Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

April 26, 2023
Are you falling asleep to the Word of God?

It’s late at night, and I’m in a deep dream-filled sleep when suddenly, out of nowhere, I feel a wack across my chest. I opened my eyes to see my wife sitting up, shaking me. 

“Wake up. There is someone in the house!” 

I went from dead asleep to wide awake in a moment. With those words, adrenaline and a sense of panic filled my mind and body. I took a breath, trying to make my mind work and make sense of what was happening. My wife’s panic increased as a new revelation came to her. 

“Get up! Someone is in our room!” 

Fear filled my mind with such intensity that I could hardly breathe. I was completely caught off guard. How could this happen? Could I get to my gun in time? Why didn’t I hear anything? Why didn’t the dog bark? This must be it. We are going to die. 

I instinctively jumped out of bed, looking at the corner my wife pointed toward in horror. “Hurry, do something!” she shouted, fear filling her voice. 

My eyes were still adjusting, but I couldn’t see anything as I squinted. I looked closer, and confusion began to replace my fear. There was nothing there. Did I miss something? 

“Get them out of here!” My wife shouted in frustration at my lack of action. 

“But there is no one there,” I replied, shaking my head and questioning my sanity and bravery. 

“They’re right there,” she exclaimed, pointing to a dark empty corner of the bedroom. 

Looking at her and motioning toward the corner, I frustratedly replied, “There is nothing there! There is no one in the house!” 

“Yes, there is!” she shouted back at me without a doubt in her mind. 

We went back and forth like this until  I realized my wife was completely asleep. I started to laugh when I realized I was in a shouting match with someone asleep. Of course, my laughing just made her more irritated. “Why are you laughing? I can see them standing right there!” 

“Your dreaming,” I said as I turned the lights on. She rubbed her eyes and looked around. “Oh,” was all she said as she closed her eyes again and fell back into the bed, fully asleep before her head even hit the pillow. 

For some people, weird things can happen in that half-asleep, half-awake state. My wife is one of them. Sometimes she will have conversations with people that aren’t there or even get up and walk around a little. It reminds me of Ephesians 5:13–14: “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.’” In this passage of scripture, the writer is warning the church in Ephesus that they are in danger of falling asleep spiritually. 

I think this is interesting, considering that just ten years or so earlier, Christianity had such a powerful impact on the area that the idol makers of the city rioted because no one was buying their false idols anymore (Acts 19). However, in the book of Revelation, Jesus tells them they have forgotten their first love (Revelation 2:1-7). How did they go from such passion about the gospel to being rebuked by Jesus for abandoning their love for him? 

I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I can’t help but think they began to fall asleep. When the light of Christ is not shining on our entire life, but we keep certain things hidden in the dark, it’s just a matter of time before we are completely asleep and unaware of what is happening around us. This is a warning for all of us. The apostle Paul was not writing to unbelievers here but to the church, to those who had put their trust in Jesus. He was saying, “Wake up! Turn on the light! Don’t close your eyes to your sin!” 

We do this, though. We downplay our sins. We make excuses for it. We justify it and turn a blind eye to it. Eventually, we don’t even recognize it as sin anymore. We convince ourselves that God understands or that he somehow even approves. We have completely fallen asleep to reality. It doesn’t happen immediately but over time. We start out strong. We experience the love and grace of God in our lives, and at that moment, we are completely His. Everything we have and all that we are. We are all in, but that emotion wears off after some time. The feeling isn’t the same, and as a result, we slowly begin to see things not through the lens of scripture but through the lens of culture. As a result, popular thinking becomes our religion, and we fall asleep to the truth of God’s Word. 

Let me encourage you today to stay anchored to the Light of Christ through the reality of his Word, which exposes the dark corners of our hearts. It’s not always fun or easy, but it is necessary. It’s not about what I think about something. It’s what does God think about it? What does the Bible tell us? 

When asleep, it’s hard to tell what’s real and what is just a dream. Even the most ridiculous dreams feel real when we’re asleep. 

Trevor Rickard is an Associate Pastor at New Life Christian Fellowship.

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