Have you heard the story of the soldier who fell asleep while on guard? He eventually simply dropped his head on his arms and slept. When he opened his eyes, he saw a pair of boots right in front of him and suspected they belonged to his commanding officer. Just before he lifted his head, he said out loud: "Amen!"
But if you think about it, the soldier could've caused a big mess by sleeping on duty. What if it was not his commanding officer, but the enemy standing in front of him? What are the chances that he would have survived?
A soldier must always be ready, because the enemy is simply waiting for that nanosecond when you drop your guard. At that moment the soldier is vulnerable. Just think about this word. The soldier drops his guard and protection completely and becomes an easy, open target for the enemy who can shoot or subdue him.
Just like this, we Christians must be ready at all times. We must be alert and know that the enemy is walking around outside like a roaring lion wanting to catch us. He is waiting for that brief moment when we slip up and then he strikes. Therefore, a warning:
6So let's not sleepwalk through life like those others. Let's keep our eyes open and be smart.
We know very well what is right and what is wrong. We know where the right road of life is going and where the wrong one. Most of us take the right road, but so many times we are tempted to take a turnoff. That's when we have to be strong. That's when we have to make sure that we're not caught asleep. That's when we have to put in extra energy to remain alert and on our post.
The King James Version says we have to watch and be sober. Another story: A man says that when he goes out at night, he looks around for the person he finds least attractive. If that person starts looking attractive later in the evening, he knows it's time to go home.
That man knows what too much drink does to you. It messes with your judgement. You make decisions and do things you would never do when sober. But it's more than drink. Money can drug you. Fame can drug you. You may even get drunk from love. Therefore, the instruction: Be awake at all times. Know that you are on duty and on guard at all times. Don't fall asleep for even one moment, because that is when the devil attacks.
Pray and be strong!
1 Thessalonians 5:4-11
Are you an easy target?
What can you do to keep you awake?
Do you realise the danger of falling asleep?
Lord, this sounds so familiar, because how many times have I slept on duty! I still have so much to learn and practice. I wish with my whole heart to keep standing, but sometimes I get so sleepy... Amen.