The Slumbering Christian
At one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” (Ephesians 5:8–14)
Sunday’s New Testament reading deals with the phenomenon of the ‘slumbering Christian’. Don’t walk around in darkness, the Apostle warns us. “Awake, O sleeper” is his cry. Don’t let your spiritual life wither, but ‘walk as children of the light”. Wake up!
One curious thing about being asleep, is that you don’t know you are. Dreams carry on and you are convinced you are awake, and taking part in them. In fact, if you came and told me “I am asleep” I would take that as pretty good evidence that you're not!
And so it is with our faith. It is possible to fall into a spiritual slumber without realising it. We carry on with our prayers, but they simply become routine. We read our Bibles but don’t really apply the words to ourselves. We say we are Christian, but begin walking in the paths of darkness.
Let this passage be a wake up call! Take your spiritual temperature. Ask yourself the question: am I really living this Christian life? Challenging questions!
It may well be that as you look at yourself, you realise that you have been asleep. Your faith is weak. In fact, you are not sure what you believe any more.
Well, if that is the case at least you can join with the prayer of the father of a sick child in Mark 9:24: “I believe; help my unbelief!” We may have a tired faith, but we do have a alert God!