejudice, racism, religion, having a grasp of the attitude and mood of the people and their times.
[woke - modern origins];
The cultural and social origins of the word "woke" are from a brilliant but little known author and cultural insider named William Melvin Kelley. Kelley has been described as an cultural influencer and an integral black voice who was ahead of his time. Kelley was certainly "woke" to the attitude and mood of the African American people and their well warranted plight. He is credited with being the modern-day originator of the term "woke" as early as 1962, in an essay called "If You're Woke You, You Dig It" published by the New York Times.
Psalm 73 - song of the musician Asaph
Surely God is good to His people, to those who are pure in heart.2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. 3 For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4 They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. 5 They are free from common human burdens; they are not plagued by human ills. 6 Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence. 7 From their callous hearts comes iniquity; their evil imaginations have no limits. 8 They scoff, and speak with malice; with arrogance they threaten oppression. 9 Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth.10 Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance. 11 They say, “How would God know? Does the Most High know anything?” 12 This is what the wicked are like - always free of care, they go on amassing wealth. 13 Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence. 14 All day long I have been afflicted, and every morning brings new punishments. 15 If I had spoken out like that, I would have betrayed your children 16 When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply 17 till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny. 18 Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin. 19 How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors! 20 They are like a dream when one awakes; when you arise, Lord, you will despise them as fantasies. 21 When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, 22 I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. 23 Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. 24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. 25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 27 Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. 28 But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.
[psalm 73 - a WOKE narrative]
I know that God is good. God is good to anyone who seeks Him with a pure heart. Even knowing that God is good, I still had a crisis of faith. My struggle had always been with watching people who do not have a pure heart - who do not sincerely seek God and yet they prosper. I would watch as they prospered financially, professionally, and do it all effortlessly in good health. There always seemed to be plenty of happiness and good times. No worries, no troubles just doing what they do; no limits, no morals no consequences; saying all the right things and yet doing all the wrong things. Even when they did the wrong things for the wrong reasons they always seemed to come out all-right. And then of course I would grind my teeth while they arrogantly wore all that good life, good stuff, good god like a medal on their chest or another trophy on their shelf. It made me sick and made me angry at God. It made me question if He really was all that good? In my envy, bitterness and hate I could not see and could not hear what was really going on. And then, I got woke. His Spirit took me by the hand and led me step by step, exposing my deception and revealing my greatest struggle - ME. His presence was there every moment showing me, teaching me, WHO HE IS and WHAT HE IS REALLY DOING - and WHY HE IS DOING IT. I can't believe I was so blinded and ignorant - it’s embarrassing. But now I know, and for the first time I'm woke. There is nothing I want more here or there than HIM. No matter what happens HE is the strength I could not find within myself, and there is nothing better than being in Him and with HIM. So, for anyone who wants to know, anyone who wants to really be WOKE - He is Good, and He alone is God. There is nothing He can't do.
[spiritually WOKE - the wisdom]
My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, 2 making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; 3 yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, 4 if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, 5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. 6 For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; 7 he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity 8 guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints. 9 Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path, 10 for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; 11 discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard you, 12 delivering you from the way of evil, from men of perverted speech, 13 who forsake the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness, 14 who rejoice in doing evil and delight in the perverseness of evil, 15 men whose paths are crooked, and who are devious in their ways.
[spiritually WOKE - the Spirit]
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
[close - the WOKE walk]
My hope and prayer in this Lenten season as we prepare our hearts and re-set our lives around the hope and power of the Resurrection of Christ, and we become fully WOKE to our faith in God, and our journey with Jesus. Do that by spending time over the next 29 days becoming spiritually WOKE! Listening for the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking and revealing truth and new understanding in and over your life.
one - set aside time to be in God's presence
two - listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit
three - read the Word of truth
four - pray for wisdom and strategic insight [spiritually woke]
My guess is by now you have discovered being WOKE goes much deeper than political, social and civil injustice towards a particular race, religion, party or culture. Those issues and concerns are very real and really important, but they are not fully what it means to be WOKE. Sadly, they reflect a fallen humanity. A humanity deeply mired and emotionally wired to its own limited human context. People want to be woke without really being woke - that doesn't work. It is completely impossible to be fully WOKE about the creation, without being fully WOKE to its Creator. To be spiritually WOKE IS to be enlightened and aware to the presence and purpose of God. One must not only believe in God, but be filled with the Spirit of God - seeking first the Kingdom of God. To follow Jesus in both love and obedience - in what we think, say, and do. To surrender ourselves to love what God loves, and value what God values - to be at peace with Who God IS, to trust in What God DOES, and to be ready when He Decides to DO IT. To work the plan... We Die - God Lives - We Live Again. That is as WOKE as you and I will ever get.
2 Corinthians 4:3-6
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god [little g] of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
1 John 1:5-7
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
1 Peter 2:9-10
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people [woke]; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Located in Peoria, AZ, we are a non-denominational Christian church. We love God and teach His Truth. We invite you, your family and friends to join us on the faith journey, growing closer to one another, the Christian community of believers at Reunion, and most importantly with God. Read more about the timeless Truth we build our lives and faith in Christ on HERE.
We are conveniently located just off the 101 on 83rd Ave and Cactus Rd. Join us on Sunday mornings, Weds. evenings, and throughout the week at our small groups, meeting in homes around the Valley, including Surprise, Glendale, Peoria, Phoenix, Goodyear, Litchfield, and more. Connect with us on Facebook and YouTube