Tuesday, February 20, 2018
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The news accounts from Florida said the man was in his 70s, and that he went for a walk the night before. Now the reason his walk made the news was because he was sleeping during this walk and because of where he ended up. Apparently, he got up out of bed, grabbed his cane, went outside, and started walking - all without ever waking up... until he walked right into a lake. Oh, not just a lake; no, a lake filled with alligators. And those alligators went right to him, welcomed him. Yeah! Thankfully, he was somehow able to beat them off with his cane and crawl to safety. But you talk about a rude awakening! Can you imagine waking up in the water, looking into alligator jaws?
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "Sleepwalking Into Alligators."
Well, obviously, sleepwalking can be very dangerous. You can end up where you would never go if you were wide awake. You know, that's how a lot of Jesus' followers have ended up with the spiritual alligators.
And that's why God gives us this word for today from the Word of God. It's in 1 Peter 5:8-9. "Be self-controlled and alert" God says. Now that's a call to be spiritually wide awake; don't sleep walk. He goes on to say, "Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him." When a believer ends up in deep spiritual trouble, it's not because of the lion, or the alligators. It's because the believer wandered carelessly into the jaws - or the paws - of a vicious spiritual predator. If you don't sleepwalk to where they can get you, you'll be OK.
If you had told King David that he would end up committing adultery with the wife of one of his trusted warriors, and then arranging for that man's death, he would have said, "Not me. Never!" But he stayed home from a battle that he should have been fighting, and he took some time off. And he apparently took a little spiritual time-out, too. He saw this woman bathing on the roof. Right there, if he had been, as the Bible says, "self-controlled and alert," he would have looked away. But he got spiritually lax. He got morally careless, and step-by-step he ended up where he never thought he could end up. Not unlike a certain man who sleepwalked into a lake full of alligators.
Look, if it could happen to someone like David, described as "a man after God's own heart" in the Bible, it could happen to you. It could happen to me. And the alligators of family dysfunction, rebellion, and violence were all over the rest of David's life - all because of one brief season of careless spiritual sleepwalking.
Could it be that what you're hearing right now is God's voice saying, "Wake up!" You've gotten lax. You've gotten careless - spiritually, morally, financially. You made one little compromise, and it's just leading to more and more compromises. Maybe you're walking a little closer to the edge of dishonesty or immorality, you're watching or listening to a little more garbage, or you're allowing your heart to get callused to sinful stuff. You're venturing where a life with Christ in it should never go.
It's time to wake up before you end up with the alligators - or the lion - of sin. Satan intends to use a pattern of compromises and spiritual carelessness to eat you up. But God says, "Resist him." And there's still time. There have been too many days off spiritually, haven't there? You're sleepwalking toward disaster. Open your eyes, look at the danger, and run back home to Jesus' side.