Have you ever overslept on the morning of an important event? Recently, I knew I had a big day ahead of me so I wanted to be prepared. Before I went to bed, I opened the alarm app and set three alarms: 6:45 a.m., 7:00 a.m., and 7:15 a.m. I went to my closet and had all of my clothes set aside and ready to go. Then, I peacefully drifted off to sleep.
The first thing I remember that morning was my panicked wife telling me that it was 8:00! In spite of every effort not to, I overslept and was late.
I believe I’ve seen a similar occurrence in the lives of Christians over the past several months. In most churches, in-person services were cancelled and we were restricted to watching from home. We determined to faithfully watch every service and stay faithful in our devotions, but it hasn’t played out that way.
Church in pajamas was too comfortable. It became too easy to watch church on TV while looking at everybody’s stories on our phones.
We fell asleep spiritually, and the drift has been real! Teen services, youth conferences, and camps have been cancelled in many places, and it feels like we may “sleep in” and miss what God has for us spiritually.
In Ephesians 5, the church at Ephesus was facing similar issues. The apostle Paul addresses the issue when he says, “… Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil,” (Ephesians 5:14-16).
He tells them to wake up from their drift and realize that the world needs them! Time is limited and the days are evil!
Can you relate to this? The world is evil and getting worse, but instead of doing something about it, you are spending 14 hours per day hunkered down in your room with your PS4 and snacks.
Maybe that’s not you. Are you the guy who has gotten a summer job, but because you have drifted so far, no one in your presence sees a difference in your life?
Ephesians 5 gives several steps to waking up and becoming the person God wants you to be.
Have you ever been watching TV in the evening with your dad when someone turns the lights out? Before you know it, he is snoring.
You – “Dad, are you sleeping?”
Dad – “No, I was resting my eyes!”
Why did he fall asleep? It was because the lights were turned out.
When we look at verses 3-7, we see a long laundry list of sins that Christians should avoid!
—Any sexual activity outside of marriage (this word comes from the Greek word porneia)
2. All Uncleanness
—Anything that would get you dirty spiritually
—A desire to have more
—Obscenities (cuss words)
5. Foolish Talking
—The talk of fools who sin together
—Joking at the expense of another
These sins mentioned feel very modern, but are not new at all. Since the dawn of time, sexual sin has been an issue. People have lived dirty lives and have been unclean in their thoughts. The desire for more has always been a real issue. We ALWAYS want more!
Speech is a gift from God that allows us to communicate, but far too often, it can deteriorate into crudeness and obscenities that a Christian should avoid at all costs.
In verse 7, Paul reflects on these sins and says, “Be not ye therefore partakers with them.”
These words stand as a warning begging Christians to avoid lives of sin.
He goes on to give a major contrast, “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:” (verse 8). You may have been involved in these sins before salvation, but now, it’s time to wake up!
I don’t know how far you have fallen spiritually, but I do know that now is the time to wake up and flee the darkness.
Over the past several months, I’ve seen a drift. I’ve watched solid, spiritual teens struggle. Sin has gripped lives.
How will we see things get back to normal?
It is high time that we as Christians wake up, kick sins out of our lives, and get right with God. If we will get right, the world will change. But that begins with a personal decision. A decision to be who God wants you to be.
Most mornings I go in to wake my small children, and they don’t budge; but as soon as I turn the light on, they are awake and ready to go.
Why is that? It’s because light dispels the darkness.
Today, you need to make the decision to reflect the light of God into the lost world around you. We need to begin to walk, not as fools, but as wise. We live in evil days and if Christians refuse to stand up and wisely redeem the time, no one will.
It’s time to wake up!