Tag Archives: Stay awake spiritually

Awake or asleep?



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



Treasured joy

One of the treasures that perhaps everyone seeks is that of deeper and lasting joy. But a deeper joy requires a deeper life. A.W. Tozer (in his book Keys To The Deeper Life) said the deeper life only seems deep because the average life is so shallow. Ouch. Have you ever noticed that when real truth shines into our lives that it reveals something uncomfortable?

I suppose our lives are like a community swimming pool, having both shallow and deep parts. If we want to enjoy the deeper joys of life we have to spend more time in the deep end. Marcia and I were talking tonight how sometimes it takes suffering through some crisis to push us into the deep end of the pool. It is difficulty that wake us up and allows us to focus on what is truly important.

Years ago, my friend Norm was dying of cancer. During a more resilient phase he spoke before the church. He said sincerely that he had fallen ‘asleep’ spiritually, and then said that if being healed meant he would fall back ‘asleep’ he would rather have the cancer because it had drawn him closer to God. You know what is like to get sleepy and start to nod off. You are still cognizant of what is going around, but everything starts to lose focus. That physical phenomenon happens to us spiritually and relationally too. It is easy to drift away, only partially focused on our most prized ambitions and relationships.

What price would you pay to always “stay awake?” Would you embrace suffering with more joy and wish to keep it if being healed meant we would drift farther away from God and others you love?

It seems to me we too easily pray away suffering as if we have this genie that exists solely to make our life more comfortable and luxurious. There is nothing wrong with comfort, unless it causes us to drift away from our pursuit of Godly ambitions.

We also talked tonight about the joy of contentment (Phil 4:11-13) that comes with suffering. Not to glorify the act of suffering, but to glorify God who shows us the way to endure suffering. And not only endure but to thrive in the process.

What are you willing to change in your life to find the treasure of deeper and lasting joy?