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
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)