Maybe you have heard this before. The idea of “woke” carries with it the idea of being aware of injustice, especially social injustices. This idea isn’t a new one. “For you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober” (1 Thess. 5:5-6). Paul’s admonition to remain awake is not talking about a physical condition. What are some of the ways that the Bible encourages to maintain a woke condition?
“Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I AM holy’” (1 Pet. 1:13-16). Holiness is directly tied to being awake and aware. So easily we can be lulled to sleep by the world we live in. Sometimes we call it “auto pilot” or “just coasting.” In these states, we haven’t made critical decisions, we are just letting things happen.
“Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving” (Col. 4:2). Paul mentions prayer as an aid to staying awake. How many times has the opposite happened to us? We fell asleep praying. However, devotion to prayer should help us stay awake to God and His will. Prayer with thanksgiving is one that is introspective and has taken to acknowledge what God has done for them.
“Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts” (Rom. 13:11-14). How many have gotten tired in the afternoon after a large carbohydrate lunch? We didn’t need to eat that much, it just looked so good. It is possible for us to make provision for the flesh to the point that we have fallen asleep spiritually. Our focus is on the flesh and we are vulnerable.
“Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake” (Rev. 16:15). Are we going to be ready? Will Jesus say to us as He did to His disciples, “You could not keep watch with me one hour” (Matt. 26:40)? This life, compared to eternity, is much less than one hour. Stay Woke.