One of the places that man suffers his major defeat is in the bed. The sudden trouble of a lot of people started on their beds. One wonderful thing that God can do for you in life is to give you power over the battle of the bed. When you win that battle you will start moving the way God wants you to move. You will not become a prayer warrior if you are still in the bondage of the bed. You will not be useful to the Almighty if the bed is still your cell. You will not become anything powerful to the Almighty if you spend too long a time on your bed.
I read the story of a man who died at the age of 75. He spent almost 25 years sleeping and about six months praying, out of 75 years. It is clear that the fellow had gone to hell fire. He spent one-third of his life sleeping.
If you are still caged by the bed then you cannot make any headway spiritually. The major spiritual battles that many people won in their lives were won after midnight.
Matthew 13:25: “But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares, among the wheat, and went his way.”
The enemy does not come to entertain. Sometimes, we start firing at the enemy when he had already planted his evil seed and is gone. We start firing when the destruction has already been done. Sometime ago, a friend of mine boarded a vehicle to Lagos from somewhere in the eastern part of the country. He sat beside the driver and as they were going he noticed that the driver was dozing. He told him to park the vehicle and sleep for a while before continuing on the journey, to avoid an accident. But the driver abused him and told him that he was not sleeping. He slept off again and before they knew it, they had ended up in a pit. The accident occurred because the driver was sleeping but did not admit he was doing so, like many people would do. Some people allow the spirit of slumber to operate their spiritual life. Today, they are awake and tomorrow they are asleep. Witches and powers of darkness look at many of us in amazement because they don’t sleep. They don’t need coffee to remain awake. I know of a fellow, a child of the devil, who decided to hold night vigils against a person for one month. For the one month, from midnight to 3.00 am, he was cursing the man. The person being cursed was busy sleeping until he started seeing himself walking into a coffin.
Please, at this juncture I would like you to pray like this: “You the powers of the night, my life is not your candidate, in the name of Jesus.” If you are the kind of person who sleeps so heavily that you cannot wake up at the first tap, you need deliverance, because it means you are going deep down and to the level that anything could happen to your spirit man. If your spirit man can sleep that far, there is a problem.
Romans 13:11 “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.”
Paul said they were sleeping and had to wake up. If physical sleep is very bad what about spiritual sleep?
Sleep is a period of rest during which the sleeper loses the awareness of his surroundings. So, the danger in sleep is the loss of awareness. The elder brother of sleep is what medical people call “coma.” Some people are in spiritual coma. Messages and prayer do not worth anything to them. They may be at church service but would not hear what the preacher is saying because they are already dead spiritually even though they are alive physically.
When a person falls asleep, all his physical activity decreases, his muscles relax and he could have a nightmare. Occasionally a person sleepwalks. A person who is sleep-walking can rise up, go to the kitchen, drink something go back to the bed and continue to sleep. And if you say, “Who drank this thing?” He would say, “I never stood up, I did not go there.” This is not common in Africa though. I pray that it will not happen to you, in Jesus’ name.
Some people even discuss in their sleep. That is why a local proverb says that sleep is the friend of death. It is during sleep that the agents of Satan in our environment lay evil eggs in people’s lives and they try to make sure that their victims do not know what they have done, because if they know, they will shake off the evil eggs. That is why the Bible says that while men slept, his enemies came quietly, planted evil and went away. It is not all enemies that will attack you directly. In fact, most enemies will not attack you directly. They just come, lay their evil eggs and go away.
When you lose the battle of the bed, you lose all battles. Satan has destroyed so many good things because of sleep. When you are addicted to sleep physically it is bad, but it is even worse when it is transferred to the spirit man. Sleep gives the enemy a chance to sow tares. While men sleep, many human tragedies occur. For example, fire, hurricane and tornadoes sweeping homes and cities away sometimes before the victims wake up. So, sleep is a time of insecurities, you cannot protect yourself at that time. It is a time of inactivity and a time of delusion when you assume that all is right only for you to wake up to see a great change. So, we need to be aware of the dangers of spiritual slumber. Great changes may occur for the enemy would be at work.
Some people would say, “When I went to sleep last night, I was okay but by the time I woke up, I had become another person.” Some people go to bed sound only to wake up mad. The powers of the night waited for them to sleep and planted things in their lives.
Please, take this prayer points: “Every seed of the power of the night, roast, in the name of Jesus.”
The Bible categorizes spiritual sleep into many classes. We will look at some of them. This will help you to know whether you are awake or not. The fact that somebody’s eyes are open does not mean that he is not sleeping spiritually.
- The sleep of Jonah: Jonah 1:5-6 : “Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? Arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not.”
THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SLEEP OF JONAH
It was an unrealistic sleep, a sleep of illusion. The storm was raging, men were in danger but Jonah did not realize it at all. Likewise many people today think that they can put a cover over their head and all the bad things they are seeing around them would go away simply because they are sleeping. No, they will not go away. The sailor confronted Jonah, “What meanest thou, O sleeper arise, call upon thy God. Can’t you see what is happening around?”
