The text above says: “Arise, shine.” I just want us to look at the first word “Arise.” Arise means different things to different people. It’s all a matter of where you are. We will look at the various positions you may be and then find out the meaning of arise for that position.
The “Arise” in the Bible text is not an advice; it is not a plea but a command. When God says, “Let there be light.” That is a command, not an advice or a plea. God is not advising or pleading, He is commanding somebody reading this message to, “Arise.”
To someone who is dead, arise means; come to life, resurrect. For example, in Mark 5:35-40, when Jesus got to the house of Jairus, He took the little girl by the hand and said, “Little girl, I say unto you, arise.” He was saying to that girl, “I say unto you, resurrect, come back to life.” To someone who is physically dead, God is saying, come back to life.
If someone is mentally dead, totally deranged, arise to such a person means, “Come back to your right mind” like in Mark 5:2-15. That fellow was so mad that he lived in the graveyard; but when the Lord met him, he fell at the feet of the Lord Jesus Christ. By time he got up, he was in his right mind.
When somebody is dead materially and financially, arise means, ‘come out of debt; be debt-free, begin to prosper again’ like in 2 kings 4: 1-7. That woman who was so deeply in debt that the only thing the creditors could find of value in her house were her children. But when the Almighty God commanded, before the end of that day, she was not only out of debt; she never had to borrow again.
If one is dead maritally, which could mean the marriage is over, the womb is dead etc. Arise simply means, “Come back to life again.” The Bible tells us in Romans 4:17-20 that the womb of Sarah was dead but when the One who is the Light of the world paid her a visit, her womb came back to life.
If one is dead spiritually, arise could mean, “Come out of sin.’ Come to the Almighty God just like we have in Ephesians 2:1, which talks about being dead in trespasses and sins.
Basically, death is a symbol of hopelessness. In Job 14:7-10, it was written that there is hope for a tree because if you cut it down, as long as the roots are still in the ground, it is waiting for the next rain and then it will bud again but the passage says when man dies, that is the end of him.
Another example is in John 11:20-25. When Jesus arrived in the house of Mary and Martha; the sisters of Lazarus, they said, “Lord, if you had been here, our brother would not have died.” Arise to the dead therefore means, attack that hopeless situation in your life, refuse to surrender to hopelessness, refuse to surrender to those who say you can never make it. That is what arise means to the dead.
Arise to the one who is sleeping means, “Wake up. It is dangerous to sleep.” In 1 Samuel 26:4-16, the Bible tells us that King Saul slept and he was surrounded by the mighty men of Israel but they all slept too. The enemy came, took the sword of the king and his water bottle. Those who came with David said, “David, just one stroke and the king will be dead.” When you are sleeping, no matter how strong you are, you are helpless, open to the attack of the enemy and if you think you have bodyguards they may sleep too. I rejoice because there is a God who will never sleep nor slumber.
In Matthew 13:24-28, the Bible says a man went to his field and planted some very beautiful trees but when the day broke and it began to germinate, there were tares also. When he asked how the tares came about, somebody said, “An enemy has done this.” An enemy can sow when you are sleep.
APART FROM THE DANGERS OF SLEEPING, WHAT EXACTLY DOES SLEEP MEAN? Proverbs 26:14 tells us that when someone sleeps, he can roll on his bed and thinks he is moving, but he is still on his bed. It means motion without progress; just on the same spot, going around in circles. You think you are moving but you are on the same spot.
Some of us understand what that means. For years now, you wake up around 5:00 a.m. to catch a bus to your work place and you go in the morning and return in the evening. You repeat the same thing for years and you remain on the same spot. You are sleeping.
The Bible says something else about sleep which is the most fearful. Isaiah 29:8 says, a hungry man had a dream in his sleep and he saw himself eating but when he woke up, he was still hungry. He went to bed thirsty; saw himself drinking water in his dream but when he woke up, he was as thirsty as ever. Sleep means unfulfilled dreams; when you have beautiful dreams but they never come true. That is what sleep stands for!
Arise means something different to the one who is sitting down. It means, ‘’Stand up.’’ It is not the same thing to the one who is dead. Sitting means, resting too soon; being complacent. You think you have arrived when God wants to take you to the sun; you are not even on the moon yet and you are already seated.
In 1 Kings 13:1-35 there is the story of a young prophet whom God sent on an errand to deliver a message. God told him, “Get out of the place when you are through with the message. Do not eat or drink there. Don’t take the same way you took in when you are going out.” He did what God said he should do and he left. But before he got home, he decided to sit down under a Juniper tree and rest. An older prophet met him there; and took him home to eat and drink and later prophesied to him that a lion would kill him. That boy never got home. The problem with many Christians is that we are seated, thinking we have arrived.
