Choosing Christ By Nathele Graham Christians live a double life, but we aren’t to be…
While You Were Sleeping
By Nathele Graham
Many things can happen when you’re asleep. You slip into a dream world and are usually unaware of what happens around you; a sound sleeper can sleep through almost anything. A good night’s sleep can make you feel refreshed and able to face the challenges of a new day, but if you have nightmares or toss and turn, you wake up feeling bad. Sometimes it’s better to be asleep, such as when you face surgery. Anesthesia will dull your senses in induced sleep so you don’t feel pain. The first instance of an induced sleep was when God took Eve out of Adam’s side. “And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.” Genesis 2:21-22. God created Adam but knew he needed a companion in life, so Eve was created. Instead of creating her in the same way as He had created Adam, God first put Adam into a deep sleep then took Eve from Adam’s side. When Adam awoke from that deep sleep he was very pleased to find Eve there for him. While Adam slept, God performed a miracle. This established that marriage is only between a man and a woman and anything else is an abomination. Unfortunately, while Christians are sleeping the precious union between a man and a woman is being perverted into something ugly. Brothers and sisters, stay alert. Satan is trying to corrupt marriage into something that God abhors. Wake up, Christians. Romance between two men or two women is of Satan.
Another instance of God using sleep to accomplish great things is when He established a covenant with Abraham. That covenant established thatAbraham would have descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and that those descendents would have everlasting ownership of the land now known as Israel. Because these things could only come about by God’s intervention, Abraham asked for a sign. Abraham was to sacrifice a 3 year old heifer, a 3 year old goat, a 3 year old ram, a turtledove and a pigeon. Abraham obeyed God and watched over the sacrifices waiting for God to confirm His promises. At sundown, Abraham fell into a deep sleep, but as he slept he heard God’s voice. God promised him a long life and that he would die peacefully, but the future generations would face trouble and become slaves. God said that it would be many years until Abraham’s descendents would fully possess the land. “And it came to pass, that when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces. In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates” Genesis 15:17-18. While Abraham slept God confirmed the covenant. Through Abraham’s son Isaac the promise of numerous descendents has been fulfilled. They did go to Egypt where they were made slaves, just as God had prophesied, but they came out of that slavery and eventually entered the land that God had promised them. At various times in history the nation of Israel disobeyed God and they were disbursed to other nations, but the land was given by God to the descendants of Abraham forever. Today we see the Jewish people returning to Jerusalem and to the land of Israel. The opposition to this return is fueled by Satan and many people, including Christians, are asleep and are against the Jewish nation. Satan wants it that way and fuels the fire of war. Brothers and sisters, wake up. Pray for Israel and the Jewish people who are fighting for their God-given right to the land.
There are times when you may not actually be asleep, but go through life with your eyes closed to God’s truth. Heathens generally don’t have a clue and lust after worldly sins of the flesh rather than understanding life from God’s perspective. Such was that case with Belshazzar. He came to rule Babylon some time after King Nebuchadnezzar who had taken the Southern Kingdom of Judah captive. Nebuchadnezzar had plundered treasures from the Jewish Temple before destroying it. When Belshazzar became king he embraced the pagan sin of Babylon and gave no honor to God Almighty. One day he threw a party and drank from the golden vessels that had been stolen from the Temple. Not only that but he mocked God as “They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.” Daniel 5:4. Belshazzar may not have been asleep, but his eyes were blinded by drunkenness and idolatry. While he was sleeping the enemy was at the door. God will not be mocked by people with their eyes and hearts turned to the lusts of this world. It was that night that the enemy of Babylon quietly attacked, but God gave a warning. A mysterious hand appeared and wrote a cryptic message on the wall. When Belshazzar saw it he was scared. He called the pagan astrologers and soothsayers to come and give him answers. Godly answers will never come from ungodly people. When the astrologers where unable to decipher the message, Belshazzar called for Daniel to decipher the message. Daniel basically said that Belshazzar was filled with pride and was going to be judged. “In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old.” Daniel 5:30-31. Brothers and sisters, don’t be spiritually asleep because that’s when the enemy will attack. Witchcraft, Satan worship, sorcery, astrology, and many more evil things are all around us, but they go unnoticed by the majority of Christians. Have you looked into what’s going on at the Large Hadron Collider at Cern? This is one of the most satanically inspired places on earth. Is there a statue of the Baphomet in your neighborhood? What about Satanism and witchcraft? You might be surprised at what your neighbor practices. How many people in your city take mind-altering drugs that are entry points for demons? These things are all pure evil and as Christians we cannot close our eyes to what is happening around us. The spiritual battle is aggressive and is becoming more evident. As it was in Belshazzar’s day the enemy is at the door and he handwriting is on the wall. If Christians are sleeping, mock God, and aren’t vigilant, the strongholds of Satan will continue to grow stronger.
Jesus wants us to be alert. An example of men being asleep when they should have been alert happened on the night Jesus was arrested. He knew what was about to happen and took a few disciples with Him to pray at Gethsemane. “And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch.” Mark 14:34. That seems like a simple request, but the disciples hadn’t been paying attention. These men, who had followed Jesus and heard Him say that He would be put to death, were in denial. A few days earlier Peter had tried to stop Jesus from going to Jerusalem because he knew the danger there, but on this night Peter slept. “And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour? Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.” Mark 14:37-38. What was about to happen wouldn’t have been changed by Peter, James, and John staying awake and praying. Jesus would indeed be arrested and crucified according to prophecy, but by sleeping these men compromised their walk with the Lord. They were unaware of what Satan was trying to accomplish and that put them in a spiritually weakened state. When Judas showed up with the soldiers to arrest Jesus, those who slept were caught off-guard. As we point fingers at them for not being vigilant we are pointing fingers at ourselves. Brothers and sisters, don’t fall asleep when Jesus needs you to be alert. Watch and pray.
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.” Joel 2:28-29. Peter quoted this verse when he stood up on the day of Pentecost and gave a powerful speech concerning the power of the Holy Spirit. What a day that was! Peter wasn’t asleep anymore, and all of the disciples were spiritually wide awake. The Holy Spirit indwells every Christian, but we stifle Him by denying His power. “This know also that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5. Wake up, Christians. We are in the last days and we have very little time left to come out of our slumber. Each day the signs of the times grow more evident and you’ll only see them if you’re awake. As we see the signs telling us that Daniel’s 70th week is drawing closer we can be sure that the Rapture is even closer. Maybe you will prophesy, have visions, or dream dreams. Stop watering down your faith by denying the power God. Wake up, be alert, and fight the spiritual battle before us.
What’s been happening while you’re sleeping? If you open your eyes God will accomplish great things through you. Even though Adam and Abraham slept, God’s miracles abounded and we all benefit from what God did in their lives. On the other hand, Belshazzar was in a drunken state and lost his life because he closed his eyes to God. The great prophet Daniel was nearby and would have advised him, but Belshazzar chose worldly lusts and pagan advisors instead of words from a Godly man. You have to be willing to turn from sin and listen to Godly advice before it’s too late. Peter slept, but when he awakened from his denial of God’s power he made a difference in the lives of millions throughout time. Are you dreaming dreams and seeing visions? Wake up and let God’s power flow through your life.
While you were sleeping Satan has dug deep into government and has provoked hatred in every level of life. Drug use has exploded, murder is an everyday occurrence, witchcraft has invaded every aspect of life, and sin abounds. Brothers and sisters, it’s time to wake up and allow God’s power to rule in your life.
God bless you all,
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.
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