Thursday, March 5, 2009

Sleep Not

"Friend, live near to the cross,
and you will not sleep."
(Spurgeon - updated.)

"You are all people who belong to the light and to the day. We do not belong to the night or to darkness. So we should not be like other people who are sleeping, but we should be alert and have self-control. Those who sleep, sleep at night. Those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But we belong to the day, so we should control ourselves. We should wear faith and love to protect us, and the hope of salvation should be our helmet. God did not choose us to suffer his anger but to have salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Thessalonians 5:5-9

Sleep is my friend, but I never seem to get enough of it. There were the two babies in a year - sleep eluded me for a long time after that. Lots of sleepless nights, or repetitively up and down nights, shooting off cat naps just to get by. It was hardly enough. I remember at some points being so exhausted that if I sat still I would fall asleep. I know for some people that was common, but it wasn't for me, and I hated it.

The longer I went without getting consistent rest the riskier it became. I remember being in the living room, holding Victoria in my arms to nurse and keeping an eye on Ethan playing on the floor and staying alert was hard. It was always better when Jacob was around because I at least had another set of eyes to help me, to tap me on my arm and say, "Wake up Mommy."

I worry as I look around about Christians and a different kind of sleeping. It's a spiritual sleepiness that is attempting to overcome us as a people. We are surrounded by compromise and enticements to draw us away from the cross. The further we wander, the less alert we become. Suddenly we find ourselves in a spiritual "sleepiness," having lost our vigor and passion for Christ and the truth.

People are being drawn away, almost hypnotically. Some by compromise, others by temptation and enticement, others just through carelessness and lack of diligence. I don't say this in judgment with pointed finger, I say it as a warning all of us must heed. Where are we allowing ourselves to not be "resting" in Christ and the truth, to keep our minds sharp and our hearts committed.

Though any one of us could be at risk to become spiritually sleepy, many of us are standing strong. And to those another responsibility arises, the responsibility of "keeping watch," and like my son Jacob when he was little, tapping those on who look like they may be at risk of "dozing off" on their proverbial arm and encouraging them not to drift away.

The key of course is remaining ever close to Christ on the cross and remembering what He did there for you personally. For those of us who have accepted his sacrifice for our salvation, we no longer belong to ourselves, we have been "bought at a price" and therefore have to live out our lives in the framework of that commitment to Him and Him alone. If you are a Christian, it is no longer "your life" to live as you please. It must be lived to His glory and for His purpose and plan for you.

Be alert, and stand watch at the foot of the cross.

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