Psalm 1:1 says: Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. You will notice something here. It went from walking to standing to sitting which is regression. Things were getting worse. He was walking, then he was standing, now he is sitting. To be seated means you used to be a champion but now you’re a relic. You used to be relevant but now you are a relic. In 1 Samuel 10: 1, Saul was a captain but in 1 Samuel 16: 14 he had become a relic, seated.
In Luke 15:11-19, there is the story of the prodigal son who used to be wealthy but things went bad and he had to struggle to eat with pigs. He said, “I will arise” which means; “I will attack retrogression. I refuse to go down any further. I refuse to stop until I reach my goal.” It is a terrible thing to be seated, to be satisfied when God says He still wants to move you higher.
Arise to the one who is standing means, ‘’Jump to action.’’ You are already standing and God still says, “Arise.” In 1 Samuel 16:11-13, when Samuel went to the house of Jesse to appoint a king and he couldn’t find the king among the 11 boys presented to him. He asked Jesse, “Are these all your boys?” Jesse said, “There remains another one in the field. That one is not a king material.” He was so reluctant to refer to David that Samuel said, “We will not sit down until you bring him.”
Samuel was standing when they brought David and God spoke to Samuel, “Rise, this is he. Anoint him.” Arise to the one who is already standing means, ‘’Jump into action.’’ Arise means begin to move, begin to make progress. In Acts 3:1-8, when Peter saw that man who was born lame; he said to him, “Silver and gold I have not but what I have I give to you. In the name of Jesus of Nazareth rise up and walk” and of course the man jumped up, leaping and walking and praising God. Arise means stop being stagnant, begin to take steps. It may be one little step after another but begin to move.
2 Kings 7: 1-11 tells us the story of the lepers by the gate of Samaria who said, if we sit down here we will die. If we go to the enemy’s territory, there is the possibility that we would die too. But at least, let us move. Let us take steps and stop standing still. In Matthew 14:28-29 there is the story where Jesus told the disciples to go to the other side and He went to the mountain top to pray. By the time He came down, it was night and all the boats were gone. The disciples were in the middle of the sea; in a storm and Jesus was walking on water towards them. The disciples saw Him and were afraid but He said, “Don’t be afraid. It is me” Peter said, “If it’s you, ask me to come” and He said, “Come.” The rest of the disciples were in the boat with him. They were all standing bailing out water from the boat but only one fellow took a step and he walked on water.
Arise to the one who is already standing means, ‘Take a step to fulfil your potential.’ There is a tremendous amount of potential in you. What you can achieve is beyond your wildest imaginations but you have to take a step first. Anybody who is not willing to dare or take a risk is not going to move on. Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. You have to arise, take the first step and see the Almighty God in action.
To the one who is already walking, arise means, ‘Start running.’ In 1 Samuel 17: 39-49, David and Goliath were already walking one towards the other and they were talking. Each one was boasting about his God. All of a sudden, David began to run. The one who began to run was the one who became victorious.
You may already be doing well but you should begin to run. 2 Kings 2:1-15, tells the story of what happened the day Elijah left and Elisha took over. In Acts 8: 5-8, there is the story of a young man called Philip who was already walking. He was already a deacon, but he didn’t stop there. He ran all the way to Samaria and from the one who used to serve bread, he became someone who took a whole city for the Almighty God. Running means accelerate the promotion, do greater things, move faster.
Arise to the one who is already running means, ‘’Begin to fly.’’ Isaiah 40:31 tells us that: But they that wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” You can fly, not like a witch but the Holy Spirit can move you to a height you never dreamed possible.
In Acts 8:26-40, the Bible tells us the story of Philip who was walking when he became a deacon. He began to run when he took over Samaria for Christ then God said, “Hey! I still have something else for you. Go to the desert.” When he got to the desert, he saw somebody who was coming to Africa and he joined himself to the chariot; he preached the gospel to the fellow and the fellow got converted and brought the gospel to Africa. The man then said he wanted to be baptised so Philip baptized him. The Bible said as soon as Philip finished the baptism, the Spirit of God took him up and he landed in Azotus.
To the one who is already flying, arise means, ‘’To move from glory to glory.’’ 2 Corinthians 3:18 says: But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. There are different categories of glory. The Bible says there is the glory of the moon; the glory of the sun and the glory of the stars but star differ from star in glory. If you are already flying and people can testify that you are already flying, there is still somewhere higher to go which is from glory to glory.
Peter started healing people by touching them. In Acts 3:1-8, he held the lame man by the hand before the man could walk. Then he moved on to healing by his shadow according to Acts 5: 14-16. He then moved on to just speaking (Acts 9:32-35.) He moved on to raising the dead by speaking in Acts 9:36-42. The Almighty God has something higher for you; no matter how high you are now. If you are not satisfied with where you are and you want to go as high as God can ever take you, shout, “I will arise.”
If you have not surrendered your life to Jesus, do so now because tomorrow may be too late.