When I read how you “have become so weak and lazy spiritually”, I instantly thought of Proverbs 24:30-34 which reads, “I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction. Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: so shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.” Solomon was describing what happens when a man is lazy and doesn’t take care of his property; it breaks down and the man is reduced to poverty. The spiritual application is plain; if we become lazy spiritually our prayer life and testimony before the world will break down and we become spiritually poor. It doesn’t happen overnight, but little by little, as we neglect God’s Word, prayer, and Christian fellowship, we find ourselves spiritually “asleep.”

What is the remedy when we “fall asleep” as believers? Let’s look at Ephesians 5:14, “Wherefore He says, Wake up, thou that sleepest, and arise up from among the dead, and the Christ shall shine upon thee” (DARBY). If we have “fallen asleep” spiritually, we need to “wake up” and “arise up from among the dead.” There is no other solution to your problem; you MUST heed this call to action. In this chapter the apostle Paul call believers “children of light” in verse 8, and then in verse 11 he exhorts them to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Yet Paul realized that a believer may indeed “fall asleep spiritually” and when this happens the influences of this world may result in us acting just like those who are “spiritually dead” all around us. This call to “wake up” and “rise up” means we must, by an act of our will, separate ourselves from the world around us and then with a renewed determination we must follow our blessed Lord. The promise to the one who does awake and rise up is most precious, “Christ shall shine upon thee!” He Himself will illuminate our path and cause us to be a light once again to those who are still in spiritual darkness. I take it this means that the Word of God and prayer will once again be something we love and long for, and by these resources of His grace He will guide us and use us for His honor and glory.

Another great incentive to “wake up” is found in Romans 13:11-12, “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand; let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.” The Lord is coming, dear fellow-believer! The night will soon give way to the day of Christ’s appearing. And yet, as another has said, “It is very easy to forget this and to settle down into a state of drowsy insensibility like the world.” When this happens we need to “awake out of sleep” and “put on the armour of light.” This is basically the same message as we saw in Ephesians 5:14, for once we do “wake up” and determine to be a light for the Lord, our blessed Savior will clothe us with light. And as we shine for our Lord in this dark world, the light itself will be like a suit of armor, protecting and preserving us. (162.7) (DO)