If you’ve been sleepwalking through life, you may need a “Lazarus Awakening”

Renee Ann Smith —  April 7, 2011 — 19 Comments

Jesus raises Lazarus to new life

When the daily grind of this oppressive world leaves me feeling used up and wasted, I wonder if it would be easier to turn off my emotions, just stop caring, and travel through life with a little less pain. But when I follow this plan, my joy slips away, too, and I find myself simply ‘going through the motions’–walking, talking, working–but falling far short of the abundant life the Father planned for me.

This is the kind of half-living Joanna Weaver addresses in her book Lazarus Awakening. Does the following excerpt describe how you’ve been feeling?

“We live in graveyards filled with memories. Wandering through life in perpetual mourning over the things we have done and the things that have been done to us.

We may do our best to outrun the mistakes and regrets, the hurts and disappointments, but apart from God, we find it difficult to escape the cycle of shame and self-hatred that keeps our ‘sin . . . ever before’ us (Psalm 51:3). Unfortunately, the coping mechanisms we embrace in order to manage our pain only reinforce the strongholds in our souls.

That’s why Paul prayed that we might be sanctified and made holy ‘through and through’—spirit, soul, and body (I Thessalonians 5:23). For although Christ has been enthroned in our spirits, there are kingdoms in our souls that have yet to receive the good news. Places in our minds, wills, and emotions that must be brought under His control.

Because any arena in our lives where Satan feels relatively comfortable is a stronghold from which we need to be set free–a tomb God wants to open.

  • Are you shy by nature? Well, then, [Satan will] make sure you are humiliated regularly to reinforce your fear of people.
  • Are you prone to worry and anxiety? He’ll make sure that it seems everything and everyone is against you.
  • Do you struggle with pride and anger? He’ll make sure that people know how to push your buttons—and that they do it with great frequency . . .

He has as many different methods as there are individuals, but his one goal is to contain and restrain you. To entomb you so he can consume you. To incarcerate you with so many lies, insecurities, and guilt feelings that the gift God intended your life to be remains undiscovered.

How does he do it? Doubt by doubt, insult by insult . . . ‘This is who you are,’ he hisses . . . ‘This is all you’ll ever be,’ he gloats . . .

Doing his best to convince us how very small he says we are . . .”

Back to me: Can you relate? I can! Then what’s the answer for us when we’re in this state? God gives us some guidance in Colossians 2: “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”

This means, make an effort to rekindle that initial relationship. Pour out your heart to the Lord in prayer. Search for hope in His Word. Consciously think about Him and all that He is to you. Spend time with others who love Him, too. Cut out of your life anything that brings you down or pulls you away from Him. And maybe you want to pick up a book like this one, with its practical advice, inspiring examples, and Scriptural wisdom.

Grab your own copy of the book at this link. It’s sure to touch your heart and give you hope!

Key Quote from Joanna Weaver:Act as though God loves you. Put the full force of your mind behind your faith. Roll aside the stone of unbelief by replacing lies with God’s eternal truth.”

Before you go off to read about Joanna and enter her exciting contest, I want to remind you about the Christian Fiction Book Club. The first “meeting” of the new and improved club is this Saturday, April 9th. We’ll all be discussing The Girl in the Gatehouse. Plus, I’ll be giving away my copy to one fortunate commenter.

I’ve already read some of the books chosen for upcoming clubs, and they’re GREAT! Follow this link for the schedule of books and then get to your library or Amazon.com—quick!

Now, back to Lazarus Awakening. About the book: In this life-giving book, Joanna Weaver shows you how to embrace the truth that Jesus loves you apart from anything you accomplish, apart from anything you bring. Just as He called Lazarus forth to new life, Jesus wants to free you to live fully in the light of His love, unbound from the graveclothes of fear, regret, and self-condemnation.

