A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest; So shall your poverty come like a prowler, and your need like an armed man. — Proverbs 24:33-34 (NKJV)
Do you have those times in your life where you just need like, I don't know, 14 hours of sleep? Last night was one of those times for me. My son just started kindergarten, so we're not really used to having less time in the morning, but we're trying to adapt.
My incredibly selfless wife let me slept in this morning. It was glorious and very much needed. Sometimes, you just need to sleep in a little, am I right? Wives, make sure you let your husband do this from time to time. Husbands, especially, make sure you let your wife sleep in every once in a while, too.
Is There a Stranger Thing Than Eternity?
It’s strange to imagine that one day, as Revelation 22:5 says, “night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.” No more sun? I wonder if I'll still have a tan. People always think I've been to the beach, and I have to disappoint them every time and say, "Nope, just out in the yard a lot."
It's strange to think that there’s coming a day when our bodies will no longer be subject to fatigue or the affects of aging. We'll bask in perfect light without worrying about the harmful affects of UV rays (and, just to be clear, when I say "we", I mean born again believers).
It'll be a strange experience to dwell in the presence of light brighter than the sun and never have that "time for a nap" feeling. Our bodies will no longer yearn for rest. We will be in a permanent, eternal state of restful bliss. We also won't care what our bodies look like. We will be perfectly content—tan or no tan. Strange indeed.
Jesus Christ is Our Sabbath Rest
Believe it or not, we have a similar rest available to us today—in our spirit—through Jesus Christ. The Bible says that Jesus is our rest. Contrary to what some very religious people will tell you, Christians need not observe the Sabbath. Christians need not even rest on the "Lord's Day"—Sunday—but we should always be working.
And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” — John 5:17 (ESV)
Jesus Christ is our Sabbath rest. I really couldn't care less if you observe the Sabbath as a Christian or not. I think it probably has some good benefits, but it’s not required. Some people, blinded by their works-based theology, refuse to recognize that. Don't judge us non-Sabbath keepers too harshly. After all, you probably aren't keeping the Sabbath perfectly in the first place.
Tomorrow is a New Day
I don’t know about you but eternity can seem a bit daunting. In a world tainted by sin, we often look forward to the night, which for many of us marks the end of a long, stress-filled day. We look forward to sleep because, for a moment, we can turn the world off and just rest. Tomorrow's a new day. Tomorrow will be different—or at least we hope.
In this world, we are bound by time, but in eternity there is no time. There is no night. There is no tomorrow. It’s a strange thing to grasp, but I welcome it. I love sleep, but I think I’m going to thoroughly enjoy not getting tired. How about you?
Up and Atom, Atom Ant!
When I was a little, my mom used to come into my room every morning and throw open the curtains while reciting a silly jingle or some cartoon catch phrase in order to wake me up. One of the shorter and more memorable ones was, "Up and Atom, Atom Ant!" This was her way of saying, "Get your lazy butt out of bed!"
Brothers and sisters, we have to stop sleeping in so much when it comes to our relationship with God. We have to stop being so lazy. The Bible has a lot to say about sluggards, slothfulness, and idleness, which are other words for laziness.
Laziness is actually worse than being asleep. When you’re asleep, you're unconscious. When you're asleep, you’re not even aware of the world around you. When you’re being lazy, you’re completely aware, completely conscious. Instead, you just act asleep, which means you simply don’t care.
His watchmen are blind; they are all without knowledge; they are all silent dogs; they cannot bark, dreaming, lying down, loving to slumber. — Isaiah 56:10 (ESV)
Too many of us are hoping for dreams and visions and the miraculous. We’re sitting around waiting for the Holy Spirit to "fall" when what we really need to do is get in the Word of God and let the Holy Spirit speak and stir and stand us on our feet.
The prophet, Ezekiel, said that the "Spirit lifted him up and set him on his feet," but we’ve got people seeking encounters, falling down, acting a fool, being "slain" in the Spirit. The Spirit does not slay people by the way. He stands us up, and sets us on our feet.
And as he spoke to me, the Spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and I heard him speaking to me. — Ezekiel 2:2
The Bible Has An Answer
I don't care what your question is, the Bible has an answer for you. If it doesn't, then you're asking the wrong question. Our problem is that we, legitimately, have other things to do, and studying God’s Word is time consuming. I get it, believe me.
When God does finally answer, through His Word, often times, we don’t like what He has to say. Daniel’s prayer life spared him from the mouth of lions; it perfectly preserved his friends, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah when they were cast into the fiery furnace. But let’s not forget what got them in those situations in the first place; it was their prayer life and their relationship with God. We want to be refined, but we don’t want to step inside the furnace.
I think many of us are so restless—so clueless—in life because we have neglected our relationship with God. We've neglected His Word. Sure, we go to church. Sure, we read our Bible. But are we studying it? Are we meditating on it?
We want to be refined, but we don’t want to step inside the furnace.
Brothers and sisters, there’s nothing more important than our relationship with God—literally, nothing! If you're not hungry for time with God, if you're not hungry for His Word, then you really need to ask yourself, "Why am I not hungry for God? Am I asleep? Or am I just lazy?"
There’s nothing more important than our relationship with God—literally, nothing!
Can you sense hunger while you're sleeping? I don't think so. It's only upon waking up that you realize how hungry you are.
Hammering The Message Home
God knows we have other things we must do. He has other things for us to do. He’s not going to require of us more time than we can redeem. Therefore, we must start off each day, every morning, in prayer and in the Word of God. No one has ever said, "Man, if only I had spent less time with God today, my day would have been so much better." Or, "If only I had put God last today..." Those are the words of a fool.
"Man, if only I had spent less time with God today, my day would have been so much better." — No One Ever
As you spend more time with our heavenly Father, you’ll begin to sense Him saying, “Okay, son. Okay, daughter. I've really enjoyed the time we've spent together. I’ve taught you all I wanted to teach you in this moment. Now go, take what you've learned and take care of XYZ.” Our problem is that we take on so much, like starting another business, taking another online class, starting new Instagram accounts, among other much more useless things, that our XYZ is actually A-to-Z.
What do you need to subtract from your todo list in this season of life? I'll tell you what we all need to add: more time with God our Father in His written Word.
Update: An earlier version of this article stated that Daniel's prayer life preserved him in King Nebuchadnezzar's fiery furnace. That was a mistake as I was going off memory. That statement has since been revised to accurately state that it was his three friends that were cast into the furnace, not Daniel.