THE DANGEROUS SLEEP
Dr. D. K. Olukoya
One of the places that man suffers his major
defeat is in the bed. The sudden trouble of a lot of people started
on their beds. One wonderful thing that God can do for you in life
is to give you power over the battle of the bed. When you win that
battle you will start moving the way God wants you to move. You will
not become a prayer warrior if you are still in the bondage of the
bed. You will not be useful to the Almighty if the bed is still your
cell. You will not become anything powerful to the Almighty if you
spend too long a time on your bed.
I read the story of a man who died at the age of
75. He spent almost 25 years sleeping and about six months praying,
out of 75 years. It is clear that the fellow had gone to hell fire.
He spent one-third of his life sleeping. If you are still caged by
the bed then you cannot make any headway spiritually. The major
spiritual battles that many people won in their lives were won after
Matthew 13:25: “But while men slept, his enemy
came and sowed tares, among the wheat, and went his way.”
The enemy does not come to entertain. Sometimes,
we start firing at the enemy when he had already planted his evil
seed and is gone. We start firing when the destruction has already
been done. Sometime ago, a friend of mine boarded a vehicle to Lagos
from somewhere in the eastern part of the country. He sat beside the
driver and as they were going he noticed that the driver was dozing.
He told him to park the vehicle and sleep for a while before
continuing on the journey, to avoid an accident. But the driver
abused him and told him that he was not sleeping. He slept off again
and before they knew it, they had ended up in a pit. The accident
occurred because the driver was sleeping but did not admit he was
doing so, like many people would do. Some people allow the spirit of
slumber to operate their spiritual life. Today, they are awake and
tomorrow they are asleep. Witches and powers of darkness look at
many of us in amazement because they don’t sleep. They don’t need
coffee to remain awake. I know of a fellow, a child of the devil,
who decided to hold night vigils against a person for one month. For
the one month, from midnight to 3.00 am, he was cursing the man. The
person being cursed was busy sleeping until he started seeing
himself walking into a coffin.
Please, at this juncture I would like you to pray
like this: “You the powers of the night, my life is not your
candidate, in the name of Jesus.” If you are the kind of person
who sleeps so heavily that you cannot wake up at the first tap, you
need deliverance, because it means you are going deep down and to
the level that anything could happen to your spirit man. If your
spirit man can sleep that far, there is a problem.
Romans 13:11 “And that knowing the time, that
now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation
nearer than when we believed.”
Paul said they were sleeping and had to wake up.
If physical sleep is very bad what about spiritual sleep?
Sleep is a period of rest during which the
sleeper loses the awareness of his surroundings. So, the danger in
sleep is the loss of awareness. The elder brother of sleep is what
medical people call “coma.” Some people are in spiritual coma.
Messages and prayer do not worth anything to them. They may be at
church service but would not hear what the preacher is saying
because they are already dead spiritually even though they are alive
When a person falls asleep, all his physical activity decreases, his
muscles relax and he could have a nightmare. Occasionally a person
sleepwalks. A person who is sleep-walking can rise up, go to the
kitchen, drink something go back to the bed and continue to sleep.
And if you say, “Who drank this thing?” He would say, “I never stood
up, I did not go there.” This is not common in Africa though. I pray
that it will not happen to you, in Jesus’ name.
Some people even discuss in their sleep. That is why a local proverb
says that sleep is the friend of death. It is during sleep that the
agents of Satan in our environment lay evil eggs in people’s lives
and they try to make sure that their victims do not know what they
have done, because if they know, they will shake off the evil eggs.
That is why the Bible says that while men slept, his enemies came
quietly, planted evil and went away. It is not all enemies that will
attack you directly. In fact, most enemies will not attack you
directly. They just come, lay their evil eggs and go away.
When you lose the battle of the bed, you lose all
battles. Satan has destroyed so many good things because of sleep.
When you are addicted to sleep physically it is bad, but it is even
worse when it is transferred to the spirit man. Sleep gives the
enemy a chance to sow tares. While men sleep, many human tragedies
occur. For example, fire, hurricane and tornadoes sweeping homes and
cities away sometimes before the victims wake up. So, sleep is a
time of insecurities, you cannot protect yourself at that time. It
is a time of inactivity and a time of delusion when you assume that
all is right only for you to wake up to see a great change. So, we
need to be aware of the dangers of spiritual slumber. Great changes
may occur for the enemy would be at work.
Some people would say, “When I went to sleep last night, I was okay
but by the time I woke up, I had become another person." Some people
go to bed sound only to wake up mad. The powers of the night waited
for them to sleep and planted things in their lives.
Please, take this prayer points: “Every seed
of the power of the night, roast, in the name of Jesus.”
