12/11/2023 - Jody Destry
What happens when we fall asleep spiritually?
Key Passage – – Luke 22:39-46 – The Disciples Fall Asleep at Gethsemane
Why was there so much urgency from Jesus for them to stay awake and what was the temptation that he was wanting them to guard against?
Luke tells us that the disciples fell asleep because they were ‘exhausted with sorrow
Q: Have you ever had an experience where you’ve felt overcome with sadness and sorrow about something, or so disappointed, or deflated or discouraged or overwhelmed about something in your life, that all you wanted to do was curl up in a ball and go to sleep?
Q: What was causing the disciples so much sorrow?
We too as modern day disciples carry sorrows that causes us to become exhausted and fall asleep to the things of God.
What sorrow are you carrying today?
Are you carrying unmet expectations?
Are you carrying dreams in your heart that are still yet to come to pass?
Are you carrying hope deferred?
Are you carrying a lack of clarity around your future or your sense of purpose?
Is there a healing or a breakthrough that hasn’t come despite your faithful prayer?
Are you restless and dissatisfied in your soul (not content)
Are you trapped in unhealthy behaviours that are causing you distress?
Are you carrying pain or offence in a relationship that’s causing you sorrow?
Does you feel as though God has been silent on something for too long?
Take some time to name these things before the Lord gives these burdens over to him.
There is an exhaustion caused by sorrow that the Lord is wanting to break in many peoples lives today.
There is a spiritual lethargy hanging over us that keeps causing us to fall asleep to the things of God – but the Lord is calling us to WAKE UP – He is rousing us from our slumber – he is healing our exhaustion and refreshing our dry places and drawing us to a place of renewed devotion in him.
Our constant temptation in our lethargy and spiritual sleepiness is to run to sources of comfort outside of the true comforter.
Our temptation is to seek relief and security and success from other places rather than trusting God’s goodness and provision to us.
Our temptation is to seek approval and love from things and people that were never meant hold such power and position in our lives instead of receiving love and approval from a Good Father who calls you his own.
Ron Rolheiser says it this way:
“We fall asleep out of sorrow whenever we become so confused and overwhelmed by some kind of disappointment that we begin to act out of hostility rather than love, paranoia rather than trust, despair rather than hope. We fall asleep out of sorrow whenever we sell short what’s highest in us because of the bitterness of the moment”
Q: Where am I acting out of hostility, paranoia or despair – rather than out of love, trust and hope?
Symptoms of being spiritually asleep:
lack of awareness of God’s love and grace for me
loss or lack of passion for God
loss of desire to spend time with God
prayer life is lacking
avoiding accountable relationships and vulnerable conversations
being unresponsive to God’s invitations to you or delaying obedience
heightened emotional reactions to things – highly defensive or easily offended
wondering if God is actually good
a need to be in constant control of situations
constant drive towards comfort and numbing behaviours
patterns and cycles of sin or unhealthy behaviours that you can’t seem to break
our lives are not bearing fruit / little evidence of fruits of spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control
God moves to the outside rather than being at the centre of our lives /
living according to our own agenda and plans rather than living according to God’s agenda and plans.
God is bringing us into a new seasoning of AWAKENING
God is waking us up to a greater awareness of Him.
God is moving us from a place of spiritual slumber to a new place of radical devotion.
From being on spiritual autopilot – to being fully alert and awake to his presence and his purposes.
Moving us out of those places of sorrow and exhaustion and making us a well refreshing and restoration for others.
But there is an awakening that the Lord is bringing across our community and he needs his people and his bride to be awake and alert and prepared and ready to usher it in.
There is healing and restoration and refreshing that the Lord is wanting to release in us that we might be a place of healing and restoration for others.
2024 – An invitation to Radical Devotion
Radical – Radix – meaning ‘changed from the roots’
Devotion – Consecrated – set apart for someone (set apart for and to God)
When we enter into s relationship with Jesus our lives are completely transformed or ‘changed from the roots’ – it is radical life change.
When we’re changed from the roots our lives start to grow different kind of fruit – we start to hopefully become people of love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and people who are self-controlled.
And not only are we changed but we are invited into the bigger story – to partner with God in being agents of this kind of change in the world around us.
Q: Is Jesus in me obvious to those around me? If not, what is stopping me from living my faith openly and authentically?
Q: What would it look like for me to live everyday as someone ‘changed from the roots’?
Q: How is God inviting me to be part of this community as we seek to be a place of restoration and healing for others?
Then God gave the people all these instructions:
2 “I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery.
3 “You must not have any other god but me.
4 “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. 5 You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. 6 But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.
The people of God have always had a habit of running after other God’s.
There is a good reason God wants our full devotion and affection. He has a mission he wants to accomplish on the earth and he chooses to use his people to accomplish it.
If we’re not fully devoted to him we are distracted and prone to falling asleep.
Our devotion is actually an act of spiritual warfare – it guards against the enemy’s plans to steal our authority for the Gospel.
Our devotion is what will unlock the move of the Holy Spirit waiting to come in and through our church, community, region, city, nation.
Our devotion is what will break the spirit of complacency and slumber
Our devotion brings us back to the feet of Jesus and puts him in his rightful place as King
Our devotion will release Kingdom resources for Kingdom work – legacy project
Our devotion will lead to a connected and flourishing community
Our devotion is what will release God’s favour of our lives and our church (for a thousand generations – Ex 20:6)
1/ An invitation to Return
4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first.
Waking up from our slumber and returning to our first love
undivided hearts – putting away the comforts and the idols we run to and instead running to the comforter
the practice of repentance and the pursuit of holiness
rekindling our passion in prayer and worship
2/ An invitation to Remain
“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.
– guarding our hearts against falling asleep by drawing strength from the vine
– openness to pruning
– a lifelong journey of being ‘changed from the roots’
– a renewed passion for the Word of God and the presence of God
3/ An Invitation to Realign
49 “But why did you need to search?” he asked. “Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?
– be busy with the right things – The about the Father’s business
– His agenda over our agenda
– laying down my ego and our need to be noticed, celebrated and adored so that his name would be proclaimed, promoted, celebrated, glorified
This is a season of invitation go on a journey of personal renewal and refreshing in God
but it’s also an invitation for us to go on that journey together as a community to continue to become a place of life, renewal, refreshing, restoration and healing for others.
Will you come on the journey with us?