by A.W. Tozer
There is also spiritual sleep. Notice Ephesians 5:14: "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead." This verse is often spoken to sinners, but it was not written to sinners. Ephesians was never written to sinners. It is not a message to sinners at all, but a message to one of the best churches in the New Testament. Yet the writer says, "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." Some of the Ephesians were in a somnolent condition; that is, they were morally good but unenlightened. They were religious but unanointed. It is perfectly possible for a good, faithful, loyal church member to be spiritually asleep—being in a spiritual state that parallels natural sleep. When your husband, your wife, your child, your relative, your friend or you go to sleep tonight, the fact that you are unconscious and out of the running for a while is not bothering you. You know that normally you will wake up again. You are not dead, but you are cut off from your environment, all but that which is reflex—breathing and a few other things. Likewise it is possible to be a Christian, to be in the church and yet be asleep spiritually. Then you have to be wakened suddenly. You will probably be ashamed of yourself, angry with yourself, frustrated and disconcerted and say, "What's the matter with me" All this time I was almost awake, but not quite."
Bible verses: Ephesians 5:14
This brief list does not at all exhaust the number of infirmities we are likely to find in the Christian assembly. Who has not had to bear lovingly with a brother (or sister) who is afflicted with logorrhea, the incurable propensity to talk without pause or punctuation" That the talk is "religious" does not make it the less painful. And the unstable brother who spends his time either falling or getting up again, who is either leaping for joy or lying face down bewailing his hard lot—what church is there that does not have one or two such believers in it" Then there is the Mark Twain of the holy place, whose testimonies must always have their element of alleged humor; and to offset him somewhat is the man of heavy countenance who cannot smile and to whom a pleasantry is a mortal sin. Add to this list the sister whose prayers are accusations against the church or self-pitying complaints about the way she is being treated by other members of the flock.
What shall we do about these infirm brothers and sisters" If we deal with them according to their deserts, we may crush them beyond recovery. The thing to do is to accept them as crosses and bear them for Jesus' sake. In the great day when we have become like our Lord and have left all imperfections behind, we will not be sorry we endured patiently the infirmities of the weak.
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