3 Bible stories about sleepers to help you evaluate yourself…
Romans 13:11 says, “The hour has come for you to wake from sleep.” The challenge for us to “wake up!” in the scriptures would not be here if we did not have a tendency to slip into spiritual slumber over and over and over again.
When and how have you fallen asleep? Sometimes, we can see ourselves in the famous stories in the Bible. Below are 3 stories about people in the Bible who went to sleep when they should have stayed awake. In their stories, we can see where and how we might also be tempted toward spiritual slumber.
1. We can be asleep in our lovelessness – in our failure to follow the call of God to love others.
Think about the Old Testament character, Jonah. God had called him to go on mission – to take the message of grace to a wicked city. But Jonah hated those people and ran from that call. He went on board a ship headed in the opposite direction. And the Bible says that he fell asleep down beneath the decks of the ship. God sent a storm. Everyone on board was in danger. So a pagan captain came to wake up Jonah to plead with him to pray for their safety. Because Jonah failed to follow the call of God to love the people of Nineveh he endangered not only himself but everyone around him. Have you fallen asleep because you have disobeyed the call of God to love others?
2. We can be asleep in our sensuality – in how we fulfill the desires of the flesh.
Think about Sampson in the Old Testament. He was a mighty man of valor. He defended God’s people. But he fell in love with an ungodly woman named Delilah. He pursued that relationship in defiance of his parents, his spiritual leaders, and the law of God. His sensuality caused him to put his head in Delilah’s lap. And enemies of God rushed into the house while he was asleep and cut his hair – the sign of his dedication to Christ and the symbol of his strength. And when his hair was gone his strength was, too. A once promising life of service and dedication to Christ was cut short because he fell asleep in his sensuality. Have you fallen asleep in your own sensuality?
3. We can be asleep in our distance from Jesus – in failing to put on Christ, in distancing ourselves from Him so that we do not live like He lived.
Think of Peter, James, and John who were asked to go be with Jesus in prayer the night he was betrayed, arrested, and tried. Jesus asked them to pray for one hour with Him. But they couldn’t put on Christ – they couldn’t pray like Christ; they didn’t stay close to Him in prayer. They were close to Him in local proximity, but far from Him in true spirituality. They fell asleep. Have you fallen asleep? Have you failed to put on Christ – failed to stay close to Him in prayer?
Where and how are you tempted to fall asleep?
A prayer to stir you out of spiritual slumber: Lord, please don’t leave me slumbering. Please wake me up! What right have I to be asleep? If I get up for my secular work, how much more should I get up and get going for You, Lord? I sometimes wonder why I don’t get as much out of weekend messages like I used to. I sometimes wonder why I have no warmth toward the songs like I used to. I am too drowsy, Lord. Others seem vitalized, but I am not. Show me the sin I need to leave behind. Awaken me with sweet reminders of Your love. Awaken me with Your discipline, Your warnings, Your rebukes, Your corrections. Awaken me through Your sharp providences. Show me if my present misery is Your wake-up call. Do whatever it takes, Lord, to wake me. You’re your salvation is nearer to me today than it was yesterday. It’s daytime. You are the Sun of Righteousness who has arisen. I dare not be a slumbering saint. Deliver me from sleep-inducing religion. Awaken me to a wide-awake relationship with You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.