Photo by Shelagh Murphy:

It's Time to Wake Up

Earlier this month, I attended The Send here in Nashville, TN. If you haven’t heard of it, The Send is a collaborative, global coalition of Jesus followers, dedicated to the fulfillment of the great commission. The mission is to equip messengers, who are confident in their identity and the calling over their lives, to share the Gospel to every person in the world.

The whole premise of the 10-hour conference was to awaken us to our identity in Jesus, to help us discover our callings, to stir our hearts to the nation, AND, to fan a flame in our hearts for the nations!

This was a special moment for me. Back in college, Carry the Love, a ministry connected with The Send, came to my campus to minister to students. I was massively impacted by that week. It was there that Jesus healed me of a severe panic attack and anxiety disorder that had essentially taken control of my life. Six years later, I’m glad to say that this healing encounter has forever marked me!

As I’ve continued to process my experience at The Send, I felt the Holy Spirit urge me to share some thoughts. My desire isn’t to make a wordy, feel-good story - nor is it to condemn and leave you feeling less than or guilty. However, I won’t feel bad if there’s some conviction from this - I write this convicted myself!

This wasn't the plan.

If you’ve followed Abiding Love Co. for any amount of time, you’ll know that I didn’t plan to start a business. Rather, it came from a passion and genuine desire to be obedient to what I felt God call me to begin after two years of prayer. When it comes to something so inextricably connected to a calling, I cannot be foolish enough to mistake this platform as simply a business. Rather, every word I write comes from a heart desiring this to be a ministry first and foremost. And yet, even in “ministry”, just like with anything else we do, one can become complacent in it - viewing it as the ebbs of a daily routine. Going only with the flow of life - the seen world around us - is inevitable if we aren’t keeping ourselves accountable. During my time at The Send, I could see areas where I must battle complacency and comfort.

This isn’t to say that keeping up with the routines and responsibilities of this life is wrong. It isn’t! However, there is a trap in the everyday mundane. The enemy is always waiting for a chance to convince us that wrapping ourselves comfortably in only what surrounds us - the to-dos, schedules, and short-term goals - is enough. Dear friend, you and I have a purpose more significant than this. Yes, we are to steward these things I’ve mentioned well, BUT, when did stewarding our schedules become an acceptable exchange for staying stuck in the mandate?

I’m sorry if this sounds harsh. I don’t mean it to be. Yet, my heart burns for something specific as I write this. And my prayer is that it starts to burn within you, too!

The life we have is good - after all, God gave it to us! BUT, and this is a big but, we cannot afford to let it become our comfort or priority.


Here's our priority.

What then, you may wonder, is our priority? Go out and make disciples.

Jesus says it best, “If you love me, you will follow my commandments” (John 14:15). And what were his parting directions again? Exactly.

Too often do we idolize the comfort of our lives without even realizing it. Having a Type A personality, schedules are my jam. I love to control things, I admit it. And yet, living a life in tandem with the Holy Spirit (the One Jesus sent to us to HELP us fulfill our mission and who very much so still speaks if we’re willing to listen!!), does not often correlate to comfort or “sticking with the plan.”

Rather, when you’ve surrendered yourself to the lordship of Jesus, life can be often unpredictable. The Holy Spirit may whisper to give the person behind you money when you’re struggling between paychecks. He may tell you to go talk to the person across the room that you keep indirectly (and probably awkwardly) making eye contact with. He may even speak to you to move across the country (I’m a living testament of that one!). The world makes being a disciple of Jesus sound like a monotonous, restricted, and boring life. And yet, it’s anything like those things!


We've got a problem.

As Christians, we can be tempted to live in a bubble focused solely on our career, family, physical appearance, church, homes, having nice things, etc. But there is a major problem with this: a bubble doesn’t leave space for us to GROW. Anything more than the capacity the bubble can contain will cause it to pop. Oh, how many people are stuck in a bubble, unwilling to increase their capacity for MORE—greater maturity, increased responsibility, quicker obedience, more freedom, and even greater risk (yes, we’re going there).

Let me get to the point of all this: we cannot afford to live life in a comfortable bubble as Christians. We are called to lay down our lives and pick up our cross - which, in part, translates to the burden God has put on our hearts. This burden can range from the homeless, a mission field, evangelism, those in bondage to sexual sin and addiction, and so many more; yet, they all can be encapsulated into two words. THE LOST.

If our hearts aren’t burning for people who are lost, we need a new dousing of lighter fluid! If we are to be like Jesus, our hearts MUST burn for what His burns for.

If we are to be like Jesus, we are to search for the one and welcome home the prodigal. But both require action.

Friend, if you don’t know what your purpose is, it’s simple: to know him and to make Him known.


There's no time to waste. 

There are over five billion people who have never heard the name of JesusConsider yourself blessed that you are one of the people who has heard this beautiful name! But even more so, be humbled by the fact that it means you are now responsible to share this name with others.

We can’t bring things into Heaven. We can’t bring that raise from work, the house we built, sports medals, collections, phones, or anything else we strive for in this life. What we CAN bring is PEOPLE with us. As we obediently fulfill our end of this Great Commission, we have the opportunity to bring as many people as we can to Heaven with us. That is what we will have to show for our time on earth.

Yes, we’ll be rewarded for obeying the commandments and accepting Jesus as our Savior, but even more for our SACRIFICE—paying a cost to obey. What that is for you may not be the same for someone else. For a single mom barely making ends meet, it may be a sacrifice of giving beyond her tithe to a need. Yet, for someone who is well-off financially, giving a check may not necessarily be a sacrifice that actually COSTS them something. The “what” of sacrifice isn’t the same—what matters is the heart to genuinely sacrifice something.

