“Open up! open up!
And give yourself away
You see the need,
You hear the cries,
So how can you delay?!
God is calling,
And you are the one
But like Jonah, you run
He told you to speak,
But you keep holding it in
Oh, can't you see such sin?!
The world is sleeping in the dark,
That the church just can't fight,
'cause it's asleep in the light!”
These are a segment of lyrics from a song called “Asleep in the Light” by Keith Green. He is hands down one of my favourite Christian artists. I love the overtly powerful and convictional message this song brings, that beckons us to question the condition of our own hearts and waken us to God’s will.
I wonder if our hearts are becoming numb to the lifestyle of our culture, to the constant adapting to our “progressive” society?
The official religion brought to Australia with the First Fleet was Evangelical Christianity. This was the religion that shaped public policy through Willian Wilberforce and other fellows alike. The city of Adelaide that I live in is also known as the “City of Churches.” We have such a strong Christian heritage in Australia, yet it seems like Christians can be asleep in the light.
John Chapter 4 Verse 34-35
“Why do you say there is still 4 months until harvest?
Open your eyes (with faith)
And see the fields
For they are ripe for harvest.”
They harvest is plentiful, but its workers are few.
This tells us, it is not the condition of the harvest. It is the condition of the workers! Are we asleep in the light and not reaching the harvest that is right in front of us?
Are we growing in our faith or are we becoming stagnant? Reaching a plateau? I love Daniel’s story because he was a man who was active! The bible talks about Daniel actively distinguishing himself from others through his exceptional qualities.
A concept that has been on my heart and that I use to keep myself in check is having an “eternal perspective.”
Life is fleeting on earth. Life after death is eternity.
Having an eternal perspective causes us to ask ourselves:
- What does God require of me today?
- If I died today, would I actually go to heaven?
The word of God says that “Faith without deeds is dead.”
We are called to be Christ-like and so this requires an understanding of how Jesus lived.
Jesus Christ showed us that our sinful nature does not need to be a barrier to righteous living, but instead our humanity and the fact that we are all made in God’s image is the very enabler of being Christ-like.
Jesus did not come to earth in his God-like form but as a human. In fact, He could have used his own power to perform miracles, to withstand trials - especially during His 40 days in the wilderness. However, Jesus Christ relied and depended fully on His Lord Father God!
Therefore, Jesus is they very example of how we can live. If He could fully depend on God and have faith in His Will, then we can too!
I especially love the “feeding the 5000” story.
“Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. “Bring them here to me,” he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.”
Matthew Chapter 14 Verse 16-21
What stands out in this is that Jesus gave the bread to the disciples to distribute. God wants us to have faith in His power and in His works. God wants to do miracles through us! He wants to use us, and this brings glory to His name!
We are distinguished because we ARE humans. We are made in God’s image and therefore we are capable of ACTUALLY being Christ-like!
I will conclude with a call to expand our faith and keep us from being asleep in the light - found in 2 Peter Chapter 1 Verse 3-9:
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.”
Let our leaves be green, bearing the fruit!
Let this be our mission!
Mary Iengo is a medical student at Flinders University and leader at her local church. She lives with her family in Adelaide and has a passion for the political arena. Mary aims to write from a personal and practical stance to share the love of God and see people live for him. More articles by Mary Iengo can be viewed here: https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mary-iengo.html