“And do this, understanding the present time.  The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.” (Romans 13:11)  Paul exhorts us to wake up from our slumber or sleep. 
 
Medical science also provides lot of insights about sleep.  Rapid Eye Movement sleep is when brain is active, while body is inactive.  This is the normal sleep.  Non–Rapid Eye Movement sleep is when body is active, brain is inactive.  This is not good.  One example is – sleep walking. 
 
The Bible has description about various kinds of sleep.  Here we would examine just five kinds of sleep.

1. Death:  Death is also equated to sleep.  When Lazarus was dead, Lord Jesus said that he was asleep.  Spiritual death is also a sleep.  As Satan has blinded the spiritual perception of people, they are asleep and would go into everlasting sleep unless they turn to Lord Jesus Christ.

2. Drowsiness:  This is lack of mental alertness.  Or it could be described as state of inactivity.  Others may think the person is awake and alert, but in reality, he would be sleeping.
Trance:  Peter went into trance, where he was physically sleeping but spiritually seeing God speaking to him through a dream.  That changed his perception about the Gentiles. 

3. Deep Sleep:  Jonah after fleeing on a ship to Tarshish went to deep sleep.  He was not bothered or disturbed by the commotion due to storm, wind, waves and shrieking cry of the people.  He was shaken out of sleep, when he confessed his fleeing attempt from God’s plan. 
4. Careless Sleep:  Samson slept in Delilah’s lap no knowing that he was loosing the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit and his power.  When he woke up he not only lost his physical strength, but also his spiritual prowess. 

5. Negligent Sleep: When Paul was preaching, Eutychus -  young man sat at the wrong place and slept and fell to death.  Thank God, he was revived by God through the Apostle’s prayer.  (Acts 20: 7-12)
 
In the spiritual life of a Christian it is possible to fall asleep.  Like Jonah we could fall asleep in disobedience.  Like Samson, we could loose our spiritual vitality by being in the wrong place with wrong people.  Lord calls us to awake and be alert.  There are at least five aspects of life for which we should be awake. 
 
1.         Awake to New life
 
The first and foremost awakening that should happen in a person’s life is to wake up from the spiritual slumber.  That could happen only by coming to Lord Jesus Christ, with repentance and humility and accepting him as the Lord and the Saviour.  Without this experience, people live like a dead corpse moving around without purpose and meaning.
 
2.         Awake to Realities and Challenges of Life

 
There are many realities and challenges in life, which we refuse to perceive and accept.  Peter is a good example, he was not able to understand the truth all people are created in the image of God irrespective of their nationality.  He considered the Gentiles or Non-Jews as sub-human beings who do not deserve salvation.  Lord had to wake him up with a trance that changed his perspective or attitude towards other people. 
 
David as a teenager strayed into the battle field as directed by his father to give eatables to his brothers.  There he saw Goliath, a Philistine coming out in open to defy the army of Israel.  The response of Saul and army of Israel was pathetic.  This awakened David to trust God to fight David and rest is history.   
 
3.         Awake to Potentials in Life

 
God has great purpose for his people.  He could use humble, simple people to fulfill his great, wonderful purposes.  But, many are spiritually asleep unable to wake up to the full potentials of life.  Gideon is a good example.  He was winnowing his grains in hiding, fearing Midianites would attack and plunder his grains.  Then the angel of the Lord visited him to commission to fight Midianites.  He was timid, under estimated himself, and had inferiority complex, but he awoke to his full potentials when he heard the voice of the angel.  The angel commissioned him to go in his strength, as God was with him. 
 
4.         Awake to Purposes in Life
 
Waking up to God’s ultimate purposes is very much important in Christian life.  We tend to be immersed in the routine things of our life, just submerging the more essential things in our life.  God has sent us into this world with a purpose – that gives meaning to this earthly life.  This life is an investment for the Kingdom of God and eternity.  Using all our energy, knowledge, time, resources, talents, gifts skills for Godly purposes is true purpose in life. 
 
5.         Awake to Obedience in Life
 
Jonah was asleep in the lowest deck of the ship, trying to escape from the presence and commission of God.  He was caught unaware and he self prescribed his punishment and was not willing to fulfill the commission of reaching the Ninevites.  In the ship he was shaken to wake up physically by other passengers, but he woke up spiritually in the fish’s stomach.  Then he went back to obedience. 
 
6.         Awake from Carelessness, Indifferences, Sloth and Negligience

 
Some people are careless and negligent in their lives.  Like the person with one talent in the Parable of Talents; dig, bury and hide the talent.  Instead of having an attitude of hard work, taking risks, they choose to remain where they are.  In a war it is impossible to win by staying stagnant, so is life.  They have ‘maintenance mentaility’ instead of ‘progress mentality’. 
 
Awake! Alert!! Action!!!
 
Let the New Year make us awaken to God’s purposes, potentials and possibilities.  Pray that God may keep us alert and sensitive to His Spirit and guidance.  In faith, be active and move forward for His Kingdom. 

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