Belief Beyond Boundaries
Recently in social media circles, you may have heard the term "awakened." What is "The Awakening" or rather what does it mean to be awakened? First, do not confuse this with "woke" culture. Being "woke" describes an alert to injustice in society, especially racism. Some may see being woke as an awakening of sorts, but being "awakened" generally refers to a spiritual awakening. I would describe awakening as a mental awareness of how your life and spiritual viewpoints stand against the context or framework of your spiritual belief system. Once this happens, a person may decide to change in some regards to bring their newly created ideals into alignment with what they discern as their personal and perceived spiritual belief system. In Christianity, we attempt to intuitively discern, through spiritual study, the will of the Holy Spirit.
First, why is it important to become awakened? Before one receives any sort of awakening, they will naturally live in accordance to what the world, in general, has taught them. Whether it be how to act, how their parents raised them, school conditioning, passive spiritual beliefs, behavior as perceived from the media, and other influences. In essence, before awakening, you live in the rules and belief systems of all that surrounds you. Once you become spiritually awakened however, you suddenly have a framework in which you can perceive the cognitive input you've been receiving for so many years. In essence you've been a sponge all these years, soaking up the belief systems of everyone surrounding you, but now you seek to wring out the sponge in a sense. This allows you to begin the process of purging toxic ideas, mental processes, and illogical societal conditioning from the paradigm in which you now view the world. You may become less materialistic, less selfish, more kind, loving, and more patient. You are now looking at the world from a different lens, a more skeptical one. You now question whether new information coming in aligns with your new belief system, whether it comes from friends, relatives, or even the government or commercials you see on television. Can you understand how awakened individuals doesn't necessarily match the interests of the government or corporations agendas?
The truth is, a capitalistic economy, such as the U.S. relies on greed to operate. It requires citizens to see the world through a materialistic vantage point so they buy more and capitalism also requires corporations to be greedy in order to be as competitive as possible. Over time, this creates a culture that views the world from an inherently selfish view, causing inevitable corruption. In a pure capitalistic society, all deeds are done only by those who are paid for it. Without individual awakening, the culture of materialism means each and every person in this culture will act only in accordance with what benefits themselves. Awakening is the vital force that breaks this anti-humanitarian destructive force.
So how does a person become awakened? If you are Christian, it is as simple as surrounding yourself with positive influences and relationships that support the teachings of Christ on a daily basis. Whether it is through Bible study, going to church, reading devotions, or listening to Christian radio, you will slowly and methodically deprogram and purify the chaotic influences of the world from your mind. From there a necessary process begins. The actual awakening to Christ and His Kingdom.
When the Lord starts working in your heart, in my experience, an interesting thing happens at first. The bulldozer rolls in to knock down all the mental prisons that have been holding you hostage for many years. There will be so many moments of absolute joy, which will drive you, but also moments of sadness as you deconstruct all the "false" teachings you've learned, that used to feel right, and begin building new constructs that align with your new, and more Christ-like, mind. This is where you will realize the beautiful mercy of God and learn His forgiveness as well as understand forgiveness of yourself. At this point you're emerging from the wilderness and wondering what to do with all you've learned. By becoming more involved in church and your community, you will more smoothly adapt to your new-found growth. This is truly what being born again looks like.
That is why we need people who are willing to wake up to a new reality. For too long, we've allowed the powers-that-be to dictate how we should think, but...the Kingdom is coming and it starts with you, because the Kingdom IS you. When you transform, the world transforms and brings us one step closer. Kind of exciting isn't it? Welcome home.
If you are not a practicing Christian, I have a special note for you. When Jesus walked this Earth, he came with the Spirit of God within him in order to show us how to apply God's commandments as given to us in the old testament of the Bible. Through His sacrifice by dying on the cross, He redeemed all those who believe in Him and repent of sin so they may never have to taste death whatsoever. If that reaches your heart, pray to Jesus and ask Him into your heart now so you may also find eternal life.
Ephesians 2 (NIV)
1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.