And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. (Romans 13:11)
Accident investigators say the car was airborne for about 150 feet (30 meters) before it crashed through the roof of Joanne and Mahlon Donovan’s house in Derry, New Hampshire. It was about 3:00 in the morning, and a 20-year-old woman who was later arrested for drunk driving drove the car. Her car came crashing through the ceiling and dropped right over the Donovan’s bed. “The thing was right in front of my face,” Mr. Donovan, 65, said. “I could feel the heat from the exhaust system coming right through the sheets.”
Scary enough. Yet even more frightening was that, according to the Associated Press story, the wife of the home didn’t wake up. Joanne Donovan slept right through it. Mr. Donovan had to shake her awake after the crash.
It’s amazing what we can sleep through. God can do an awe-inspiring work among many, but others can sleep right through it, spiritually speaking. In Romans 13:11, we find out what it takes to keep us awake, or to awaken us from our spiritual slumber.
First, Paul wrote about knowing the time. Often, when we oversleep it is because we didn’t know the time. We wake up late, and in a panic look for the time, and get a sick feeling – “I’m late! I overslept!” Spiritually speaking, if we know the time we won’t sleep when we shouldn’t. And when we look around at the world today with open eyes and an open Bible, we see that the time is short. If we really believe Jesus is coming soon, if we know the time – then we will wake up.
Second, Paul wrote about what would happen at the right time: now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The coming of Jesus, and the completion of our salvation, is closer than ever. Every day since God worked in your life and you first decided to follow Jesus, the time has become closer and closer, and the finishing of your salvation comes nearer and nearer. When we remember how wonderful it will be to have our salvation finished – no more sin, no more death, no more of the weakness of this flesh – that will keep us awake.
Right now, are you taking a spiritual nap? Perhaps there is some spiritual activity in your life, but you might as well be sleepwalking through it. So, the right prayer for you today is, “Lord, wake me up. Help me to know it is time to awaken. Get me excited about the completion of my salvation.” God loves to answer that kind of prayer.
Even if you are sleeping so soundly that if a car crashed through the roof of your house, you wouldn’t know it, God can still make you awake and keep you awake for His glory.