Summary: The Christian can sleep better if he has learned sleep comes from God, has learned to trust God, and has learned Life’s real meaning.
The Enemy Within _Fatigue. Psalm 127:1, 2
INTRO.: How often have we heard someone say, “I was just too tired to get up and go to Sunday School?” or, “I work so hard all week, I’m just worn out by Sunday.” This kind of fatigue is an enemy of spirituality.
ILLUS.: Joke about sleeping in Church service.
Usually, we are tired, not because we have worked so hard, but because we have combined hard work with hard worrying. If we sleep soundly all night, we seldom have problems with fatigue.
The Psalmist says the godly can sleep late. That’s good news! But, he is not offering an excuse for laziness. The Bible condemns idleness. II Thess. 2:10, 11.
Instead, the text addresses the folly of all our frantic efforts to do things for ourselves while leaving God out of the picture. Those who know God sleep better.
The Christian can sleep better if:
I. If he has learned sleep comes from God:
A. Literally, it does:
1. The opportunity for physical renewal, like all good things, comes from God.
2. He made the night as well as the day.
3. He gives the security of law, order, civilization, without which we would need 24 hour vigilance.
B. God provides the serenity that allows us to sleep:
1. He gives “Peace that surpasses understanding.”
2. All our labor cannot produce this kind of peace.
3. The “serenity prayer:” “GOD give me the strength to change the things I can change, the patience to accept the things I cannot change, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
C. In His wisdom, He has provided a “final rest.”
1. Jesus teaches death is a sleep because He promises to awaken us.
2. He promises a heavenly rest for His people. “There remains, then, a Sabbath — rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his”. Heb 4:9-10
3. He exhorts, “make every effort to enter that rest.”
II. If He has learned to trust God:
A. Many times, it is anxiety that keeps us awake:
1. Like a watchman on the wall, we are afraid to sleep.
2. ILLUS.: Insomniac Rooster
3. Anxiety is worrying about things before they happen, assuming something bad will happen.
4. Our future security is in God’s hands, not ours. Trust Him.
B. Trust and prayer go together:
1. Learn to pray instead of worrying. Phil. 4:6, 7
2. This is easy to say. Some never learn. It requires growth.
3. Meditate on God’s past blessings. You will learn what all our work can’t do, God can.
C. Make no mistake, there is a place for hard work:
1. But, without God’s blessing, it is wasted.
2. Pride causes us to think we can gain all our needs by working in our own strength.
3. ILLUS.: life is like a pipe organ. If the bellows are not working or the motor is not turned on, it makes no difference how skillfully we play, there is no music. God alone provides the energy to put music in our lives.
III. If he is learning life’s real meaning:
A. It is not material prosperity:
1. The things men labor for are fleeting things.
2. Some have worked so hard for retirement they didn’t live to retire.
3. Others work so hard they can’t quit. Retirement never comes.
4. God’s secret to a happy life is in I Tim. 6:6ff
B. Family life is very important. Ps. 127:3-5
1. Sometimes families disintegrate while the bread winner is away working.
2. So, the psalmist says a house can’t be built without God.
3. Keep right priorities. John 6:26, 27
C. Illustration from Haggai, chap. 1
1. The people had misplaced priorities.
2. Their work was futile. Vv. 5, 6
3. God blessed them when they put Him first
4. Frantic efforts to gain material wealth could now cease. They can trust God to provide.
CONC.: “Anywhere with Jesus I can go to sleep.
When the darkening shadows round about me creep.
Knowing I shall waken never more to roam.
Anywhere with Jesus will be home sweet home.”
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matt 11:28
Sleeping in Church
A Minister, while preaching, noted most of his congregation was asleep. He stopped the sermon and asked a deacon to pass the offering plate. The deacon woke up red-faced and reminded him the offering had already been taken.
His response; “Never mind, take up another one. I intend to make them pay for lodging as well as spiritual food.”
By the time the second offering was taken up the congregation was wide awake.
I stayed a week at a friend’s house in the country. He had a rooster that was in the habit of crowing every night at midnight because of a large mercury vapor yard light. The first two nights, he woke me with his crowing. The third night, I was awake waiting to hear him. I lay awake, tense and anxious, waiting for him to crow.
Many of us become tense and anxious worrying about things before they happen and they may never even happen.