Children of God, Do Not Sleep (Part Two)
In the last discourse, I promised to continue next time. This is a series that will take me some time before moving to another topic. I have explained that those who have not been born into Christ cannot be regarded as being asleep spiritually because they are not yet alive in Him. What then is this spiritual sleep?
Sleep, for a Christian, is neglecting your requisite duty or procrastinating what should be done at a specific time. Sleep is, losing your connection with God and becoming insensitive to the voice of the Spirit. It could also mean exchanging your mandatory spiritual assignments with flimsy operations; hence creating a vacuum or space for the devil to operate. Sleep is, capitalizing on material pleasure at the expense of spiritual treasure. Sleep hinders progress!
Who Can Sleep?
Whoever is alive has the tendency to sleep. Looking at it temporally, one can say that sleep is good to some extent. After a day’s job one can have some rest to regain strength and be refreshed for the next day’s job. Sleep is the natural resting state of unconsciousness of the body. Hence, one is free from a state of worry and anxiety.
However, too much sleep leads to undesirable ends. If you sleep too much, your normal activities might be jeopardized and that would result in poverty. A student who sleeps too much will find himself failing. In the same vein a traveler who over-sleeps, would miss the booked train or vehicle, and disrupt his journey.
“How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep? 10 A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to sleep– 11 So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, And your need like an armed man” Proverbs 6:9-11 (NKJV).
In the spiritual realm, sleep is a dangerous enemy. It means one is spiritually unconscious; being ignorant of the things of God. The love of God dwindles from the heart. You soon become tired of the heavenly journey.
Were you not the one who at one time, with tears running down your cheeks, repented of your sins and completely surrendered your life to Christ? You were once very zealous for Christ, with great fervor for spiritual matters. You were once sanctified and you lived a holy life. You were very strong in prayer, in faith, and you were digging deep in the WORD. Were you not the one who was “earnestly contending for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints?” (Jude 3). But you were once baptized in the Holy Spirit with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues. Soul winning was more important to you than the pleasures of this world.
But now that the spiritual sleep has set in, you have started finding faults in these things. Your prayer life gradually fades away, the Bible becomes uninteresting, and a burden to you. No more compassion for sinners. Yearning for the salvation of the lost has become an illusion. The warning voice of the Lord Jesus Christ is no longer heard. The eyes are now closed against the cross and the atoning Blood of the Lamb that washes clean. No chance for the Holy Spirit in the heart any more. The heart is now longing for the things of the world and what the world can offer. Holiness has become the thing of the past. “Without holiness, no one will see the Lord,” has become a message too much to follow. You can now misappropriate God’s holy Word and say, “If God marks iniquity, no man can stand.” You know that you cannot stand since you are already asleep. But those who are enjoying the grace of God know that by grace alone (not by their power or their own righteousness) they are a sweet savor to the Lord.
But look at your own life. Because of the manifestation of spiritual sleep in your life, living a sanctified life sounds incredible. You already know that going to church or fellowship has become a mere routine for you. You are already agreeing with those who say going to church is not important. Costly jokes and idle words have replaced your virtuous and soul edifying conversation. Modest Christian dressing has stepped aside to modern fashion or where it has not, your decent outward appearance is just a replica of “whitewashed tombs, which on the outside look beautiful, but inside they are full of the bones of the dead and of all kinds of filth” (Matthew 23:27). If you are in this condition, you are already sleeping spiritually. You had better cried unto the Lord to help you out of the horrible condition.