THE SPIRIT OF SLUMBER
Just as we tend to doze off after our stomachs are stuffed with too much food, we too can start to fall asleep spiritually as our hearts are stuffed with the things of this world, rather than God’s Word and His Spirit.
One day during the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ, three of His disciples, Peter, James and John, accompanied Him to go and pray. Right there, the spirit of slumber rendered the apostles helpless at the altar of prayers. (Matthew 26:36-43). While Jesus was praying, they were sleeping. And this is the story of some Christians today, while others are praying they are sleeping. When others are active in service and study of the word they are sleeping away.
Beloved when i talk of sleep i am not just reffering to biological sleep but Spiritual sleep. A state of spiritual inactiveness and been at ease. Scripture says that woe unto them that are at ease in Zion (Amos 6:1). In other words, to remain inactive and sleepy in the place of prayer is dangerous.
One of satan’s strategy to weaken fervency of prayer is the introduction of sleep. You can be awake for any other thing but when it comes to the study of the word and prayers you yawn away and you just sleep off.
All of these are satanic attempts to disconnect your spirit-man from communing with the Lord.
Three implications of spiritual sleep:
1. It gives access to evil seeds: Matthew 13:15 says “But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.” Nothing corrupts like spiritual sleep. It is the platform on which the enemy thrives to plant his ideas and control lives.
2. Empowers the ministry of the enemy: A thief is most powerful at night because most people are in an inactive state. The devil is a thief and his activities is to steal, kill and to destroy (John 10:10). These are empowered when men sleep.
3. You easily miss your hour of visitation if the spirit of slumber keep harassing you (Mark 13:35-37).
Jacob was awake and wrestled his way into change. His name was changed, hence his identity changed. Prayer is an identity changer. The more you pray the more your life changes. Because a true God encounter won’t leave you the way you were met.
To overcome the spirit of slumber, you must learn to be earnest in the place of prayer. That means that let your mind, and the whole of you be literally assembled in one place, focused on God and mean business with God at all cost.
Prayer coming from your heart keeps you active at the place of prayer. When your heart is involved, the spirit of slumber is helpless.
I came to understand that the spirit of slumber is an evil spirit. This is not an evil spirit that influences just one individual, but one that influences groups of people. It falls among the category of the more influential evil spirits listed in Ephesians 6:12 when it says, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” This evil spirit has a higher rank in Satan’s kingdom than others. An earthly analogy would be a governor over a state having more influence and power than an individual citizen. If a person having the gift of the discerning of spirits were to travel into an area where this spirit is in operation, they would suddenly feel the effects of this spirit.
Ask God for discernment so that you will be able to discern between normal physical tiredness and fatigue. We can be more tempted to yield to fatigue when we are physically tired, so we may at times find ourselves dealing with both at the same time. When this happens, invite God into your rest, and just soak in His presence. We are not limited to our own strength or resources. God teaches us to depend upon His strength when we find ourselves running out of our own before the victory is won.