November 21, 2015 by Tricia Draper
Are you asleep?
Sleep is sweet to the soul. After all, Proverbs tells us:
• Proverbs 3:24
• When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
But when you get too much sleep, it can make you even more tired than you were before. I find that is true with me. I don’t always get enough sleep at night, and if I wake up early in the morning, I am usually fine. But, if I lay back down after I wake up, then I sleep too long, and my body just feel tired. It doesn’t know if it is supposed to be awake or asleep. It feels like I am in limbo. I hate that feeling. God made our bodies to sleep at night and wake up refreshed and ready to take on a new day. This doesn’t always happen anymore, because often now days, people work at night and try to sleep during the day.
Marcus is an early riser. In the job that he had for 15 years, he worked about 65 miles away, and with traffic it took him about an hour and a half to get to work. Since he had to be there at 7am, he had to leave about 5:30. He usually got up around 4 AM!!! I am not an early riser, since I don’t always sleep well at night. He was up and gone before I even knew it. He went to sleep early, though; around 9pm. He got about 7-8 hours of sleep per night, which is recommended by doctors.
Then, he got a new job working at night. He went in a 4pm and got off at 12am. Yikes! His body was used to sleeping at night, and he had a hard time sleeping during the day. His hours were switched and his body was not used to that.
I usually go to sleep at 11pm and get up around 8-9am. This is largely due to medication, but I find that if I get up around then, I can usually stay awake and be refreshed. But, sometimes my body just thinks it doesn’t want to stay awake. So, I try going back to sleep. However, when I do this, I get too much sleep, and it makes me feel drowsy and worn out all day long. I feel yucky.
That is how our physical bodies feel, but what about our Spiritual bodies? Do they need to sleep? No. Even at night we need to be on guard. Spiritual battles are taking place while we are asleep, whether we know it or not. So, you need to fill your Spiritual lamp, so you are not stumbling around in darkness. We have some good examples to back this up.
First, let’s talk about the 10 virgins. In Matthew 25:1-13 we find ten women who are waiting for the Bridegroom.
• Matthew 25:1-13New International Version (NIV)
• 25 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them.4 The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
• 6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
• 7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
• 9 “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
• 10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
• 11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’
• 12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’
• 13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
This parable is relating the Church (the Bride) to Christ. They had all fallen asleep, but half of the “bride” was ready when they were woken up. They may have been physically asleep, but they were ready Spiritually. They had their oil for their lamps, and were ushered in when the door was opened. The other half were unprepared, and Christ told them plainly, “Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.” Which half are you?
Another parable told in Mathew
• Matthew 26:36-46New International Version (NIV)
• 36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
• 39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
• 40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
• 42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”
• 43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.
• 45 Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”
The disciples were human, and Jesus knew, “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” He was angry, though, because He knew what was going to happen, and they didn’t.
How often do we say, “Just give me a few minutes,” to people. How many times do we say it to God? “I will God, but just let me…” Matthew and Luke tell us what Jesus had to say about “just let me…”
• Matthew 8:22
• But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”
• Luke 9:60
• Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
Jesus will return like a thief in the night, and 1 Thes. 5:1-11 shows us.
• 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
• The Day of the Lord
• 5 Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you,2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.3 While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
• 4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5 You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. 9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
This is something God told me in my journal. When He tells me something, it is usually to all believers. He doesn’t usually just work in ones. He said:
Don’t be lulled into sleep. My disciples couldn’t even stay awake to pray with Me when I needed them. But what was done was what had to be done. But, I woke them up and gave them another chance to pray, and another. They could not because the flesh is weak, and they didn’t have Me on the inside like you do. I’m coming for My bride. Will I find her asleep? Will her oil be out? How many chances do I have to give? I need My bride to be Fully Awake at all times. You can do this. Wake up My bride! She is sleeping and I need her alive and awake! She needs to be busy in these last hours; not sleeping to be caught off guard when I return. I am coming soon. I need her. I need you, (believers). It will happen when you least expect it, so be on guard at all times. Be ready on a moment’s notice. Expect the unexpected.
How do you know if you are awake? Ask God. Are you doing His will? Are you going into all the world and making disciples? Are you following Him? Are you talking about Him? Are you loving your neighbor enough to save him from Hell? Are you speaking His truth at all times? That doesn’t mean you only talk about Him, but are you talking about Him?
So, what can you do? He tells me: I need you to talk. Tell people. Open up and let Me speak. Trust Me. Trust Me to give you the right words to say when you need to say them.
Just open up and ask Him what He wants you to do. He has a perfect will for our lives, and He doesn’t keep that hidden from us. When we seek His face and ask Him what He wants, He is more than happy to tell us. Ask, Seek, Knock.
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