Eph. 5:14 ¶ The Message
Wake up from your sleep,
Climb out of your coffins;
Christ will show you the light!
Obviously, the Apostle Paul is talking about a state of what he called spiritual slumber. What a great picture of being vulnerable, we are never in a more dangerous place than when we are asleep. I’ll never forget the time Parris and I fell asleep in our hotel room in Moscow with our door left unlocked. We were passed out from jet lag and a long week of all day street ministry and carelessly did not lock our door before we went to sleep. That night someone came into our room and stole my wallet. What a strange feeling I had when I woke up the next morning, I had been vulnerable in my sleep and was totally unaware. Paul was calling for the church in Ephesus to awaken from their sleep, spiritual slumber puts us in a state of spiritual vulnerability. Here is a quote from Albert Barnes’ commentary on this passage.
“Sleep and death are striking representations of the state in which men are by nature. In sleep we are, though living, insensible to any danger that may be near; we are unconscious of what may be going on around us; we hear not the voice of our friends; we see not the beauty of the grove or the landscape; we are forgetful of our real character and condition. So with the sinner. It is as if his faculties were locked in a deep slumber. He hears not when God calls; he has no sense of danger; he is insensible to the beauties and glories of the heavenly world; he is forgetful of his true character and condition. To see all this, he must be first awakened; and hence this solemn command is addressed to man. He must rouse from this condition, or he cannot be saved. But can he awaken himself? Is it not the work of God to awaken a sinner? Can he rouse himself to a sense of his condition and danger? How do we do in other things? The man that is sleeping on the verge of a dangerous precipice we would approach, and say, “Awake, you are in danger.” The child that is sleeping quietly in its bed, while the flames are bursting into the room, we would rouse, and say, “Awake, or you will perish.” Why not use the same language to the sinner slumbering on the verge of ruin, in a deep sleep, while the flames of wrath are kindling around him? We have no difficulty in calling on sleepers elsewhere to awake when in danger; how can we have any difficulty when speaking to the sinner?”
Wake up! Our world is more dangerous than you can imagine. In that place of spiritual slumber we easily fall into laziness and compromise. Only those wide awake in Christ can be prepared for the days we live in. Awake oh sleeper, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.