“And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.” Luke 22:46
When is the Christian most liable to sleep? It is when his temporal circumstances are prosperous. Have you not found it so? When you had daily troubles to take to the throne of grace, were you not more wakeful than you are now? Easy roads—make sleepy travellers!
Another dangerous time is when all goes pleasantly in spiritual matters. Bunyan’s “Christian” did not sleep when lions were in the way, or when he was wading through the river, or when fighting with Apollyon! But when he had climbed half way up the Hill Difficulty, and came to a delightful arbour—he sat down, and shortly fell asleep—to his great sorrow and loss.
The enchanted ground is a place of balmy breezes, laden with fragrant perfumes and soft influences, all tending to lull pilgrims to sleep. Remember Bunyan’s description, “Then they came to a warm arbour, promising much refreshing to the weary pilgrims; for it was beautified with flowers, and was furnished with a soft couch, where the weary might lean.” “The arbour was called the Slothful’s Friend, and was made on purpose to allure, if it might be, some of the pilgrims to take up their rest there when weary.” Depend upon it—it is in easy places that men shut their eyes and wander into the dreamy enchanted ground.
Old Erskine wisely remarked, “I like a roaring devil—better than a sleeping devil.” There is no temptation half so dangerous—as not being tempted. The disciples fell asleep after they had seen Jesus transfigured on the mountaintop. Take heed, joyous Christian, spiritual experiences are near neighbours to temptations! Be as happy as you will—only be watchful!
– C.H. Spurgeon