Wake Up, O Sleeper

by Aaron Kemple

When anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” (Eph 5:13-14)

Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.
(1 Cor 15:33-34)

Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime… (Rom 13:11-13)

Sometimes its just hard to wake up. We’re groggy and not fully aware. We’re certainly not ready to have coherent conversations or act at peak job performance. After a shower and a “few” cups of coffee, then we begin to feel human again.

In the passages above, we find three occasions where Paul tells the Christian to “wake up.” They all are connected to holy living. As you can see in these Scriptures, he talks about waking up from the dead, waking up from a drunken stupor, and waking up by turning on the light.

The first picture from Ephesians 5 is of a Christian zombie; he is alive but dead. Dead in sinful works. Dead to righteousness. He’s walking around, and he makes the claim to be a Christian but the life of God is not in his heart.

The second image from 1 Corinthians 15 is of a drunken man stumbling around. The alcohol has taken over his brain; his motor skills and self-control are completely taken away.

The third image from Romans 13 is of waking up and turning on the light. I imagine that most people don’t sleep with the lights glaring in their faces. Usually, people sleep at night when it’s dark. Paul compares the darkness to living in sensuality and wickedness. We have to turn the lights on through the word of God and expose the darkness. It’s not to be “nighttime” for the Christian; we are to be living in the light of Christ, leading holy lives and making pure choices.

For us, Paul says, it’s time to wake up!

  • Wake up and let Christ shine on us. Come to Him in prayer and ask Him to shine His light upon you. “Shine on our darkness, Lord. Bring your light into our hearts” (2 Cor. 4:6).
  • Wake up to the company you’re keeping. Paul said, “Bad company ruins good morals.” Part of waking up spiritually is choosing our friends and influences very carefully.
  • Wake up to the environment you’re choosing to live in. Wake up to the provisions you’re making for the flesh. If you’re tempted to drink, stay away from bars, your drinking buddies, and the liquor aisle. If you’re tempted to lust and commit sexual sin, do the work of creating a different environment that helps encourage purity, not sensuality.
  • Wake up to the fact that time is precious and limited. “Salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.” “You know the time,” Paul said. I love this. It’s just like when you go in to your son or daughter’s room and ask, “Do you know what time it is? You’re late; you need to get up and get going!” When that happens to us, we get that panicked adrenaline rush to get out the door to work or school (or church). We know what time it is and we’re laser-focused! That same laser-focus has to be present in the life of the Christian. We need consistent reminders of “what time it is.” We must seek, with God’s help and the help of our godly friends, to keep that sense of urgency. Time is of the essence.

Leave a Reply