Monday, November 26, 2012

Sleep Mode

The office where I work acquired a color printer.  It’s capabilities are wonderful -  clear crisp printing with excellent color.  Although the results are great, the printer has a feature that about drives me around the bend on some mornings.  My best thoughts almost always come early in the morning.  However, several mornings I would find that after I finished a project, I couldn’t print.  At last, we found the problem.  The printer has an automatic feature that kicks in when left on for an extended period of time.  It ‘goes to sleep.’  It’s an energy saving mode.  The only problem is it won’t wake itself up.  To “fix” the printer and get it out of it’s sleep mode, one has to turn the power off and then turn the power back on.

Sometimes this printer reminds me of my spiritual life.  When I’m not called on “to be on the front lines of ministry” it’s easy to “go to sleep.”   At times we may not feel that our role is particularly important or we may not see a connection between the service we perform and souls being won to Christ.  If we are one of those ‘behind the scenes’ people in the body of Christ, no one may notice how our spiritual lives are going.  The ‘sleep mode’ can be a dangerous place.  It’s at those times we are susceptible to complacency, mediocrity, negative thinking or perhaps even depression. 

In Ephesians 6:10-18 we are told to ‘put on the whole armor of God’.  We are reminded that our battle is in the spiritual realm, not with flesh and blood and we are implored to pray  AT ALL TIMES.   The apostle Paul goes on to say that we are to be ALERT.  The New Living Translation says to be “persistent in your prayers for all Christians everywhere”.  The apostle Paul asks the Ephesians to pray for him personally to be bold. 

Those powerful words tell us plainly not to exist in the ‘sleep mode.’  No one else may notice, but the Lord Jesus knows the condition of our hearts, and if we are not alert, we will not be ready for spiritual battle.  And guess what?  Someone else knows when we are spiritually asleep.  I Peter 5:8 says, “Be of sober spirit, BE ON THE ALERT.  Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 

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