Summary: Today we’re going to look at the danger of sleeping spiritually. The scriptures indicate three reasons THIS IS NO TIME TO SLEEP: we're in a storm, we're in the presence of the enemy, and Jesus needs us now!
THIS IS NO TIME TO SLEEP!
1. God has a funny sense of humor. He made US didn't he? I heard a story of how God made a young minister’s sermon come alive.
2. While a student at Bucknell University, he was invited to speak at a church in New Columbia, Pennsylvania. The night before, he set his alarm for ample time to reach the church and be ready. Unknown to him, his roommate came in late that night and turned off the alarm.
3. He awoke with a start an hour later than he’d planned. By the time he reached the church he was 35 minutes late for the service.
4. When he finally got up to preach, he had to announce his key scripture - Romans 13:11, "Knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep."
5. Many of the church people had their eyebrows raised, knowing that the speaker himself was late to wake up!
1. Sleeping is a wonderful blessing. It Refreshes the body; gives New Strength and will (enemies try to wear down our military by sleep deprivation). The average American adult doesn't get enough sleep. In Japan, they have a "Yawn Break." Many know that the yawn stimulates the brain. A Japanese transistor manufacturer has scheduled 30-second "yawn breaks" in the factory schedule. On cue, everyone raises his hands over their heads and yawns in unison. The manufacturer claims production has jumped considerably.
2. MANY PEOPLE IN THE BIBLE FELL ASLEEP AT ODD MOMENTS:
a. Abraham fell asleep while God was talking to him(Gen. 15:12).
b. Daniel slept in the lion’s den while the King had insomnia in his palace(6:18).
c. Peter slept soundly the night before he was to be executed(Acts 12:6).
d. Paul preached so long in Ephesus that Eutychus fell asleep and fell 3 stories to the ground, but god raised him up(Acts 20:9).
e. The 10 virgins all slept while they waited for the Bridegroom(Matthew 25:5).
3. But today we’re going to look at the danger of sleeping spiritually. The scriptures indicate three reasons, based on Biblical examples, that THIS IS NO TIME TO SLEEP!
I. SLEEPING IN THE MIDDLE OF A STORM
A. TEXT: Jonah 1:3-15
3But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. 4Then the LORD sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. 5 All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship. But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. 6 The captain went to him and said, "How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us, and we will not perish." 11 The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So [the sailors] asked him, "What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?" 12 "Pick me up and throw me into the sea," he replied…15 Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm.”
B. DISOBEDIENCE & STORMS
1. Jonah is a picture of the believer. He was told by God to go to Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian Empire and warn them to repent or be judged by God. This city had 120,000 people and was approximately 48 miles across.
2. Instead, Jonah went the opposite direction toward southwest Spain, the farthest known point to the West. Jonah was running from God. He was getting as far away as he could from the will of God. When you begin disobeying God you can never sit still; there is no peace & no rest.
3. We all run from doing God’s will sometimes: put off giving up a habit/grudge; don’t exercise self-control (eating/tongue/anger); take liberties which are not pleasing to God; we don't witness as we should/ pray/give/or read the Word.
4. There is no escaping from Almighty God.
C. THE SLEEP OF UNCONSCIOUSNESS TO GOD
1. Jonah was asleep -- unconscious of God's dealings. Are you? In the Bible, "sleeping" can mean: Carnal indifference to spiritual things; Insensitivity to divine things.
a. Asleep while in the greatest peril! Condition of many Christians today! Perilous times; Storms of satanic attack on our nation, yet we sleep!
b. Asleep and imperiling others. Our disobedience can imperil those around us: family, neighborhood, church. How can we sleep calmly on?
c. Asleep while others call on God! Men that didn't even know God were crying out to God for help, but we Christians remain sleepy and indifferent.
d. Asleep while multitudes of loss people hang under the doom of judgment! Nineveh represents the vast world of lost people that we are responsible for reaching. Without our efforts, most of them will perish in hell. We must awake from our slumbers and accept the mission God has given us. God, like the captain, says, "How can you sleep? Get up and pray!"