Researchers at the Université Laval in Quebec have found that people who regularly sleep more than 8 hours a night increase their risk of type 2 diabetes by 2 ½ times. In this verse, Paul describes another kind of sleep that can harm us as well…spiritual sleep.
In natural sleep, we are drawn into a state of unconsciousness that prevents us from being aware of what is going on around us. We shut our eyes and are closed off from the physical world.
Paul uses the analogy of natural sleep to describe a manner of living in which we can mentally and spiritually be closed off from what is going on around us. That manner of living could be described as living in a cocoon, aware only of our small worlds and closed off to the suffering and needs that surround us.
We create this cocoon when we focus our time, talent, and treasure on our own needs and ignore those in need around us. We also live in that cocoon when we ignore God’s call and leading in our lives.
When we cut ourselves off from God…we are sleeping spiritually.
Paul calls us to be awake, alert and sober. We are to be awake to the true spiritual condition of the world that surrounds us. We live in a fallen world surrounded by people who are separated from Christ, suffering as a result of that separation.
We are to be alert to what God is calling us to do in our own worlds. He will not call us to meet every need, but He will call us to meet some need. God sent His son Jesus to die for the world, and He has chosen us as His hands and feet to reach out to the world.
Be alert for the role God wants you to play.
Finally, we are to be sober. The original word means to watch and be discreet. As we reach out to those whom God calls us to serve, we are to do this with care, concern and love, just as God has treated us.
Prayer: Lord awaken me from my spiritual slumber and help me be alert to your call in my life.