Awaken the Dawn

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O God, my heart is steadfast {with confident faith}; I will sing, I will sing praises, even with my soul.  Awake, harp and lyre; I will awaken the dawn! (Ps. 108:1-2) According to dictionary.com, the word dawn signifies the first appearance of daylight, the beginning or the rise of anything or to begin to open or develop.  We use the terms night and darkness to figuratively refer to periods of suffering and difficulty in our lives, while we use the “coming of dawn” to represent new beginnings, new life, a shifting of seasons and an end to brokenness.  In Psalms 30:5, we are told, “Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with morning.”

This scripture points out an often overlooked truth: We can awaken the dawn with our praise.  We have the ability to hasten the appearance of dawn in our lives, by choosing to praise God in the middle of our night season.  This is a principle my pastor pointed out to me a few weeks ago.  I had received some negative reports.  Although I didn’t know all the facts, my heart immediately panicked.  My mind went down the rabbit hole of all the potentially devastating possibilities and I was gripped in fear.  When I learned all the facts, nothing was as bad as I imagined, but the damage was already done.  What could have been a perfectly good week was ruined, because of my fear.  I was challenged to consider the following:  When faced with adversity and challenges, will I choose faith or fear?  Will I choose to run to the place of worship or the place of worry?  Rest assured.  It is my choice to make.  Will I wallow in darkness or awaken the dawn?

Consider Acts chapter 16.  Paul and Silas have been thrown into prison for preaching the gospel.  In verses 25-26, were are told, “Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening.  Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations.  All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!”  There are a few things about this that God really highlighted to me.  First of all, notice what time it is.  It is midnight.  Paul and Silas are literally sitting in a dark dungeon cell.  We are told earlier in the chapter that their feet are clamped and the jailer has been ordered to make sure they don’t escape.  But take note of what Paul and Silas are doing.  In the midst of their darkness, in the midst of their imprisonment, they are singing praises to God.  There feet may be clamped, but their mouths certainly aren’t.  We are told the other prisoners are listening…The praises of Paul and Silas are used to change the atmosphere in the prison and the praises they sing in the midst of their suffering draws everyone’s attention.  Suddenly, the praise that comes from inside of Paul and Silas changes their external circumstances.  The prison is shaken to its foundation, the doors fly open and the chains of all the prisoners fall off!

How differently would we respond to our circumstances, if we really understood that our praise and worship of God in the middle of our trials and pain could be a catalyst in our lives for so great a move of God that it causes the doors of opportunity to fly open before us and every chain that has held us back to drop to the floor?  What if we understood that the moments of our lives when everything around us is shaken have the potential to release us from bondage?  What if we understood that when we feel stuck and trapped with no way out, that our praise is the key to unlock our freedom?

The night has lasted for far too long.  It is time to awaken the dawn.

 

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