I have always been a very good sleeper. I can go to sleep whenever I need to, even in uncomfortable sleeping conditions. I am so grateful that I have the gift of sleep! I actually consider it a blessing because we live in such a culture of sleeplessness. We live such busy lives that sometimes it’s hard to get a good night’s sleep. Then there is the reality of increased anxiety, related to the complexities of life these days, that impedes the ability to get a restful night of sleep for many people. It is said that excessive use of our electronic devices actually affects our sleep pattern because it delays when we go to bed at night so that we get less restful sleep, not to mention how this technology affects our brains and our minds in general.

Have you ever noticed how you sleep after being on your phone or computer right before bed? On the other hand, there are so many benefits of a good night’s sleep. It improves your immune system so that you get sick less often; sleep tends to lower your risk for serious health problems and can improve your mood and reduce stress, just to mention a few.

But interestingly enough, the Bible has much to say about sleep and our need to wake up from our sleepy, slumbering spiritual state of mind. During Christ’s most dark and trying time on earth, the disciples were found sleeping when He needed their support the most.

Parable of the Ten Virgins

Also, in Matthew 25 we see the parable of ten virgins. Five were wise, and five were foolish. In summary of this timely parable, we learn that the wise ones got good rest every night. And during the day while awake, it can be inferred that they used their time wisely and did the proper spiritual work in order to be prepared for the Lord’s coming, which is what this parable is all about.

A close study of this parable reveals that all of the virgins were good church members. They were all convicted that they should prepare for the coming of the Lord, and they all had some knowledge of truth. It was only when the cry to go out and meet the bridegroom was made that the true colors of the virgins was seen. They all possessed and carried vessels, it’s just that the foolish ones didn’t have enough oil to prepare for an emergency. These foolish virgins had neglected to prepare properly and were looking to others to give them that which they themselves should have prepared for. The oil in the parable represents the Holy Spirit, which the Lord gives to every sincere believer through faith in Jesus Christ. We must make it our duty to fear God and to spend time with the Lord in prayer and Bible study often, obeying God’s commands in order to be truly wise in these perilous times (Psalm 111:10; Hosea 14:9).

So, is sleep a good thing or a bad thing? Physical sleep is imperative for optimal health physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Spiritual sleep, however, which can be characterized as carelessness with regard to the things of God, and a lackadaisical approach to Biblical mandates is extremely dangerous. Remember, all ten virgins were Christians. They were all church members. The disciples were also followers of Christ but were found sleeping during the most critical time in their walk with Christ. One of my favorite authors writes, “By these sleeping disciples is represented a sleeping church, when the day of God’s visitation is nigh. It is a time of clouds and thick darkness, when to be found asleep is most perilous.”1

This author also writes, “…Christ is at the door. Men and women are in the last hours of probation, and yet are careless and stupid, and ministers have no power to arouse them; they are asleep themselves. Sleeping ministers preaching to sleeping people!”2

How sobering. May God help us to wake out of our spiritual slumber!

We have Biblical counsel to be vigilant:  “Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep, sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation” (1 Thessalonians 5:6-8).

Our call for today is found in Romans 13:11-14:  “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”

May the Lord help us to get proper physical rest in order to take the time and energy to prepare spiritually for His soon coming.

Call to Action

“...If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37-38).

Is your heart searching for satisfaction and wholeness? Cry out to the Lord, the only One who can truly satisfy.

All scripture taken from the King James Version.

  1. Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church (Mountain View, California: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1876), vol. 2, 205.
  2. Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church (Mountain View, California: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1876), vol. 2, 337.

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