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5 Tips to Stay Woke as a Christian

Written By Breonna Rostic, USA

“Stay woke? Well, I must be awake, because I am talking with you.”

That was my response to a friend when I first heard the term, stay woke*. We were discussing a news article about racial relations in America. The phrase stay woke implies the need to be conscious and alert to avoid being misled by propaganda. It also encourages people to do their own research and critical thinking.

Seems harmless right? I thought so too. When it came to things like advertisements, politics, racial relations, and even news stories, I was prepared to research those things. But what I didn’t expect was someone telling me to stay woke—about my faith.

I was scrolling through Facebook when I came across an ancient Egyptian image with the words “You Still Believe in God. Stay Woke.” It implied that the God I knew, loved, and believed in was a figment of my imagination. It was a subtle shift, a seed of doubt attempting to transform my thinking about God.

Although we know God is not just a figment of our imagination, or the imaginations of over two billion Christians worldwide, the challenge to my faith made me pause and ponder. How many people are being misled by the stay woke movement? At that moment, I was strong enough in my faith to identify and withstand a sneaky attack, but what about moments when we are weak? What happens when this deception comes from someone we love?

As believers, we understand that the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10), and we can spot the subtle tactics he uses. His manipulation, divisiveness, temptation, and suggestive nature, all sowing confusion in people, can be traced back to his fall from grace. So, if we know what the devil does and how he does it, what’s different now? Why is it so easy for us to become victims of attacks such as stay woke?

We are living in the information age, and we have access to vast amounts of knowledge instantaneously. This isn’t always bad. On one hand, we can give and receive vital information through our connections. However, we risk taking in content that is destructive and deceitful. The enemy uses this as a tool to attack our belief system.

So what are we supposed to do as believers? Stay woke! Let’s take back what it means to “stay woke” and change the narrative.

When Paul wrote to the church of Ephesus, he talked about walking in light (that is, in righteousness and truth), and how light expels the darkness: “This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you” (Ephesians 5:14). Light doesn’t become darkness; it doesn’t ask darkness permission to be the light. This is what I mean when I say we have to stay woke as Christians.

Below are five tips to stay woke as Christians with practical applications:

 

1. Get Clarity

My pastor, Dr. Jermone Glenn, teaches that the Bible is a constitution. Not only is it the living and breathing word of God, but it is also the foundation of our beliefs, rights, and privileges as ambassadors of the kingdom of heaven. Thinking about the Bible in those terms has given me clarity about its authority so I know how to respond when my faith is questioned.

Practical Application: Study the Bible in multiple translations, listen to trusted teachers, and research historical context to have a well-rounded understanding of the Word of God. (Romans 10:17, Joshua 1:8)

 

2. Have Consistency

Know that the God we serve is consistent and unchanging. While we can receive new revelations about God through prayer, fasting, and studying, His ways—higher and deeper than ours—are always consistent. When we are given new information, test it with the Bible. Does it match the principles found in Scripture? Testing whether information is true and consistent will help us grow in maturity. (Hebrews 13:8, Malachi 3:6, Romans 12:2)

Practical Application: Test new information against Scriptural principles. Use a concordance or other Bible study tools to expand your knowledge base.

 

3. Stay Connected

Being around like-minded people will help us in our efforts to “stay woke”. If you are around others who believe in God and are living righteously, you will be more likely to do the same. It’s easier for us to withstand deception when we are accountable to a community. Division, separation, and isolation all make us vulnerable. (Acts 2:40-47, 1 Corinthians 14:26)

Practical Application: Schedule time with family and friends in your faith community for expanding your faith, fellowship, feasting, and fun.

 

4. Be Conscious

We must always be aware of what we take in subconsciously. Let’s tend to our spiritual diets (our intake through the mind) as we do our physical diets. Let’s be aware of what’s going on in the world, and not live in fear or try to ignore current events. Instead we should be in touch with what God’s Word says about them. (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 2 Timothy 4:2, Ephesians 5:6)

Practical Application: For a balanced outlook, spend time in devotions and studying the Bible before engaging the news.

 

5. Live out your Creation

Remember that we are the creation chosen to give God glory. We are God’s greatest witnesses on earth. As ambassadors of the kingdom of heaven, we must exemplify a life that glorifies God. The most effective and vital way to “stay woke” is to be a full expression of who God created us to be—by using our talents and gifts for Him. By focusing on living purposefully, we block out distractions. (Matthew 5:6, 16; 13:43, Hebrews 2:7)

Practical Application: Schedule time to perfect your craft. What has God called you to do? Spend time developing yourself in those areas.

 

Making these areas a focus in our lives will increase our spiritual growth and maturity. Tests and temptations will come, but if we “stay woke”, we will be able to withstand them. The Bible tells us to be aware of false teachings and doctrines that try to draw us away from our faith, and one subtle way that happens is the suggestion that we have been deceived by our faith in God. But the next time someone tells us to stay woke, we will be able to confidently state—we are!

 

 *Woke is used as a byword for social awareness and justice. Stay woke became a watch word in parts of the black community for those who were self-aware, questioning the dominant paradigm and striving for better. The word signaled awareness of injustice, racial tension or oppression. This now includes the idea of false belief in the “white man’s God.”

A Fruitful Life

Title: A Fruitful Life
Materials: Watercolour
Artwork by: Jenn Cruz
Description: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

What does it mean to live with the “fruit of the spirit”? How can we recognize these “fruits”? How can we see the beauty of each aspect and prayerfully ask God to help us live out these characteristics as engage in relationships?