The Bible categorizes spiritual sleep into many
classes. We will look at some of them. This will help you to know
whether you are awake or not. The fact that somebody’s eyes are open
does not mean that he is not sleeping spiritually. 1. The sleep of
Jonah: Jonah 1:5-6 : “Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every
man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship
into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into
the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. So the
shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O
sleeper? Arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon
us, that we perish not.”
THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SLEEP OF JONAH
It was an unrealistic sleep, a sleep of illusion. The storm was
raging, men were in danger but Jonah did not realize it at all.
Likewise many people today think that they can put a cover over
their head and all the bad things they are seeing around them would
go away simply because they are sleeping. No, they will not go away.
The sailor confronted Jonah, “What meanest thou, O sleeper arise,
call upon thy God. Can’t you see what is happening around?” There
are many people like Jonah, a lot of things are happening around
them, yet they are sleeping. Many, today are roaming about sleeping
unrealistically. Their sin is raging like the hurricane and is as
dark as the night and the danger is great but they want to believe
that everything is going to be all right. That is why Paul warns:
“Awake thou that sleepest and arise from the dead and the light of
Christ shall shine upon thee.
Unfortunately, many will die under this delusion because their eyes
are covered, they think that the world will just go on like that and
that nothing will happen. They believe that politicians will be
politicians, military men will be military men, governors will be
governors, etc. No, very soon, things will happen. If you are
sleeping like Jonah, I pray that the Lord would deliver you, in
Some people have the call of God upon their lives and God has told
them where to go but they have slept off like Jonah and have also
decided to go another way. God told Jonah to go to Nineveh but he
headed for Tarshish and slept off on the way. Eventually, he went
from his bed of sleep into the mouth of a fish and was there for
three days. He did three days dry fast in the belly of the fish
because of unrealistic sleep. He was running away from God and
consoled himself by sleeping.
2. The sleep of the apostle and the sleep of the
disciple: What is the nature of the sleep of the disciples? It is
the sleep of weariness. Mark 14:37 says, “And he cometh, and findeth
them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? Couldest
not thou watch one hour?” He first called him Peter and later called
him Simon. There is a difference between the two names. Peter means
rock while Simon means reed. Anytime Peter began to do a slow motion
in the Bible, Jesus would not call him Peter, He would say Simon.
And when he was doing well, He would call him Peter.
When Peter left Jesus and began to fish after the resurrection,
Jesus said, “Simon son of Jonah lovest thou me…” Here He called him
Simon which means a reed, somebody who shakes here and there.
“Simon, sleepest thou? Couldest not thou watch one hour?” That is,
could you not do one-hour night vigil? There are many people like
that. The only night vigil they do effectively with minimal sleep
may be the ones organised by the church. Such people are deceiving
themselves. When you cannot sit down and do a personal vigil for at
least one hour, you are sleeping the sleep of the disciple. Jesus
asked His disciples to pray for danger was coming. The betrayal was
to come that night and soldiers were coming. Perhaps if Peter had
prayed that one hour prayer, he would not have denied the Lord. When
danger came, they stood up and were wide awake but that could not
help the situation. I pray that you will not wake up when it is too
Today, people are exhausted and weighed down, and
their senses are dumb spiritually. There is a need to be watchful,
for the enemy will attack when we least expect. While righteous men
sleep, the enemy does not sleep. The Bible says, “Be sober, be
vigilant for the devil, your adversary walketh about seeking whom he
may devour.” Evil lurks in every corner when the righteous people
are weary. The disciples slept the sleep of weariness and we see
where it landed them.
3. The sleep of Samson: It is very sad to know
that many men are sleeping the sleep of Samson. They leave their
wives at home and locate a local Delilah somewhere and are sleeping
there. To worsen their case, their friends who will come and smoke
cigarette at their funeral are encouraging them to die. Samson,
whose birth was prophesied by an angel, a supernatural man, could
not withstand the lap of Delilah.
Judges 16:19: “And she made him sleep upon her
knees; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the
seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his
strength went from him.” The seven locks of head stand for
WHAT IS THE NATURE OF THE SLEEP OF SAMSON?
It is the sleep of presumption. That is the spirit of “I can handle
it, no problem,” the spirit of over-confidence. Samson knew that he
was in danger for Delilah was after the secret of His power, but he
could not help himself. Delilah made him to sleep on her knees and
she cut off his hair. When he awoke due to the cry of the
Philistines, he said, “I will go out like other times.” But the
Bible says that he did not know that the Lord had departed from him.
He was surprised that day because he had presumed that everything
was still okay. Then his eyes were pulled out and he was made to
grind pepper in the mill of the enemy. It is wrong to presume that
you are safe and therefore place yourself in danger. One day, you
may wake up and find that the Lord has departed from you.