There are many people like Jonah, a lot of things are happening around them, yet they are sleeping. Many, today are roaming about sleeping unrealistically. Their sin is raging like the hurricane and is as dark as the night and the danger is great but they want to believe that everything is going to be all right. That is why Paul warns: “Awake thou that sleepest and arise from the dead and the light of Christ shall shine upon thee.
Unfortunately, many will die under this delusion because their eyes are covered, they think that the world will just go on like that and that nothing will happen. They believe that politicians will be politicians, military men will be military men, governors will be governors, etc. No, very soon, things will happen. If you are sleeping like Jonah, I pray that the Lord would deliver you, in Jesus’ name.
Some people have the call of God upon their lives and God has told them where to go but they have slept off like Jonah and have also decided to go another way. God told Jonah to go to Nineveh but he headed for Tarshish and slept off on the way. Eventually, he went from his bed of sleep into the mouth of a fish and was there for three days. He did three days dry fast in the belly of the fish because of unrealistic sleep. He was running away from God and consoled himself by sleeping.
2. The sleep of the apostle and the sleep of the disciple: What is the nature of the sleep of the disciples? It is the sleep of weariness. Mark 14:37 says, “And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? Couldest not thou watch one hour?” He first called him Peter and later called him Simon. There is a difference between the two names. Peter means rock while Simon means reed. Anytime Peter began to do a slow motion in the Bible, Jesus would not call him Peter, He would say Simon. And when he was doing well, He would call him Peter.
When Peter left Jesus and began to fish after the resurrection, Jesus said, “Simon son of Jonah lovest thou me…” Here He called him Simon which means a reed, somebody who shakes here and there. “Simon, sleepest thou? Couldest not thou watch one hour?” That is, could you not do one-hour night vigil? There are many people like that. The only night vigil they do effectively with minimal sleep may be the ones organised by the church. Such people are deceiving themselves. When you cannot sit down and do a personal vigil for at least one hour, you are sleeping the sleep of the disciple. Jesus asked His disciples to pray for danger was coming. The betrayal was to come that night and soldiers were coming. Perhaps if Peter had prayed that one hour prayer, he would not have denied the Lord. When danger came, they stood up and were wide awake but that could not help the situation. I pray that you will not wake up when it is too late.
Today, people are exhausted and weighed down, and their senses are dumb spiritually. There is a need to be watchful, for the enemy will attack when we least expect. While righteous men sleep, the enemy does not sleep. The Bible says, “Be sober, be vigilant for the devil, your adversary walketh about seeking whom he may devour.” Evil lurks in every corner when the righteous people are weary. The disciples slept the sleep of weariness and we see where it landed them.
3. The sleep of Samson: It is very sad to know that many men are sleeping the sleep of Samson. They leave their wives at home and locate a local Delilah somewhere and are sleeping there. To worsen their case, their friends who will come and smoke cigarette at their funeral are encouraging them to die. Samson, whose birth was prophesied by an angel, a supernatural man, could not withstand the lap of Delilah.
Judges 16:19: “And she made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him.” The seven locks of head stand for perfection.
WHAT IS THE NATURE OF THE SLEEP OF SAMSON? It is the sleep of presumption. That is the spirit of “I can handle it, no problem,” the spirit of over-confidence. Samson knew that he was in danger for Delilah was after the secret of His power, but he could not help himself. Delilah made him to sleep on her knees and she cut off his hair. When he awoke due to the cry of the Philistines, he said, “I will go out like other times.” But the Bible says that he did not know that the Lord had departed from him. He was surprised that day because he had presumed that everything was still okay. Then his eyes were pulled out and he was made to grind pepper in the mill of the enemy. It is wrong to presume that you are safe and therefore place yourself in danger. One day, you may wake up and find that the Lord has departed from you.
4. The sleep of the sluggard: A person who will sit for exams and is sleeping eight hours everyday will end up a failure. Proverb 24:30-34: “I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding, and lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it well. I looked upon it, and received instruction. Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep; so shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.”
Many Christians are very lazy. They don’t want to do the Lord’s work. Just as a lazy person cannot do well physically, also a lazy person cannot do well spiritually. Laziness is the reason people give excuses for not doing what they are supposed to do. For example, they would complain that Bible studies usually take time and that is why they do not attend. Many are inactive when it comes to sowing the seed to the kingdom. Lazy people lack spiritual exercise. Family worship and Bible study are foreign to them. Just as a lazy farmer will not receive the best crop, a lazy Christian too will not receive the best from the Lord. The sleep of carelessness that many people sleep cannot fetch them anything from the Lord.
5. The sleep of Eutychus: Act 20:7-12: “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together. And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep; and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third floor, and was taken up dead. And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, trouble not yourselves, for his life is in him. When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed. And they brought the young man alive, and were not a little comforted.”