Over the last month, I painted each attribute of the Fruit of the Holy Spirit live on Instagram. As I was painting, I invited the followers to discuss the attributes at hand, sharing our difficulties and engaging in encouraging conversation to spur each other on. My intent was to get viewers to ask themselves the question: what does having the Fruit of the Spirit mean to you?

 

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

 

 

Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)

 

 

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

 

 

Being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience (Colossians 1:11)

 

 

Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love (2 Corinthians 6:4-6)

 

 

For the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth. (Ephesians 5:9)

 

 

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love. (Ephesians 3:16-17)

 

 

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. (Ephesians 4:2)

 

 

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. (2 Peter 1:5-7)

Blooming with Godly Purpose in our Work Fields

Title: Blooming with Godly Purpose in our Work Fields
Materials: Paper Craft & Photography
Description: 
“Bloom where you are planted.” – Blooming with Godly Purpose in our Work. Have you heard the phrase before? If someone were to offer this advice to you in a conversation about your current field of work, how would you feel? What would putting down roots and learning to “bloom where you are planted” look like in your current work environment?
Artwork by: The Blessed Run.

 

 

01-Blooming-with-Godly-Purpose

At work, there will be times where we get disappointed with the way we have done certain things or how others look at us. But the more we are faced with these situations, the more we learn that we can’t build our hopes and success on the outcome of our works or the approval of men. These things are temporal and fleeting; serving as reminders to see our work through the eyes of God’s love and purpose.

 

 


 

 

 

02-Blooming-with-Godly-Purpose

When things aren’t going as you hoped, how do you react? Do you turn towards the truth of God’s Word? Whether it’s a project that didn’t turn out, a job you weren’t offered, or a stage of life you wish you had already achieved, dealing with challenges, disappointments, and failures is a part of growing. A flower must sometimes face tough conditions in order to grow stronger and strengthen its roots. We are the same. Oftentimes, God uses unwanted experiences to encourage us to turn back to Him. It is in these moments that we need to lean into a season of gratitude for all the things that God has already given to us.

 

 


 

 

 

03-Blooming-with-Godly-Purpose

What happens when you leave a garden unattended? Weeds creep in and start to choke out the flowers. When we allow busyness, worldly distractions, or poor attitudes to take root in our lives we can restrict ourselves from God’s purpose for our work. The weeds might look like an office conflict that goes unresolved or a feeling of jealousy when we compare our work to the work of others. To stop worldly weeds from ruining our perspective on our purpose we need to stay diligent in tending to our spiritual health — setting aside time to pray, read scripture, and reflect on God’s truth.

 

 


 

 

 

04-Blooming-with-Godly-Purpose

Before a flower can blossom and bloom it must take root and grow. It is a process that takes time. It is a season of growth that can sometimes feels stagnant and mundane, as if someone keeps hitting a repeat button each morning. We may not see what is happening under the surface of a situation but it is often during these seasons of “sameness” that we are prepared for our greatest seasons of growth. Instead of anxiously pursuing next steps, take time each day to pray for signs of growth — to see the work God is doing in the routine moments of work.

 

 


 

 

 

05-Blooming-with-Godly-Purpose

Our stories — our testimonies — are often our greatest opportunity for sharing the love and grace of God with others. Just as no two flowers are the same, no other person has experienced life as you have. You have a unique and beautiful story to tell. How might you live your story in a way that draws others to want to know our heavenly Father?

 


 

Artist Feature | The Blessed Run

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The Blessed RUN is a Youth Ministry with a vision to gather those who believe and walk in the Lord’s covenant. We endeavor to encourage young people to live in God’s saving grace by  creating a radical, practical and relevant Gospel culture/lifestyle. Check out their Instagram.

Small Actions. Big Changes.

Title: Small Actions. Big Changes.
Materials: Graphic Design
Description: Don’t we all love setting New Year resolutions? But while they’re fun to make, the tough part is maintaining them.

This year, how about committing to small actions that can ultimately bring about big changes? There’s certainly value in going back to the basics.

We decided to help you out by sharing five simple steps to take towards a more fruitful and meaningful life this year!  

Note: These are not prescriptive.

1 and 2

How often do we say “thank you”? And why not? It makes us more appreciative and shows our love for others too. In fact, we’d realize more and more how much we can be thankful for. The best part is, it teaches us contentment.

 

1 and 2

Why do we do what we do? How often do we take a step back to ask ourselves what drives us? Whether we’re working or having fun, we can do everything for Jesus. It’s completely worth it. How about commit 1 Corinthians 10:31 to memory this year?

 

Jan-Art-Project-3

Sometimes, all it takes is a small gesture to make another person’s day. A couple of dollars can go a long way. With a cup of coffee (or tea), let’s put a smile on the faces of those around us. Love is a very practical emotion – let’s put it to work!

 

 

Jan-Art-Project-4

Sometimes, sharing the gospel can seem like a daunting task and we end up getting awkward and not knowing where and how to start. But what if we simply share about how God has worked in our lives? Let’s seize opportunities, and share the joy we have received. It can make a world of difference.

 

 

Jan-Art-Project-5

Isn’t it great how we can talk to God, anytime and anywhere? And isn’t it comforting that we can fully depend on Him for everything? Let’s be completely raw and honest before Him. He loves hearing just about everything we do, every day, everywhere, and in every season.