It was all so innocent.
A series of small compromises, a sequence of gentle taps. Most of them I couldn’t even remember. But after months of making them, their cumulative effect could not be ignored. My strength was depleted.
For years, I had dreamt of a button that, when pressed, would set my affections ablaze with unwavering passion for my Savior. That button didn’t exist. But a button does exist that, when forsaken, invigorates my walk with Jesus.
Pushing it makes muting best intentions so easy, ignoring God so simple. It feeds laziness, murders last night’s resolves, and seduces into spiritual slumber. It strips Christians of their morning armor and sends them out naked into a world with prowling lions and flaming darts.
Now, the button isn’t the problem — the love of this button is. Yawning hearts that adore the pleasure of “ten more minutes” take our souls hostage behind linen sheets. Our blankets stand as prison bars preventing us from the Comforter of our souls. Each morning, life, gladness, and increased holiness pass us by as we stay imprisoned behind the Great Wall of Cotton.
Called Out of Sin — and Bed
Men in my small group recently resolved to break free from this spiritual spider web.
No more would our snoozing rob us of spiritual freshness. No more would it lull us back to sleep, cut our hair, and relieve us of our power. No longer would it cause us to return to group the next week, tails between our legs, admitting that time in God’s word had been sparse. We needed to be men fed on solid food, not spiritual milk. Men who loved their families and washed their wives in the word. Men of God and men of prayer who loved their Savior more than life, and more than slumber.
We would not be the sluggard whose natural habitation is his bed (Proverbs 26:14), and who is too spiritually fatigued to bring his potato chips to his mouth or the Book to his eyes (Proverbs 19:4). We would get to bed at a decent hour the night before. We would be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong (1 Corinthians 16:13).
Yet our resolving, although essential, was not sufficient. Our Declaration of Independence was a necessary step towards liberty, but was too “me-centered” to last. We all experienced today’s resolves falling to tomorrow morning’s comatose. What we needed was a fresh vision of God.
Worthy of Wakefulness
We slept in because we had forgotten who bids us to rise. The God we snoozed was puny, uninteresting, unworthy — not the God of the Bible. The God we snoozed seemed so distant, so unaware, so cold. So, we rolled over in our warm beds and resumed sleeping.
But the God who summons his people from their slumber is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is worthy of our wakefulness.
We rise when friends call. Scramble to attention if our boss rings. And yet, far too often we roll over when our Best Friend, our only Savior, our truest Love knocks on our doors each morning. We provoke our jealous Husband with the scraps of our day, throwing him our spare devotion as stale breadcrumbs are thrown at pigeons in the park. He is God. He deserves our firstfruits, not our microwaved leftovers.
He can ask, “Why do you call me ‘Lord’ and not rise when I bid you? Why do you call me ‘Teacher’ and not sit daily at my feet? Why do you call me ‘Husband’ and not seek my tender embrace?”
The burning ones of heaven cannot look at him — none yawn or fall asleep in his presence. The God we draw near to is the God of Revelation 5. As the Lamb ascends his throne, all of heaven screams, “Worthy!” (Revelation 5:9, 12). This scene is not one for sleeping infants or adults.
What must this heavenly host think when they peer over the edge of heaven and see us lie in bed, as if dead, before him? This is not the holy deadness that resulted from John meeting with the exalted Christ whose chest shone with a golden sash, eyes burned like flames of fire, and whose voice thundered like the flood of many waters (Revelation 1:12–17). No, they see the deadness of Eutychus who, when Paul preached into the night, sank into a deep sleep, fell from his windowsill, and plummeted to his death (Acts 20:9).
How shocking it must be for heaven to be lost in fierce worship of God, and then to see many of us — his blood-bought people — daily meet him with a tap of a button and a rolling over.
Satisfy Me in the Morning
Wakefulness to God is not about legalism; it’s about life.
Many of us need to repent and cry out for joy with the psalmist:
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. (Psalms 90:14)
Morning satisfaction in God’s steadfast love does not happen by accident. Being glad all our days doesn’t happen by accident. God gives, God satisfies, God meets us when we meet him expectantly, eagerly, wakefully — believing that he will reward us again (Hebrews 11:6).
As we draw near to him, he will draw near to us every morning (James 4:8). He will satisfy us with unrelenting love and fresh mercies each morning (Lamentations 3:22–23). Lay hold of your inheritance each morning.
Choose the Savior over the snooze.