Growing outside of our bubbles requires a sacrifice of comfort and paying the cost of laying down our lives. We can no longer live for our pleasures, preferences, or desires. Sure, those things do matter to God—He’s a Good Father who loves to take care of us and bless us with those things—but they aren’t our expectation, priority, or purpose.


It's time to wake up.

The story of Deborah comes to mind—I can almost hear her cry out “Wake up, Deborah, wake up! Wake up, wake up, and sing a song! Arise, Barak! Lead your captives away, son of Abinoam!” (Judges 5:12).

I echo this same song to you today. Wake up! Arise from your passivity! Pop your bubble! Cry out to the Lord for your heart to be burdened for what His is! Don’t let the enemy keep you captive in the mundane! Awake and remember that you are made for a purpose beyond the world you see right now! You are made to bring Heaven to Earth!

The world needs you. It needs you to wake up. It needs you to step outside of yourself—to die to yourself and pick up your cross. It needs you to fight for those even in your own neighborhood who might die never knowing how good Jesus is!

They told us a story at The Send that breaks my heart even now. It stirs something inside me that I can’t quite describe. They played the sound of a metronome. In silence, they let it go: tick, tick, tick, tick, tick. Each signified people who are dying each moment without knowing Jesus.

Those aren’t just the people in some remote countries (although, there are SO MANY in these isolated place!), these are also our neighbors, classmates, and colleagues.

If we aren’t living lives that are different than those who don’t know Jesus—if we aren’t acting differently, speaking differently, or prioritizing our lives differently—what is the point?

Jesus didn’t die so that we can hole ourselves up in our churches or homes, hold our Bibles close, tithe our 10-percent, and go to bed at night feeling good about “following Jesus”. He didn’t die for us to live the same as before, covering ourselves with our own list of priorities and being “too busy” for anything outside of our comfort.


His death has a purpose for NOW.

No. He died for you to LIVE. But not like the world and certainly not for ourselves. He died to give us life abundantly, which requires a death to ourselves. It costs us the right to put up our walls of comfort and to ignore the command to GO OUT and MAKE disciples.

  • He didn’t say “STAY in church and all you have to do is TITHE to that mission organization”
  • He didn’t say “STAY at home and LET SOMEONE ELSE do it”
  • He didn’t say “STAY in your own world and DON’T associate with the ‘bad’ people”
  • He didn’t say “STAY in comfort and I’ll magically bring people to your door”

He commanded us TO GO—to leave, not stay, to change, or physically move ourselves from where we were before it was said— and MAKE—requiring action and putting effort into something—DISCIPLES. This command isn’t just to missionaries—it is to every single one of us who has accepted Jesus as their Savior. This is our mandate.

I see God is raising up a generation that is waking up to this command. To awake from the slumber of life—misplaced priorities, passivity, comfort, and the fear of man—so they can arise and lead the captives of the world into the GOOD NEWS. These are people who are not afraid to step in obedience and to pay the cost, not because it doesn’t hurt or scare them, but because they are devoted to the call of Christ on their lives. They are bold to proclaim the name of Jesus. They are flexible and allow the Holy Spirit to break through daily life with a prompting with a divine assignment to minister!

And while many of these people’s daily lives and routines won’t necessarily change from what it is normally, their hearts are different—they are burning, passionate, and ready to break-up with the everyday to-dos in order to see the Kingdom grow.


Here is my song to you.

This isn’t a long-winded persuasion to convince you to move to be a missionary in some distant unknown place. This is my own song of Deborah to 2024 Christians to once again awake to the realities of the unseen—a Kingdom at war with the world, a planet filled with people who do not yet know the hope that we do. This is a ballad sung in love AND truth that cries out, “Dear Friend, remember what you were created to do and break-off the invisible shackles of comfort that keeps you from living that out!”

If you’re a parent, pour into your children and disciple (while you’re at, minister to their friends and their parents!). If you’re working, let no co-worker be left unaware of who Jesus is. If you’re older and believe the lie that your work is done, break it off, start telling everyone you can. Find young men and women to pour your God-given wisdom into—don’t waste a second of the time that is left!

Popping the bubble doesn’t mean everything within it is gone—it simply means we can add so much more to our lives without it. We will never lose more than we give. As we lose our lives, we find a life that is worth more than anything this life can offer.

I end this long-winded ballad (and if I’m honest, an impromptu interruption that Holy Spirit wanted to have His way in) with a prayer for you. It’s time to wake up!


A prayer for you.

Lord, I come before you no better than anyone else. I know I often let my own passivity, fears, and comfort get in the way of your mandate in my life. But I also know that you are wanting to awake something powerful in our lives in this season. I ask that you would fill my friend here with a new passion for you, Jesus. Ignite their heart with a new flame that burns for you and you alone! Convict them in areas they’ve allowed a bubble to form in their life and, in your kindness, teach them how to pop it and walk in the freedom of life with you. Remind them of the vow they made to lay down their life for you and your mission. Stir in them a passion and a burden for a people group or cause that you also have a burden for! Unite us in a unity that only you can create—THE church coming together to carry out your command in obedience. Fill them with boldness to step out in obedience and to pay the cost of sacrifice, even when it’s scary or costly. Fan the flame of their heart and graciously remind them of the mandate and calling over their life! Amen.

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