An Alarm is Sounding!

One day my husband and I were walking through the mall when all of sudden a blaring alarm begin to sound. We took this as a warning to make our way to the nearest exit out of the mall as soon as possible. As we quickened our pace to get out of the mall, what struck me was the response of the other shoppers. No one was moving quickly. No one seemed to be concerned. As a matter of fact, there was no sense of urgency at all!

Many continued at their relaxed pace, window shopping or going into stores to shop. Many continued to stand in line at the food court and order their food. An alarm was sounding, and hardly anyone moved. I begin to wander,

“Why aren’t they moving?”

“Why are they continuing to shop when it is apparent that something is wrong?”

“Why isn’t anyone paying attention to the warning?

As my husband and I made our way to our car, I couldn’t shake what I had just witness. Such indifference. Such apathy. As we drove away I heard God say, “This is what my people are like today. Alarms are sounding all across the world, and very few are taking heed to the warnings.”

Human trafficking is on the rise.

Mass shootings are becoming the norm.

Suicide amongst children has increased.

Corruption is happening right in front of our eyes.

And hardly anyone is moving. No one seems to care. It’s one thing when you see indifference in the world because indifference in the world is expected. However God said, “This is what MY people are like today…,” indicating that those who aren’t paying attention to the warning signs are those who claim to know God and have professed Christ as their Savior.

An alarm is sounding.

God has an expectation of His people to be the ones to move when alarms are sounding. He expects us to be His mouthpiece, His hands and His feet. What the Body of Christ is becoming known for is running its mouth in trivial matters, but staying silent in matters where are voices need heard the most. An alarm is sounding.

We can’t preach sermons with great titles that speak of God’s power if we chose not to walk in the power that God has given us to tread upon scorpions and serpents.

We can’t just have great teaching series that give practical tools to conquer fear or to step outside of our comfort zones if we chose not to apply the notes taken in Bible Study class.

We can’t just whoop and shout on Sunday if we are not going to say a word to help someone else Monday through Saturday.

An alarm is sounding.

In Nehemiah Chapter 1, Nehemiah was minding his own business in the house of the king when he received news that an alarm was sounding in Jerusalem. He heard about the plight of his people and became so overwhelmed with grief that he wept and mourned for some days (Nehemiah 1:4).

In Nehemiah’s eyes an alarm was sounding because his people were in a broken state. They were in exile and were in great trouble and disgrace. Nehemiah recognized the brokenness of the people and the systems that were in place and could not stop thinking about it.

Day after day we are surrounded by brokenness.

Our justice system is broken.

Our political system is broken.

Our educational system is broken.

Our welfare system is broken.

Our foster care system is broken.

Our human services system is broken.

Our people are broken!

Our means, “belonging to or associated with the speaker and one or more other people previously mentioned or easily identified.” The word “our” signifies that there is a group or joint effort and it indicates ownership and responsibility. The problem is that we are living in a time where no one wants to take ownership and responsibility over the thing that’s sounding the alarm. The alarm that’s sounding is the cries of people who are in need of help because they lack knowledge, and direction and care.

Not only did Nehemiah recognize the broken state of his people, he was burdened by it. Nehemiah was troubled when he heard about his people. So troubled that he couldn’t sleep. He couldn’t eat. He wasn’t himself. He was weighed down by what was happening to his people far away, so much so that he had to do something!

The burdened of the people caused Nehemiah to have compassion on his people. Compassion leads one to act. Compassion causes one to look beyond the brokenness of others to see their need. Compassion causes you to empathize with the other and to understand that you could very well be in their shoes. The least of these are the poor, the hungry, the sick and those in prison, but the least of these also refer to the marginalized, the oppressed, and those without a voice.

Are we looking with eyes of compassion on the least of these?

An alarm is sounding.

Nehemiah saw the brokenness of the people and was burdened by it which caused him to go and help them rebuild the wall. See, when an alarm is sounding you have to go and see for yourself what the problem is because you may be part of the solution, or the answer to the problem.

There’s a demand on those who are broken to figure it out for themselves, and honestly they can’t. There are too many other pressing concerns on their minds. They know they need help, but they don’t know where to start. They know they are in exile and some may have put themselves in the situation, but guilt and shame prevents them from seeing a way out.

Nehemiah was able to bring the necessary focus and perspective that the people needed to get back on track. An alarm was sounding, and Nehemiah heard it. He didn’t lecture the people. He didn’t turn a blind eye. He didn’t say, “Not my problem.” Instead he rallied them together, counted himself as part of the community and placed responsibility on the community to help rebuild the wall.

An alarm is sounding. And God has raised a standard.

So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun; When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him (Isaiah 59:19)

The enemy has been having his way in the land. He comes in like a flood, and people are drowning. They are barely holding on. They’re losing their grip and waiting for someone to throw them a life line. The people of God is the standard that is lifted up against the enemy. God raises up His people in times such as these to stop the advances of the enemy. But in order to stop the advances of the enemy, one must be alert. You can’t sleep through the alarm.

An alarm is sounding.

God is saying, “I hear the cries of my people, but do you? I see what my people are going through, but do you? I have given you power and have left my Spirit here with you to lead and to guide you. Are you allowing Him to lead, or are you walking ahead or lagging behind?”

…if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

We need to repent and ask God for forgiveness for our apathy. Father, forgive us for not taking action when you opened doors for us to do so. Forgive us for not speaking up when invited to the table. Forgive for passing judgement instead of having compassion when we saw our people in distress. Forgive us for not praying as we should when we see what’s happening in the land. Forgive us for turning a blind eye. Forgive us for using prayer as a crutch when the action you seek is movement with our feet. Father, forgive us.

An alarm is sounding.

Do you hear it?

Will you respond?

The urgency is great.

The time is now.

The urgency is great. The time is now.

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