After spending 46 years sharing the same bed with Jan, we have learned how to discern the difference between our sleeping sounds and when one of us is beginning to wake up. Early this morning, I quietly called out to Jan, “Are you awake?” She replied, “Well, it sure sounds like you are.” Such is life when the clocks get changed.
In the natural cycles of sleep and becoming awakened, we all make unique sounds. The same is true in matters of the Spirit. The sounds we make with our life will let those around us know our status of awareness. In our culture, the term “woke” is being used with more frequency. The definition of the word can be broad. Simply, it refers to someone who is socially awake to issues of justice, discrimination, and human need. Being a woke person is not a bad idea if we are being awakened to issues that are on God’s heart. Many times the term is used to define people who are not aligned politically with a particular worldview. At that level of understanding, little traction is gained, only further division.
There is a spiritual awakening taking place in our culture. The awakening has the potential to be a woke moment for the Church. Believers who choose to live isolated, nervous, and fearful of a changing culture will retreat into irrelevance. Those not under the umbrella of a traditional definition of faith will toss “woke” bombs at the Church, seeing their irrelevance as a lack of social engagement. This divide is growing wider each day.
The awakening taking place within the Church looks a lot like the ministry of Jesus. He gathered 12 people who were not filled with the Spirit and not yet believers in a traditional sense of the word and called them to be His first disciples. Disciple is a word that defines a person as a learner. Jesus gave His disciples authority to cast out demons, raise the dead, and perform miracles. All of this took place before they would fit neatly into our 21st-century evangelical definition of what it means to be Christian and signing them off on each point of our preferred doctrinal statement. Jesus did the same thing with the 70, and with anyone willing to learn the ways of Heaven. The early disciples belonged before they believed. They belonged because they were invited by Jesus to follow Him.
You will see evidence of this awakening when spiritually woke believers begin inviting people from outside the familiarity of their community of faith to follow them in the Kingdom’s mandate to make disciples of all nations. These woke believers will see people from every walk of life as a potential learner who just needs someone to give them a chance to taste and see the goodness of God. Believers who are willing to do this and risk the condemnation and wrath it will bring are the woke ones God will use to advance His Kingdom. They are the people making the noise of someone being awakened from religious slumber.