Isaiah 52 begins with the Lord saying, "awake, awake, O Zion, clothe yourself with strength. Put on your garments of splendor.....shake off your dust, rise up, sit enthroned." There are two things that He wants us to do. First, to wake up from our deep, comfortable, cozy slumber called contentedness. And secondly, to shake off the dust, rise up, and walk into the glory and power that He desires for us and makes available to us. Or in other words, to get back in the game as I like to put it.
God desires to use us to heal, evangelize, and prophesy on a regular basis. However, somewhere along the way in our christian walk, we as a church body have lost our initial zeal for the Lord and have gotten knocked down by the tribulations of life. Now, we are afraid of getting back up and causing waves. Afraid of what others may say and of losing their so called respect. We have written our selves off as useful in the kingdom of God. We don't see ourselves as God sees us. Wollowing in the self-pity of our human weakness, we crawl to the sidelines and take our place on the bench content to watch the "game". Giving into the lie that our sin is bigger than God's power. We need to shake off the dust because the enemy wants to speak lies into your brain saying that what you've done in your past disqualifies you from being used by God. He wants to speak lies to us saying that we are not worthy.
The Lord is crying out "awake, awake. It's time to get up, brush off, and get back in the game. I came to set you free so that I can use you to set others free." We have to do something. We have to wake ourselves from the lethargy of unbelief. We have to get up! I remember getting knocked down several times in sports growing up and not wanting to get back in the game. It was painful and many times I was afraid. But as I was picking myself up, brushing off, and doubting myself, my coach would be there reminding me of the player he knew me to be. Telling me to not look at the circumstances, but at the facts. God does the same thing when He tells us to walk by faith, not by sight in 2 Corinthians 5:7 and to agree with who He says we are!
But that's easier sad than done because we look at weak, little ol' us and compare ourself to those that we are in awe of on the ministry stage. We look at them wondering what amazing things are going to come forth from them next. Wes Hall recently shared at a service that often the leaders are sitting there thinking, "Man, I'm tired and really hungry. The music is irritating me and that guy in the 5th row is really bugging me. I really wish I could go home and be with my children! I just don't feel it." In reality, they are just like us. They, too, have to shake off the dust.
We all have times when we feel it, but the majority of the time we don't. If we operated on feelings, no one would show up. That's why we walk by faith not by sight. Kind of like a train. Lead with faith, and the feelings will follow. We need to wake up to who we are - sons and daughters of the King of kings. Royalty equipped to do His works. It's not so that man gets the glory, it's so that God gets the glory.
Many of us are sitting in the dust waiting for God's big crane to pick us up when it's time, shake us, and then set us up where we are supposed to minister. However, He has already done His part, now He's waiting for us to do ours. Most likely your ministry field is right there in your day to day life. It's time to get back in the game. Keep going even if you get knocked down the first time. Don't be afraid. Our Heavenly Father is right there cheering you on and whispering secrets to unlock hearts. It's our job to rise up and get going. the results are up to Him.
I'll close by quoting that great theologian Adrian Balboa of Rocky movie fame:
Rocky - "But, I'm afraid."
Adrian - "There's nothing wrong with being afraid. You're human aren't you?.. You're the one that has to carry that fear around inside you... Get rid of it, because it's going to bother you for the rest of your life. Look at what it's doing to you now."
Rocky - "And if I lose?"
Adrian - "At least you lose with no excuses. No fear. And I know that you can live with that"