“I was in Mark’s gospel again this morning,” Stan began, “and I saw a failure in the disciples that can also be in my life if I’m not careful.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“Sleeping,” was Stan’s one-word answer.
“Sleeping is a failure?” I asked. “How so?”
“If I’m sleeping when I’m supposed to be awake,” Stan replied.
Continuing, he added, “What I was looking at in Mark’s gospel is where Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane praying to His Father about what He was facing with the Cross. Jesus had asked Peter and the other disciples to watch and pray.”
“Did they?” I asked.
“They did not,” Stan replied. “They fell asleep. When Jesus came back, He saw them sleeping, and asked, rather pointedly, if they were asleep. The answer was so obvious they didn’t have anything to say.”
Continuing, he added, “The Holy Spirit often asks me the same question that Jesus asked Peter and the others. The difference is that the Holy Spirit is usually asking about whether I am spiritually asleep.”
“Spiritually asleep?” I replied. “What’s that?”
“My failure to do what God has asked me to do,” Stan replied. “My eyes may be wide open, and I may be wide awake, but if I’m not doing what God has for me to be doing, what’s the point of being physically awake?”
Continuing, he added, “It’s just like staying in bed and continually pushing the snooze button.”
“Yeah,” I replied, “like telling God I’ll be with Him in a little while after I’ve done what I want to do.”
“Exactly!” Stan responded. “If I continually push the ‘snooze button’ in my faith walk, I’m not only unavailable to hear what God has for me to hear, I’m not available to be and to do what He wants.”
“And,” he concluded, “I really don’t want the Holy Spirit to have to nudge me and ask, ‘You still asleep?’ But if He has to do that, I pray I will wake up out of my spiritual slumber and not go back to sleep!”
And He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour?” Mark 14:37.
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that you awakened me to your free and gracious gift of salvation leading to life eternally with you when it’s time. Thank you, too, for wanting me to be awake to all you have for me to be and to do on this side of eternity. I confess that too often I prefer sleeping, both physically and spiritually, rather than being awake and alert for what you have for me. Please forgive me. And please, Father, help me in following your lead so I am not asleep to what you have and want for me. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Being asleep when we are supposed to be awake can cause all sorts of problems, such as being late to work, missing important appointments, and the like. However, if we are spiritually asleep when we are to be awake, the consequences can be much greater. Have you ever had the sense you were asleep when God was trying to get your attention? If so, what was that like? What does it take to be awake to what God has for you in hearing His voice and then obeying what He said? Is that something you would like to be a part of your life? Why or why not? If so, how can it happen?