A reprint from The Pentecostal Evangel, originally titled: IT’S TIME FOR REVEILLE
By Ada Brownell
Last night I became freshly aware of how difficult it is to fight off sleep. My 10-year-old daughter was ill. After praying for her and giving her medicine, I needed to stay away until she was better.
But it was cold, so I crawled in bed. Beneath the covers it was warm, and I had tremendous struggle to keep from dozing off. Every muscle wanted to relax, but I kept thinking, I’ve got to stay awake!”
The struggle reminded me of how difficult it is for Christians to stay spiritually awake. The cares of this life make us weary. WE feel a need to relax, and before long our spiritual senses grow dull and drowsy.
But the Lord commanded us to watch! We are to keep alert. We are on duty! WE are to be watchful and ready at all times for the Lord’s return.
Last spring where I live the media asked if anyone had protested the teaching of evolution in the local school district. In our city of over 100,000, no one had. I made a mental of it, intending to them hear from me.
In the fall I was suddenly reminded of my procrastination when my son came home from school and told me wat his teacher said about the Bible. According to the teacher, the Bible says the earth is flat, covered with a dome with stars painted on it, and the devil in underneath in the flames of hell.
I told my son he should have asked for chapter and verse, because no such things are taught in the Bible. The next day I wrote the superintendent of schools and told him I had a complaint about a teacher. I added, ‘While I am writing, I want to be on record as opposing the teaching of evolution in our schools.’ Then I cited some reasons why I don’t believe in evolution (based on extensive research) and concluded by pointing out evolution is based on faith as much as belief in a Creator is based on faith.
I received a letter from the superintendent and later phone calls from both the superintendent and the school principal. They apologized for the teacher. After I had a lengthy discussion with the superintendent, he told me he agreed that taking courses in evolution or creationism should be a choice for each pupil—or evolution should not be taught.
Fifteen years ago when sex education was introduced into the schools, the church stirred and grunted a little, but gave up when the educated spokesmen embarrassed us publicly for our narrow-minded morals. Sex education, they said, would eliminate venereal diseases, teen pregnancy, and sexual hang-ups.
The tragic decline in morals in this country since that time may be blamed on the media, as much as on public schools, but publishers and broadcasters never would have dared spread such filth had it not been for the silence of parents. The door to immorality by parents allowing teachers to discuss sex without discussing morality and the consequences of sinning our bodies as well as God.
But all hope is not lost. God is still on the throne, and the gates of hell will not prevail against His church. If we will open our ears to the sound of reveille, we can drive the enemy back. We can put on the whole armor of God, take the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God and be triumphant.
“Awake thou that sleepest!” Paul told the Ephesians. The Living Bible has an interesting paraphrase of this passage: “Take no part in the worthless pleasures of evil and darkness, but instead, rebuke and expose them… When you expose them, the light shines in upon their sin and shows it up and when they see how wrong they really are, some of them may even become children of the light! That is why God says in Scriptures, “Awake. O Sleeper, and rise up from the dead; and Christ shall give you light’” (Ephesians 5:11-14).
The alarm is sounding. It’s time to wake up.
When I was a child, there was fire at our house one morning. Daddy had left for work, and we were still in bed when my mother shouted, “Fire!”
My brother Joe slept upstairs. Even before I emerged from my downstairs bedroom, I heard him bound down the stairs and dart out the back door. By the time I got outside that frosty morning, Joe had carried the garden hose into the basement and was shooting water on the flames above the furnace. When the fire department arrived, the fire was out, and damage was minimal, due to Joe’s quick action.
The earth many not be on fire—not yet—but sin is raging out of control, destroying many lives. It’s time for action.
If the church will stir itself from slumber, it can shake the world. Again and again it has happened in the past. God uses people who will respond to His Spirit and give the sound of reveille.
Reveille is not the most welcome sound. The jangle of an alarm clock is on the worst noises in the world.
Evangelists who sound the alarm may not be popular, I once interviewed an elderly lady who heard D.L. Moody preach in Leadville, Colo., when she was young.
The old woman curses as she recalled the occasion: “The place was packed. I could hardly get into the building. Moody started yelling and carrying on about sin, and I didn’t like it. I got up and walked out.”
Even though we don’t like to be disturbed, there are times we must be. “Now it is high time to awake out of sleep,” Paul wrote, “for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed” (Romans 13:11).
--PENTECOSTAL EVANGEL, April 11, 1982.