by Stephen F. OlfordWatch and Pray
"While men slept…" (Matt. 13:25, nkjv; read also vv. 24-30).
Thought: The hour of darkness is the hour of danger. This is why the New Testament abounds in warnings concerning "sleeping" when we should be "watching" (see Rom. 13:11; 1 Cor. 15:34; 1 Thess. 5:6). Why is there so much teaching on the danger of sleeping when we should be watching? Here are three answers:
1. When We Sleep the Devil Spoils Our Testimony: "While men slept, [the] enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat" (v. 25). The Christian church is so mixed today. You look for the world and you find it in the church; you look for the church and you find it in the world! Why is this? Because Christians are sleeping.
2. When We Sleep the Devil Robs Our Time: "While the bridegroom… delayed, they all slumbered and slept" (Matt. 25:5). Instead of preparing for the bridegroom's return, these virgins were sleeping. Consequently, when the bridal party arrived, the young women were not ready-and it was too late to get ready. The door was shut, the wedding went on, but those who slumbered and slept were left outside.
3. When We Sleep the Devil Plans Our Temptation: "And [Jesus] came and found [the disciples] asleep" (Matt. 26:43). He had to say to them, "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation" (26:41). These disciples were unable to face temptation and consequently deserted or denied their Lord in His hour of need. What a challenge this is to watchfulness and vigilance, day by day and moment by moment!
We must watch and pray,
If we'd win the day;
When we have His ear,
We have naught to fear. Amen.