Have you ever felt like you were asleep but your eyes are open?
The last few days I have been sick. It’s one of the gazillion gross things going around right now…come on warm weather!
In my sickness though, I have noticed that while my body is physically present and I may even look like I am engaged with whatever is going on, my mind feels asleep and I am not really processing what is going on around me.
I’m asleep while wide awake.
If that isn’t a picture for today, I don’t know what is.
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Our culture has fallen into the sleeping while awake mindset. I’m not here to debate topics, but I want to take you through a case study.
Solomon was King David’s son. King David is known as a “man after God’s own heart” and although he was a human just like us and had his fair share of sin, he loved God and his life was glorifying to God.
And when the time was getting close for David to die, he gave his son, Solomon, the best advice he knew – follow the Lord your God, walk in His ways, keep His commandments and it will go well for you.
So King David dies and with this charge, Solomon begins his reign as king. He starts well. He walked in the ways of the Lord and asked God for wisdom and God gave him wisdom. All was going well for Solomon. 1 Kings 10:24 even tells us that the whole world wanted to meet with Solomon so that they could hear the wisdom of the Lord. Solomon is crushing it!
But Soloman took his eyes off of the giver of all of his prosperity.
And we see in just one line of scripture a hint of idolatry start to form. 1 Kings 10:26 says, “Solomon accumulated chariots and horses.” That doesn’t sound like much right? What’s the big deal?! Well, back in Deuteronomy (17:16-17), God said not to acquire a ton of horses or silver or gold. God even says specifically not to get the horses from Egypt, but in 1 Kings 10:28 it literally says, Solomon’s horses were from Egypt.
Solomon started down a slippery slope.
Solomon took just one step towards darkness, one step towards his own desires, one step away from the Lord and one step by one step, or maybe I should say, one woman by one woman, Solomon ended up with 700 wives and 300 concubines and his heart was led astray. His heart turned towards other gods and he was not fully devoted to the Lord.
This king who had built the temple of the Lord, the place where God’s presence resided, now was building high places for gods and goddesses of sex, fertility, cruelty, immorality and even a god who was worshiped through human sacrifice of children (1 Kings 11:5-8).
What went wrong? How could this king fall so hard?
CS Lewis writes in his book, The Screwtape Letters, “Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one–the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts…”
Solomon didn’t just wake up one day and had 1000 women he was sleeping with. He didn’t just wake up one day and say, “I want to deny God today so I’m going to build an altar for the goddess of sex.” He didn’t just wake up one day and have immense wealth and chariots and horses. No. It started with one step.
He got hungry. But it was not hunger to know and love the one true God more. It was a hunger for himself. It was a hunger to please himself and worship himself and glorify himself. Solomon took his eyes off of God and cast them on his own desires.
He fell asleep while he was wide awake.
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So my question for you and for me is – are we asleep while wide awake? Have we let sin creep into our hearts, our marriages, our homes, our churches, our schools, our communities, our businesses, our culture, slowly and gradually so that we don’t even recognize what we are doing?
Could it be that we’ve taken our eyes off the Lord and put them on ourselves and our own desires?
The apostle Paul writes in Romans 13, “The hour has come for you to wake up…the night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:11-12, emphasis mine).
Yall, Jesus is coming back, we’ve got to be ready! We can’t keep being asleep while awake!
Paul also gives us the remedy for being asleep while wide awake, “Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature” (Romans 13:14).
We’ve got to get our eyes off of everything else and put them back on the Lord Jesus Christ!
Where is your hunger? Are you hungry to meet the desires of your flesh or are you hungry for the Lord?
God is the only one who can truly satisfy.
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
God, wake us up and may we clothe ourselves with you.