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Friday, April 27, 2012

To Sleep Or Not To Sleep?

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A spiritual enemy every Christian must face that poses as a friend but that may become a foe is sleep. The book of Proverbs speaks very plainly to us about the dangers of superfluous sleep.

Proverbs 20:13 gives this admonition, “Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.”

Proverbs 24:33, 34 issues this caution, “Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.”

A far greater danger to us than physical poverty, however, is the spiritual side effects that result when we sleep more than is necessary.

The outcome of our entire day is often determined by our decision “to sleep or not to sleep” when the alarm goes off in the morning. The great preacher Lester Roloff used to say, “What you do before sunup determines whether you have victory before sundown.”

Perhaps you made a resolution again this year to get up sooner and read your Bible and pray. You were serious about your commitment, but the serpent of sleep bit you once again.

The great men of the past rose early to meet with God.

David wrote in Psalm 63:1, “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee.” Jesus gave us the example in Mark 1:35, “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.”

We must be sure that sleep is our servant and that we do not become sleep’s slave. Here are a few practical pointers in this area:



1. Say “no” to the temptation to hit the snooze button. If you will discipline yourself to jump up immediately when the alarm sounds, within just minutes you will be wide awake.

2. Obey the Lord and you will sleep better. It has been well said that a clear conscience makes a soft pillow.

3. Stay busy and you will rest better. Proverbs 13:19 says, “The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul.”

4. Pay attention in church –to sleep there can be dangerous. Remember the young man Eutychus who fell asleep in Acts 20?

5. Pray if you can’t get to sleep. Don’t count sheep; talk to the Shepherd. Psalm 4:8 gives this secret to sweet, sound sleep, “I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.”

As the songwriter said, “Rise and shine, lazy sleepy head. Get those lazy bones out of the bed. Get up and serve the Lord!”
(Tony Bazen, Park Meadows Baptist Church)


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