I was reading in Matthew Chapter 26 this morning where Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane and he took Peter, James, and John with him when he went to pray. He asked them to watch with him, but found them sleeping on three separate occasions when he returned from praying. The question that came up in my spirit was, if Jesus returned today how many Christians would he find asleep?
The word sleep means a natural periodic state of rest for the mind and body in which the eyes usually close and consciousness is completely or partially lost, so that there is a decrease in bodily movement and responsiveness to external stimuli. I want to break this definition down into 3 parts to explain how I see it affecting us as Christians.
- State of rest for the mind and body in which the eyes usually close and consciousness is completely or partially lost. This is the first step in going to sleep as a Christian. You start by just going through the motions each day. You put very little thought into your purpose or your calling. You have closed your eyes to what is going on around you and are only concerned with your life. As long as everything is good within your life, you are content. You are not studying the Word or spending time in prayer like you once did. You often turn a blind eye to sin in your life or make excuses as to why this sin is now acceptable. You justify sin to make your life easier or to fit in with others. Your light is no longer shining because you don’t want people to think you are weird or that you have become radical.
- There is a decrease in bodily movement. Once your mind is not focused on God you become physically stuck in your walk with God. God is not a top priority in your life, but has been replaced with things or dreams of this world. You are no longer active in your church or community. You have excuses as to why you are missing services or are unable to help with outreach programs. You allow the offended spirit to get all over you, so you now have an excuse or justification for not being faithful and dedicated to your church or community.
- Responsiveness to external stimuli. The last part of this definition applies to your spiritual heart. You no longer have the love and compassion that is required by God toward others. You become cold and indifferent to the needs of others. You start to only worry about yourself and your household. You no longer want to give of your time or money to help others. You no longer feel the Holy Spirit or the presence of God almighty in your life. You begin to find fault in everyone and everything because you have taken your eyes off God and put them on man. Lastly, you turn on your church and walk away. Now that you are no longer being spiritually fed at home or at church, you only grow colder and colder spiritually.
The good news is you can avoid going to sleep by staying focused on God. Praying daily for guidance and strength to stay on fire for God. If you feel you have fallen asleep in your walk with Jesus, you can wake up today. With one prayer you can turn it around and with consistent prayer and time in the Word you can get back on fire for God. We cannot fulfil our purpose or our calling by being asleep. As Christians we need to get excited and share that excitement with others. Tell others about Jesus and what he has done for you. We all have a story to tell of what He did for us and what He can do for us and others. Challenge yourself today to tell at least one person about Jesus.
Thank you for reading and please share!!