DayBreaks for 09/05/11 – Stay Awake

DayBreaks for 09/05/11 – Stay Awake

But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man. – Luke 21:36

The year was 1983.  Australia was hosting their ultramarathon, a grueling 573.7 mile foot race from Sydney to Melbourne. It takes days to run, and great professional runners from all over the world came to participate. Just before the race started, a 61-year-old farmer named Cliff Young, wearing overalls and goloshes over his boots, walked up to the registration table and requested a number to enter the race. The people at the registration table thought he was joking and they laughed. But Young was adamant, “No, I’d really like to run.” So they gave him a number and pinned it to his old overalls.

Young walked over to the start of the race with all the professional runners, who were decked out in all their running regalia.  They looked at him like he was crazy.  The crowd laughed at him.  They laughed even louder when the gun went off and the race began, because the professional runners had sculpted bodies and beautiful strides, but not Cliff Young. He ran with an awkward, goofy-looking shuffle. Someone from the crowd yelled, “Get that old fool off the track!”

Five days, 14 hours, and four minutes later, at 1:25 in the morning, Cliff Young crossed the finish line of the 573.7 mile ultra-marathon – he had won.  He didn’t win by a matter of minutes or even an hour or two. The second place runner was nine hours and 56 minutes behind him. Young had set a new world record for the ultra-marathon. The press mobbed him wondering what kind of special running shoes he must have used, they rummaged through his backpack wondering what he’d survived on (he’d lived primarily on pumpkin seeds and water) and then they discovered the secret to his success: Cliff Young had shuffled his way to victory without ever sleeping. The other runners would run for 18 hours straight, and then stop and sleep for three or four hours. He endured running five days, 14 hours, and four minutes at the age of 61 without a minute of sleep.

It is so easy to get sleepy when it comes to our faith.  We cat-nap for even a few moments and you can bet that the enemy will be sneaking up behind you with some temptation.  And if we aren’t alert, if we don’t stay awake, we risk, as Jesus said, not having the strength to escape what is to come and to stand before the Son of Man.  That’s too much to risk.

Staying awake includes being aware of what is going on in our world and how it relates to a Biblical (I won’t say Christian because far too Christians don’t have a Biblical world view) world view.  The enemy is clever and packages things in such a way that they sound good and slide right past us if we aren’t awake.  We need to be alert to his schemes.  We tend to think that sleep makes us stronger (and that may be true physically), but Jesus says that when it comes to spiritual things, sleep is dangerous!

PRAYER: Satan is clever, God, and he wears us down and wearies us.  We grow deaf to the real meaning behind his cleverly disguised phrases that are meant to lull us to sleep and not stand for righteousness.  Wake us up and help us stay awake!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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1 thought on “DayBreaks for 09/05/11 – Stay Awake

  1. Ezekiel 33:1-33
    The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them, If I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and make him their watchman, and if he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows the trumpet and warns the people, then if anyone who hears the sound of the trumpet does not take warning, and the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet and did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But if he had taken warning, he would have saved his life. …

    Isaiah 62:6
    On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have set watchmen; all the day and all the night they shall never be silent. You who put the Lord in remembrance, take no rest,

    Ezekiel 3:17
    “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me.

    Jeremiah 51:12
    “Set up a standard against the walls of Babylon; make the watch strong; set up watchmen; prepare the ambushes; for the Lord has both planned and done what he spoke concerning the inhabitants of Babylon.

    Ezekiel 33:6
    But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.

    Jeremiah 31:6
    For there shall be a day when watchmen will call in the hill country of Ephraim: ‘Arise, and let us go up to Zion, to the Lord our God.’”

    Isaiah 52:8
    The voice of your watchmen—they lift up their voice; together they sing for joy; for eye to eye they see the return of the Lord to Zion.

    Ezekiel 33:3-6
    And if he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows the trumpet and warns the people, then if anyone who hears the sound of the trumpet does not take warning, and the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet and did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But if he had taken warning, he would have saved his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.

    Isaiah 21:11-12
    The oracle concerning Dumah. One is calling to me from Seir, “Watchman, what time of the night? Watchman, what time of the night?” The watchman says: “Morning comes, and also the night. If you will inquire, inquire; come back again.”

    Nehemiah 7:3

    And I said to them, “Let not the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun is hot. And while they are still standing guard, let them shut and bar the doors. Appoint guards from among the inhabitants of Jerusalem, some at their guard posts and some in front of their own homes.”

    Nehemiah 4:9
    And we prayed to our God and set a guard as a protection against them day and night.

    2 Chronicles 20:24
    When Judah came to the watchtower of the wilderness, they looked toward the horde, and behold, there were dead bodies lying on the ground; none had escaped.

    To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.
    St Thomas Aquinas

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