We never know exactly when we fall asleep at night. At some point we close our eyes to the world. Our heart rate slows down and our body temperature decreases. Reality fades away as we enter a world of dreams. In a deep sleep we may even get out of bed and not be aware of our activities.
Falling asleep spiritually follows a similar pattern. We become tired of living with purpose and close our eyes to our true calling. Apathy sets in and compromising situations start to take on more appeal. We think to ourselves, “It can’t be bad if it makes me so happy.” If we don’t wake up to our senses we will find our spiritual temperature lowering. What used to be a burning passion for God’s ways cools to a lukewarm condition. And this dangerous coolness allows us to slip into a deeper trance-like sleep where reality blurs into a foggy road where we easily lose our way. Like Samson of old, we allow the Delilah’s of our age to lull us to sleep. From an outsider’s perspective we may look the same, but inside we find ourselves drifting further and further from our purposed path.
The good news is that just as living in compromise makes us drowsy to God’s calling, so does His Spirit consistently urge us to wake up. There are numerous practical ways to stay spiritually ‘awake.’
- Examine yourself as David did. “Search me O God. Know my heart.”
- Be accountable to someone in whom you can trust to be honest about your struggles.
- Stay grounded in God’s Word. Beyond rote memorization, earnestly seek to apply wisdom practically to your life.
- Rest! Really rest. An effective method of not falling asleep at inappropriate times is to rest when you need to. Jesus is calling you: “Come to me all of you who are weary, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) Cease striving. Be still. Know that He is God. (Psalm 46:10) Remain intently in Jesus. Your accomplishments mean nothing without Him. (John 15:4)
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41