Combining unforgettable real-life illustrations with unexpected biblical insights, Joanna Weaver invites you to experience a spiritual resurrection that will forever change your understanding of what it means to be the one Jesus loves. Bible study and Leader’s Guide available here. http://www.joannaweaverbooks.com/books/lazarus-awakening/

***Thanks to the Litfuse PR people, Joanna Weaver, and WaterBrook Press, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

About Joanna: Joanna Weaver is known the world over for her transparent and life-changing books, Having A Mary Heart in a Martha World and Having a Mary Spirit. These two books have sold over a million copies and have been translated into several languages including Spanish, French, Dutch, Chinese, German, Korean and more. Joanna has appeared on a wide variety of nationally syndicated radio and television broadcasts. Past appearances include: The Harvest Show, At Home Live With Chuck & Jenni, Midday Connection, HomeWord, and Janet Parschall’s America. She is also a highly sought after speaker and shares her message at intimate gatherings and several high profile events each year. But Joanna’s greatest joy is found in being a wife and mother and her role as a pastor’s wife. For more information about Joanna, please visit her website. www.joannaweaverbooks.com.

Joanna is celebrating the release of Lazarus Awakening with the Heart of God KINDLE Giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:

* A Brand New KINDLE with Wi-Fi
* Having A Mary Heart in a Martha World
* Having A Mary Spirit
* Lazarus Awakening

Joanna will also select two additional contest entrants to receive copies of her trilogy. Enter soon by clicking the icons below and then tell your friends. Hurry the contest ends April 16th. The winner will be announced on Joanna’s blog on April 18th.

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Renee Ann Smith

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I teach literature in a Christian high school by day and write inspirational fiction by night. I love to share heart-touching quotes and stories here on my blog. So glad you stopped by!

19 responses to If you’ve been sleepwalking through life, you may need a “Lazarus Awakening”

  1. This sounds fantastic. I can totally relate to that sentiment. It’s so hard to forgive one’s self. Great post.

    • I guess that’s something many of us struggle with, Juju. On that topic and others, this book really touched my heart! My copy’s a mess because I’ve paged through it more than once and marked it up and dog-eared the pages . . . Let’s just say, it’s well-loved!

  2. Wow, this sounds like a book I need to get. There are many days when I feel like I am just sleep walking. I have been going through a very challenging time. I am intensely working with a therapist to face my past demons that still haunt me today. It can be very overwhelming as I tend to confuse man’s will with God’s will. I used to try to run from my issues with self destructive behavior, but surprise, surprise they are still with me! “We live in graveyards filled with memories. Wandering through life in perpetual mourning over the things we have done and the things that have been done to us.” This statement so describes me. I thank you, Renee, for reviewing such books that can give the message of hope.

  3. That was an excellent post and sounds like a really good book. Thank you.

  4. Satan definitely tries to use my anxiety… sounds like a great book.

    Looking forward to book club tomorrow. Thanks for posting about it.

  5. Hi! Thanks so much for visiting us at Lucas’s Journey w/SPD! I’m following you now and can’t wait to read more of your blog!

    We hope you come back and link up each weekend for our Super Mega 7 Blog Hop :)

    Debbie
    Lucas’s Journey w/SPD
    http://lucasjourneyspd.blogspot.com
    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001148833620
    http://twitter.com/#!/lucasjourneyspd

  6. Enjoyed your site and excited to find it. I marked it for several reasons. I have a new Kindle on the way and have so many books already downloaded on my Kindle app so I will check here for reviews. I enjoyed reading about the Awakening book and am going to look into more about it. Your site is like walking into a new store and excited about about the departments.

  7. Hi Renee Ann,
    This post caught my eye on NOBH because in Mass today the Gospel reading was on Lazarus being raised from the dead and the priest gave his homily on not being entombed by our sinful ways, past and present and not feeling guilty for what we have done or failed to do. Rather, like this book seems to explain, we find forgiveness and hope in Jesus’ cross and resurrection. Thank you for sharing another uplifting and great post with all of us at NOBH! God bless!

  8. This can change for me day to day,thank-you for sharing this book with us.
    Blessings,
    Ginger

  9. Great review. I am eager to read this book. In this month of celebration of the resurrection of Chirst I would like to have a “heart resurrection.”

    Blessings,
    Pamela

  10. Sounds like a really good book. Thank you for the great review.
    Blessings,
    Charlotte

  11. Thank you for your wonderful site

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