The other evening I sat in church fighting sleep. I felt like my eyelids were 200 pound weights sagging downwards. I tried to listen to the speaker as I strained to lift and they fell again.
Then the young preacher said, “I want to close your eyes and imagine this …”
What? It seemed the Lord had answered my prayer and I enjoyed a beautiful minute of closed eyes all the while dreading the moment when I had to open them again. And he eventually reminded us to open our eyes again. Maybe I wasn’t the only one who hoped he’d have us “imagining” something for thirty minutes.
You know, it’s strange. When I’m speaking an hour seems like ten minutes. When someone else is speaking ten minutes seem like an hour. I wonder why that is.
If memory serves me correctly, my personal record for putting people to sleep during a sermon is five. And two of those were preachers who were capable of long sermons themselves. (I must confess that I’ve fought sleep during some of their messages, too)
I guess everyone has sleepy days. That’s not so bad. At least they’re present at the meetings. What worries me more is people who live sleepy lives.
Those folks are sleepy when it comes time to pray (Matt. 26:40)
They’re sleeping when they should be working (Mark 13:36)
Trials make them spiritually sleepy (Luke 22:45)
They don’t live a life marked by love. They dabble with sin. They’re sleeping. (Rom. 13:10-12)
We need to be careful. If Jesus comes for His Church and finds us asleep we’re in trouble.
“But friends, you’re not in the dark, so how could you be taken off guard by any of this? You’re sons of Light, daughters of Day. We live under wide open skies and know where we stand. So let’s not sleepwalk through life like those others. Let’s keep our eyes open and be smart. People sleep at night and get drunk at night. But not us! Since we’re creatures of Day, let’s act like it. Walk out into the daylight sober, dressed up in faith, love, and the hope of salvation.
“God didn’t set us up for an angry rejection but for salvation by our Master, Jesus Christ. He died for us, a death that triggered life. Whether we’re awake with the living or asleep with the dead, we’re alive with him! So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it.” (1 Thessa. 5:4-11, The Message)
And for those of you who insist on sleeping while I speak, here’s a word of warning. Look up Acts. 20:9, 10.
Hmmm…When you say yes to one thing, you are simultaneously saying no to something else. Michael Hyatt