Are Happening Everywhere Today!
Is Mine—Is Ours—for Real?
20 Ways You Can Know for Sure
if a Christ Awakening Is
Happening to YOU!
That is the question I get asked so often. Just last week it came up again while I was facilitating a statewide gathering of pastors in Rhode Island who are praying for a Christ Awakening.
And for good reason! It’s a question that addresses the most pressing challenge as well as the greatest hope the Church in America is facing in this hour of our national spiritual emergency. It is also the greatest challenge and hope for YOU.
In this blog post, I give you 20 very practical measurements you can use immediately to determine how much of a genuine Christ Awakening is unfolding in your life or Christian community and how far you have yet to go.
As far we know, nothing like this list has ever been compiled before today! These criteria will take you to the heart of what it really means to be a Jesus follower.
Two Definitions, a Verse, and a Video
First, let’s quickly define what a Christ Awakening involves. Here are two ways to say it:
A CHRIST AWAKENING is when God’s Spirit uses God’s Word to reintroduce God’s people to God’s Son for ALL he is.
A CHRIST AWAKENING is when the whole Church becomes wholly alive to the whole vision of the whole Christ.
Both definitions can apply to individual believers as well. Any Christian can wake up to the supremacy and fullness of Christ in such powerful new ways that it is as if being “reintroduced” to ALL Jesus is or becoming “wholly alive” to the WHOLE Christ. As I say it on the front cover of my latest book, Christ Is NOW!, it’s as if you “Meet Him Again for the First Time.”
Or we could define it using the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:6 when he writes about the most powerful miracle the Father performs in any life. A Christ Awakening is simply experiencing this miracle in more profound, more personal, and more transforming ways than ever before. Paul writes:
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
See more on this topic at https://christnow.com/what-is-a-christ-awakening. It answers key questions and provides a 19-minute teaching video.
Is What I’m Experiencing in My Life or in My
Church a Genuine Christ Awakening?
Twenty Questions Worth Asking
Do you remember waking up this morning? I’m sure you can describe exactly how it unfolded, when you knew for sure you were awake, and how you know right now that you’re still awake.
In the same way, anyone who is experiencing a Christ Awakening, as it is unfolding for them, knows that they too are coming out of a “spiritual slumber” as increasingly they find themselves seeing more of Jesus, seeking more of Jesus, and savoring more of Jesus.
With each of the following questions, rate your response on a scale of 1-10.
1 = That’s NOT what I am (we are) experiencing right now.
10 = That’s what I am (we are) experiencing daily; but I (we) long for much more.
If you give yourself (or your church) something in the middle—a 5 perhaps—interpret that as “That’s whom I (we) want to become; it’s the direction I (we) intend to move.”
Or better still, interpret any rating past a 1 as an encouragement for you because it’s saying, “My (our) response is proof that the Spirit of God already has begun to awaken me (us) to the glory of Christ and is leading me (us) to seek more of him.”
1. Is Jesus one of your first thoughts in the morning when you wake up physically?
2. When you read your Bible, do you find yourself looking for how Scripture can help you know more about Jesus and who he is right now?
3. Whenever you pray, do you find your prayers shaped more and more by a desire to glorify Jesus’ name, increase his reign, and spread his fame through the answers to your prayers?
4. In times of worship (alone or with others), are you more determined than ever to sing songs or hymns that focus on Christ—that talk about Christ, exult in Christ, promise more of Christ, express passion for Christ?
5. Do you find yourself wanting to talk with other believers about the Lord Jesus and what you’re learning about him—to share with them some new insights into his greatness and glory you’ve uncovered?
6. Do you find yourself equally longing for other believers to talk with you about their discoveries concerning Jesus and what he means to them?
7. Is there an increasing desire to tell unbelievers about Christ—not only to get them to heaven but first of all because you want them to know what a wonderful Savior he wants to be for them right now in this life?
8. When you think about your future, near at hand and after you die, are you able to join Paul in saying with your whole heart: “For living to me means simply ‘Christ’, and if I die I should merely gain more of him” (Philippians 1: 21, PHILLIPS)?
9. Are you more and more determined to keep pursuing the direction Paul was moving in his relationship with God’s Son as he wrote in Philippians 3?
Everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. . . . I want to know Christ . . . I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me (NLT).
10. Do you find yourself increasingly desperate during worship on Sunday or in a small group Bible study you attend to be sure, above everything else, you leave with a little bit larger vision of Christ and greater reasons to put your hope in him in your daily walk?
11. Even more, is it becoming your ambition, as much as it is in your power to do so, to ensure that other believers also discover during worship or a Bible study a larger vision of Christ and greater reasons to put their hope in him?
12. Do you find yourself increasingly wanting to become more like Christ in every area of your life—rejoicing that your destiny is to be transformed into his image? (Romans 8:29).
13. Are you becoming more aware of the reality that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 25 or Paul in Ephesians 6 that when you are serving someone else you are actually doing it to Jesus himself—not just for him but also TO him, right there and then?
14. Throughout each day are you growing in your awareness that God’s Son is genuinely present with you, that you are alive in his presence, that he is directly and actively at work in you as Lord of your life, as well as in the times you gather with other believers?
15. More and more do you find yourself consciously looking for evidence of the reign of Christ breaking through in new ways—not only in your own life or in your church but even in powerful ways among the nations?
16. Is your heart progressively overflowing with the love of Christ (his love for you and his love for others) so that you feel “compelled” like Paul (see 2 Corinthians 5:14) to demonstrate that love every day by how you minister to others around you?
17. Are you more determined than ever to walk away from every temptation, every sin, every circumstance, every activity—even every opportunity—that is not ultimately compatible with who Jesus is, where he is headed, what he is doing, and how he gets exalted?
18. When you are involved with other believers in active, organized worship or ministry—for instance, serving on a finance committee or a praise team—do you attempt to help them keep the Lord Jesus (who is truly among you) in his rightful place as your leader and the one for whom everything is done?
19. When you go to bed at night, is Jesus and all you have learned about him and experienced with him that day one of the last thoughts on your mind before you drift off to sleep?
20. Have you determined to commit yourself to one desire above all others: for the rest of your life to become as deeply passionate for and as totally wrapped up in God’s Son as the Father is?
(1) Take time to learn more about a Christ Awakening here, which includes a 19-minute teaching video.
(2) Share this “exam” with other believers in your church or fellowship and then discuss your findings together.
Suggestion for a weekly small group or Sunday School activity: Watch the video. Take the survey. Discuss responses for all questions or for selected ones, as time allows. End by praying together about what you’ve discovered.
About the Author
Over the past 40 years, David Bryant has been defined by many as a “messenger of hope” and a “Christ proclaimer” to the Church throughout the world. Formerly a minister-at-large with the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, president of Concerts of Prayer International (COPI), and chairman of America’s National Prayer Committee, David now provides leadership to ChristNow.com and to Proclaim Hope!, whose mission is to foster and serve Christ-awakening movements. Order his widely read books at DavidBryantBooks.com.