When All Else Fails… ‘Rouse YOURSELF’

I hope you are doing well today. But if not, there’s a good chance you’ve found someone else to blame for your malaise.

You know what I mean. You’re in a bad mood, so you blame it on the lack of affection you’re receiving from your spouse. Your bank account is empty, and you’re convinced it’s because your employer is too stingy to pay you enough. Your spiritual life is bone dry, so you claim it’s the result of your pastor’s uninspiring preaching. You don’t like your situation in life, and you say you’re waiting on God to fix it someday.

But perhaps you’re looking in the wrong direction for your spiritual, emotional, or financial revival. The person to blame may be a lot closer than you think…

One day the prophet Isaiah cried out to God in despair: “There is no one who calls on Your name, who arouses himself to take hold of You; for You have hidden Your face from us and have delivered us into the power of our iniquities”  (Isaiah 64:7). Isaiah’s observation holds a vital key for whatever breakthrough we seek in our lives today: We must “arouse ourselves” to take hold of the Lord!

While the Bible also commands us to “stir up one another to love and good works”  (Hebrews 10:24 ESV), this is not ordinarily where a spiritual awakening begins. You see, it’s not primarily the responsibility of other people—your spouse, your friends, your employer, or your pastor—to rouse you from your lethargy. Even God Himself won’t bring you to a place of renewal and restoration until you rouse yourself  to take hold of Him.

Make no mistake about it: Rousing yourself isn’t a one-time proposition but something you must do on a regular basis. Paul told Timothy to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you”  (2 Timothy 1:6). Other translations say we must “stir up”  or “fan into flame”  the gifts and callings of God in our lives.

Before the day is over, I encourage you to spend some time with the Lord to arouse yourself and take hold of Him in a fresh way. And once that happens, you’ll be in a position to also  stir up others to a renewed passion for their calling in God.

There’s no need to wait for someone else!