Summary: Remaining asleep when work in the kingdom is required is not acceptable to the Lord and is dangerous to us spiritually and to our communities. The time to wake up is now.
Sleep is an essential to life. Amen?
• Part of our daily life cycle of waking, work/school/play, eating, sleeping – start over
No magic number for the number of hours of sleep needed, although we do know that babies need up to 18 hours of sleep a day, and our requirements gradually decrease as we get older to needing 7 – 8 hours as adults.
If we don’t get enough sleep, problems can and do happen.
Story: There was a man who always fell asleep in church because he thought the preacher was too long-winded. The pastor was offended by his sleeping so he gave one of the deacons a stick to tap the man with every time he fell asleep. Once the man dozed off, the deacon tapped him on the head and woke him up. A few minutes later, he starting dozing again, so the deacon hit him again, this time a little harder, again waking him up, but only temporarily. When he fell asleep the third time, the deacon hit him so hard he knocked him out of the pew, almost knocking him out. Rather than responding in anger, the sleeping church member was heard to say, “Hit me again; I can still hear him preaching!”
But seriously, when you don’t get enough sleep . . .
• Accidents on the road or on the job
• Experience poor attention span, lower energy - school and work performance suffers
• Gain weight, heart problems and diabetes
• Even a greater risk of mental problems such as depression and substance abuse
So Sleep is vital to our health, strength and physical renewal. Amen?
Our text in Matthew 13: tells us . . . “while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.”
Jesus is telling us in this parable that as important as sleep is to your health, there is danger in being asleep. Why did He say that pastor? Glad you asked.
Jesus knew that very few enemies will attack directly or fight fairly. Your enemy will not come at you when you are aware and able to defend yourself. Think about it . . .
• Most natural disasters such as tornadoes and hurricanes occur at night, when people are asleep.
• Most evil deeds are done at night – burglaries, car jackings, drive-by shootings. Amen?
Robert Roderick Johnson wrote a book in 2005 where he talked about the conditions in the black community and the black family in particular. The book titled, “Wake up black America.” Had the subtitle “we’re sleepwalking back to slavery.”
Johnson was appalled at . . .
• Lack of black pride
• Young black men disrespecting black women by calling them by the “B” word
• The preference for standing on the corner instead of studying in school
• Having more black men in jail than in college
• The number of kids having kids, and raising kids and kids raising themselves
• Disappearing family values, respect for life, no longer being taught in the home
• Black churches only opening their doors on Weds and Sundays; closing their eyes to community issues on every day.
When we sleep at the wheel, whether it’s while driving a car or serving our community or raising a family, tragedy will occur. That’s what our text is telling us. While men sleep, the enemy will come and plant evil.
Well not only do we have to be aware of the dangers of being asleep physically and socially, there is danger in being spiritually asleep.
• Some folks are like Jonah and are experiencing the sleep of delusion. The storm was raging; men were in danger but Jonah was asleep. Likewise many people today think that they can put a cover over their head and all the bad things they are seeing around them will go away simply because they are sleeping.
• Some people are like Jesus’ disciples who are sleeping from weariness. Jesus had taken a few disciples into the garden and asked them to watch while He prayed for danger was coming. But they fell asleep. Jesus asked them “couldn’t you stay awake just a little while?” When danger came, they stood up and were wide awake but that could not help the situation. I pray that you will not wake up when it is too late.
• Other people sleep the sleep of over-confidence in self like Sampson. It’s sad to know that many men leave their wives at home and locate a local Delilah somewhere and are sleeping there. Then they assume that they can handle it. Samson knew that he was in danger because Delilah wanted to know the secret of His power, but he could not help himself – he was sleeping. When he awoke, he said, “I will go out like other times.” But Delilah had cut his hair and the Lord had departed from him. He was surprised because he had presumed that everything was still okay.