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 Article: Falling Asleep Posted on 1-5-2005
WOTR News Article Sleep is a funny thing, don't you think? Well, maybe funny isn't the best adjective.... Sleep is a very interesting thing, let's put it that way. I think the most unusual aspect of sleep is that we generally aren't aware of the fact that we were asleep until we wake up; and even then, at times, we don't fully realize that we were indeed sleeping.

Anne always cracks me up: she'll be laying on the couch reading a book and I'll be doing something on the computer, and after awhile I'll say something to her, but I won't get an answer. Next comes the classic question, “Are you asleep?” as I glance over to see her startle awake after being zonked out, to which she replies, “No...just relaxin”, as her eyes flutter open.

"But you were asleep, right?"
"No....just relaxin"

She honestly didn't think she had fallen asleep, but sometimes she's have been snoozing for over an hour, and she still responds in that groggy voice “No...just realxin”.

Today, I was thinking about this in connection with what the New Testament says about “sleep”. Now of course real, physical sleep is a good thing (as long as we don't overdo it). It's a necessity. On the other hand, when the Apostle Paul speaks of Christians “sleeping” in a spiritual sense, this is bad news, because he is talking about believers who are slipping away from Jesus and back to life of sin. That's why the Lord says in Ephesians 5:14 "Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light."

Is it possible for a Christian to be unaware of their sleepy condition? If you've ever read the parable in which Jesus told about the 10 drowsy virgins, then I think you would agree that the answer is unfortunately yes (Matthew 25:1-13). It seems safe to equate this drowsiness with the lukewarm condition that Christ spoke of in Revelation 3:14-22. The Laodicean church mentioned here feels that they are rich and flourishing, but in reality they were sleeping. Jesus said “you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'--and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17).

The disciples found it hard to stay awake when their Master was preparing for the cross (Luke 22:39-46), and today we are faced with the same temptation as our Master is preparing for His great Return.

Listen to the counsel of Paul in the book of Romans: “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” Romans 13:11-14

The solution to this problem of drowsiness is to stay near to the Lord Jesus through prayer, allowing Him to guide and lead us according His Word. Jesus told His sleepy disciples “Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation." Luke 22:46 We need to stay alert and awake, for the coming of our Lord draws near. Look at our world today; the signs are obvious. Now is not the time to be falling asleep! The devil is trying as hard as he can to pull us away from God, as we get busy and distracted by worldly affairs, but if we stay close to Jesus, we can keep our lamps burning in preparation for our Lord's coming.

"Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see these things happening, know that it is near--at the doors!

Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming--in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning-- lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!"

Mark 13:28-37

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