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  • Joni Topper


Updated: Sep 19, 2019

Charles Spurgeon in his devotional Morning and Evening says:

"There are many ways of promoting Christian wakefulness. Among the rest, let me strongly advise Christians to converse together concerning the ways of the Lord.

Christian and Hopeful, as they journeyed towards the Celestial City, said to themselves, 'To prevent drowsiness in this place, let us fall into good discourse.' Christian enquired, 'Brother, where shall we begin?' And Hopeful answered, 'Where God began with us.' "

Where did God begin with you? When I was in junior high a friend asked me a question to which I responded by quoting a bible verse found in Mark. Her response was, “What is a Mark?” I thought “Really? You live in America and you don’t know Mark is a book of the Bible?” This simple experience made me come to grips with the fact that not every little girl went to Sunday School. Not every little girl’s mother told stories of God as they rode in the car. Not every little girl’s mother sang songs about Jesus around the house. Maybe, our conversation that day was my first realization of the need to “fall into good discourse”.

As a teenager one of the youth events I participated in was an opportunity to go to the local grocery store and ask people a difficult question. “If you died today do you know where you would spend eternity?” In order to ask this question, we had to equip ourselves with the word of God. At the time I was clueless that for some folks it would be the first time they had ever been face to face with this question. Our leaders taught us the Roman road to salvation so we could answer questions as we undertook this task force type assignment. Honestly, I do not remember what people said to me. I only remember thinking the Bible verses we had learned in preparation were important to have stored in my heart, my arsenal of protection against a cold world. These moments may have defined someone’s decision to accept Christ. These moments may have made people think we were nut cases. These moments would forever change my understanding of what I could do. Prepared with the gospel of peace, I could talk to people about God.

When I was gainfully employed at the U S Post Office, I received prayer requests all day every day. Most of them came as a text but some were spoken as I sold a stamp or weighed a package. On occasion I felt a little put upon by the assumptions that I was always free to fall on my knees and have a little talk with Jesus to make things right. Almost always I did in fact let my heart declare to God the need presented as a concern He had power to sovereignly address. Many calls for prayer came from people one might easily assume had seldom ever uttered a word to God. When the events of life make people aware of their utter helplessness, the sudden realization that they are also in unfamiliar territory when it comes to prayer, can bring on panic. In any case, sending the distress call to prayer warriors is a perfect response. Once again, those scriptures bound and burned in my heart enabled a wide-awake response. The Lord’s prayer is known universally. Jesus words were in response to the simple request, “Lord teach us to pray”. Scripture tells us we have not because we ask not. The scripture following the Lord’s prayer is a story of a friend coming at midnight asking for help to serve a friend in need. The friend who is trying to meet a need will not take no for an answer. Being persistent to meet the needs of a friend is a worthy cause. Talking about what God can do strengthens us in the speaking. Wakes us up.

The sheriff in my small community was around six foot six inches tall. He was as imposing in his persona as he was in his stature. No one would say he was a timid man. His common practice was unusual to the unsuspecting. He would enter the Post Office, wait his turn in line, stoop to put his elbow on the counter and say, “Tell me, what is God doing in your life?” The question took me aback. This giant of a man’s presence was something to behold. He made me smile all the way through my being. Partly because he really wanted to know. Partly because I might have expected the question from a Sunday School teacher but not from this gun toting deep voiced law man. He woke me up.

Recently I purchased tickets to an event from an online site that advertised, “Awakening events”. Sometimes a word spoken about where God began with you will awaken your spirit. “I’m ready, God, so ready, ready from head to toe, Ready to sing ready to raise a tune: 'Wake up soul! Wake up, lute! Wake up, you sleepyhead sun!' ” (Psalm 57:7-8 MSG)

We recently adopted two parakeets from our granddaughter. They awaken every morning with a song. Although I don’t know their language, I do know that it sounds of confident expectation. They chatter in their beautiful bird songs back and forth with melody and familiar rhythm. Their chirps are strong. They have something to say. Though their presence is small you can’t help but hear them. Listening to them it’s easy to imagine them sharing stories. My thirteen-year old granddaughter sings sometimes at our church. Her most recent song choice was “Remember” by Lauren Daigle. My spirit awakened as the beautiful voice that belongs to no-one but her sang these lyrics “I remember, I remember, you have always been faithful to me. I remember, I remember, even when my own eyes could not see. You were there, always there, with me.”. So, let us fall into good discourse and remember where God began with us.


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