Wakey wakey, eggs and bakey! It usually means “wake up sleepy head, come for breakfast,” addressed at teenagers who have not yet woken up to the smell of bacon… how can you miss that! The saying is also used in my house when a conversation has been going on and then suddenly someone wakes up and asks, “What’s going on?” You wonder where they have been all this time, that they could have missed what was going on.
But for many of us, we need to hear it because what is going on around us, is catching us by surprise and life has caught us napping.
“He said to the crowd: “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘It’s going to rain,’ and it does. And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is. Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time?”
We are to be alert in our present times, the times and seasons in the world, as well as the times and seasons in our own lives. We are to be alert to the indicators that a new season is coming, or that a season is changing.
1 Peter 5:8 Peter tells us to “be self-controlled and alert” – for our enemy is prowling around, looking to whom he may devour. 1 Thes 5:6 we are encouraged not to be asleep, but to “be alert and self controlled.” In Eph 6:18, after being instructed on the armor of the Lord, we are told to “be alert and praying.”
We are to be alert and watchful to what is going on around us and what is going on inside of us.
Gideon who described himself as the weakest of the weak, feels unqualified for the task that God has set out for him in Judges 6. God sends an angel who greets him, “Hello, mighty warrior!” (Judges 6:12) and tells him he is indeed qualified. God then tells him to gather his men for a fight, and Gideon gathers 32 000 men. Against all the eastern people: the Midianites and Amalekites, all the ‘Ites!’ All of them camped out on the surrounding hills! Just 32 000 men! Talk about being outnumbered.
Then God tells him he has too many men! Everyone who is scared is told to go home and then he is still left with 10 000 men! But God says he still has too many and will sift them for him.
In the end, God keeps just 300 men (Judges 7). These are the ones who brought the water to their mouths to drink and did not go down to the water, to lap like dogs. 9 700 Men were not alert with enemies on every hill, taking their eyes off the enemy and lowering their heads to lap like dogs. Only 300 stayed alert! 300 Kept their eyes on the hills!
Rather 300 alert, courageous warriors then 9 700 distracted warriors more concerned about meeting their own personal needs, than staying alert. They were alert to the world and circumstances they found themselves in and therefore qualified for what God wanted to do.
We, as parents are alert, we take care of our physical needs WHILE watching out for the kids. So we know what it is to be alert. But are we alert to the times we are in, taking care, but alert. Jesus said to the disciples to “watch and pray” in Matt 26:41, because they were at an important moment in history.
We are at an important time in history right now!
We are to be alert to the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit, praying for protection, wisdom and favour in the season of COVID and lockdown. Some of us, are going through a change of season in our personal lives, but rather than anticipating the season by watching for the signs, we find ourselves trying to cope with what we did not expect.
If you are saying “What have I missed?” then perhaps it is time to wakey, wakey and be alert. Time to be in prayer, make preparation and build up your faith.
Lord help me to be awake and watchful in my own life and to be observant to circumstances around me. Thank you Holy Spirit that You will show us the signs and the things we should be aware of, so that when the season comes we will be found praying and not napping. Help us to be aware and make preparation for what is to come. Forgive me for all the times that I have been more concerned about my own comfort and personal needs, rather than be awake and praying to protect my loved ones and others from the enemy. Help me to be more self-controlled in what I indulge in, and be more watchful of the circumstances around me.