This is the longest sermon in the Bible. Here was a man who had a bed at home and could have slept at home, but he did not do so but came to the house of God and decided that everything they were saying there was sleeping tablet and he started sleeping. And as he slept, his enemy that pursued him to the meeting said, “We shall use you to disgrace them here.” He slept until he fell down. If a fellow would be sleeping like that while a message is going on, it shows that he will not be useful at a night vigil. He would be a useless disciple. One of the things that has captured especially this country is that there are some people who wake up in the morning while believers are still sleeping and take over the whole day. They give orders to the day to co-operate with them while Christians are still sleeping. If you wake up at 8 a.m. and pray a five-minute prayer, and later you say, “I don’t know how today went,” that is the sleep of Eutychus.
6. The sleep of the foolish virgins: We have their story in Matthew 25. They did not have sufficient oil in their lamps and yet they were sleeping.
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHETHER YOU ARE ALREADY DEEP IN SPIRITUAL SLEEP?
- When prayer ceases to be a priority to you.
- When you become content with the spiritual knowledge that you have already acquired.
- When your biblical knowledge is not applied inwardly. You just go to church, hear the message and read the Bible but you cannot apply them inwardly. They have no effect on your thought life or on your way of life.
- When thoughts about heaven and eternity cease to be regular in your life. You don’t think about heaven. It does not cross your mind that this world is not a permanent place. You are only concerned about material wealth. It is a sign of spiritual slumber. You forget that our period on earth is temporary, that very soon all you have acquired in this world would become raw materials for fire.
- When services in the house of God hold no delight for you. You are not interested in what goes on there.
- When spiritual discussion becomes a source of embarrassment to you. For example, in your office, talking about Jesus or spiritual things becomes highly embarrassing because you know that those around will certainly know that you are not behaving like a Christian
- When things like leisure, sports, recreation, entertainment, etc. take a large part of your time, sleep has crept in and if you don’t wake, up the enemy will come and sow tares or lay eggs if they have not already done so.
- When you commit the sin of the mind and body without your conscience pricking you.
- When the aspiration for holiness is no longer paramount in your heart. When you look for Scriptures to back up your unholy behaviour, you know the truth but you are running away from it. People can always recognize the truth when they see it and they can always know when they are trying to wriggle away from the blunt truth. The truth may be bitter and unpalatable but it is very stubborn. No matter what you do to it, it will stand looking at you. If you knock it down, it will stand. You throw it away, it will stand. You bury it, it will come up. It is very stubborn. It may take time to manifest, but it must manifest.
- When acquisition of worldly material is the major part of your thinking.
- When you are singing Christian songs and chanting Christian words just from the lips and not from the heart. Surrendering to Jesus, only what is convenient is a sign of spiritual slumber.
- Taking the Lord’s name in vain shows that you are sleeping. You talk about the Lord as if He was your houseboy. Saying that He has spoken something when He has not spoken: you did not receive a revelation and you say you did.
- Watching dirty movies and T.V shows and reading impure literature is a sign that you have already slept. A lot of people can stay glued to the T.V for hours without sleeping but immediately you say, “Let us pray” they sleep off.
- When with the slightest excuse you avoid spiritual duties, you have slept.
- When you are contended with your lack of spiritual power and you no longer seek power from high. The first key to spiritual power is lack of rest in your soul because you are not satisfied with your present level.
- When you pardon your sin and your laziness by saying that God understands, you are spiritually sleeping.
- When you as a Christian can easily adjust to the life style of the world. You dress differently to church and differently outside. It is a sign that you are spiritually asleep. If you still crack dirty jokes with unbelievers, or they feel at ease in your company to do whatever they like, then you are asleep. The correct position is that they should find it very difficult to do or say certain things before you.
- When you are willing to cheat your employer, you have slept.
Today, my cry to God for you is that you will wake up like Paul said. Paul was not talking to unbelievers. He was talking to Christians. He said, “Awake thou that sleepest and Christ has shown you light.” So, it is time to awake from our sleep because now is our salvation nearer than it was before. Do not waste time clearing the evil eggs that the enemy has laid in your life while you were sleeping. The time you should do useful things for the Lord, you are busy using it to do deliverance for what happened to you while you were sleeping. It is better to be awake and pursue the enemy right into their gates. This is a serious matter and must be tackled aggressively.
It is not a good thing for you to say that you go to church and God does not speak to you. You cannot hear Him even on simple things of life such as your job. You are a Christian, yet you are gambling with life. When somebody begins to experiment with life, he does not get the best out of it. The best thing is to be in the right place at the right time and to be sure what the Almighty wants to do with your life. The fact that what you are doing is good does not mean it is divine.
If you have things to sort out with the Lord, do that now. Look back at your spiritual life. Look at what is happening now. Are you having the best? Haven’t you noticed the mistake that you have made because you could not hear from heaven? Haven’t you noticed the mistake was because you were spiritually asleep? You have given your enemy opportunity to plant weeds. Sort yourself out with the Lord. Make a promise that as from now on, your spirit man will be on fire and that fire will be burning on the altar of your life. Why should your ears be making noise and you are hearing nothing? Why should your eyes be itching but you are seeing nothing. You know everything about your field of specialization but you do not know what the Holy Spirit is saying about your life.
Please, pray aggressively.
1. O Lord, wake me up from every spiritual sleep, in the name of Jesus.
2. Every evil seed sown into my life while I was sleeping, be removed by fire, in the name of Jesus.