4. The sleep of the sluggard: A person who will
sit for exams and is sleeping eight hours everyday will end up a
failure. Proverb 24:30-34: “I went by the field of the slothful,
and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding, and lo, it was
all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face
thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw, and
considered it well. I looked upon it, and received instruction. Yet
a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to
sleep; so shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy
want as an armed man.”
Many Christians are very lazy. They don’t want to do the Lord’s
work. Just as a lazy person cannot do well physically, also a lazy
person cannot do well spiritually. Laziness is the reason people
give excuses for not doing what they are supposed to do. For
example, they would complain that Bible studies usually take time
and that is why they do not attend. Many are inactive when it comes
to sowing the seed to the kingdom. Lazy people lack spiritual
exercise. Family worship and Bible study are foreign to them. Just
as a lazy farmer will not receive the best crop, a lazy Christian
too will not receive the best from the Lord. The sleep of
carelessness that many people sleep cannot fetch them anything from
5. The sleep of Eutychus: Act 20:7-12: “And
upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to
break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow;
and continued his speech until midnight. And there were many lights
in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together. And there
sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen
into a deep sleep; and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with
sleep, and fell down from the third floor, and was taken up dead.
And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, trouble
not yourselves, for his life is in him. When he therefore was come
up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while,
even till break of day, so he departed. And they brought the young
man alive, and were not a little comforted.”
This is the longest sermon in the Bible. Here was a man who had a
bed at home and could have slept at home, but he did not do so but
came to the house of God and decided that everything they were
saying there was sleeping tablet and he started sleeping. And as he
slept, his enemy that pursued him to the meeting said, “We shall use
you to disgrace them here.” He slept until he fell down. If a fellow
would be sleeping like that while a message is going on, it shows
that he will not be useful at a night vigil. He would be a useless
disciple. One of the things that has captured especially this
country is that there are some people who wake up in the morning
while believers are still sleeping and take over the whole day. They
give orders to the day to co-operate with them while Christians are
still sleeping. If you wake up at 8 a.m. and pray a five-minute
prayer, and later you say, “I don’t know how today went,” that is
the sleep of Eutychus.
6. The sleep of the foolish virgins: We have
their story in Matthew 25. They did not have sufficient oil in their
lamps and yet they were sleeping.
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHETHER YOU ARE ALREADY DEEP
IN SPIRITUAL SLEEP?
When prayer ceases to be a priority to you.
When you become content with the spiritual
knowledge that you have already acquired.
When your biblical knowledge is not applied
inwardly. You just go to church, hear the message and read the
Bible but you cannot apply them inwardly. They have no effect on
your thought life or on your way of life.
When thoughts about heaven and eternity cease
to be regular in your life. You don’t think about heaven. It
does not cross your mind that this world is not a permanent
place. You are only concerned about material wealth. It is a
sign of spiritual slumber. You forget that our period on earth
is temporary, that very soon all you have acquired in this world
would become raw materials for fire.
When services in the house of God hold no
delight for you. You are not interested in what goes on there.
When spiritual discussion becomes a source of
embarrassment to you. For example, in your office, talking about
Jesus or spiritual things becomes highly embarrassing because
you know that those around will certainly know that you are not
behaving like a Christian.
When things like leisure, sports, recreation,
entertainment, etc. take a large part of your time, sleep has
crept in and if you don’t wake, up the enemy will come and sow
tares or lay eggs if they have not already done so.
When you commit the sin of the mind and body
without your conscience pricking you.
When the aspiration for holiness is no longer
paramount in your heart. When you look for Scriptures to back up
your unholy behaviour, you know the truth but you are running
away from it. People can always recognize the truth when they
see it and they can always know when they are trying to wriggle
away from the blunt truth. The truth may be bitter and
unpalatable but it is very stubborn. No matter what you do to
it, it will stand looking at you. If you knock it down, it will
stand. You throw it away, it will stand. You bury it, it will
come up. It is very stubborn. It may take time to manifest, but
it must manifest.
When acquisition of worldly material is the
major part of your thinking.
When you are singing Christian songs and
chanting Christian words just from the lips and not from the
heart. Surrendering to Jesus, only what is convenient is a sign
of spiritual slumber.
Taking the Lord’s name in vain shows that you
are sleeping. You talk about the Lord as if He was your
houseboy. Saying that He has spoken something when He has not
spoken: you did not receive a revelation and you say you did.
Watching dirty movies and T.V shows and
reading impure literature is a sign that you have already slept.
A lot of people can stay glued to the T.V for hours without
sleeping but immediately you say, “Let us pray” they sleep off.
When with the slightest excuse you avoid
spiritual duties, you have slept.
When you are contended with your lack of
spiritual power and you no longer seek power from high. The
first key to spiritual power is lack of rest in your soul
because you are not satisfied with your present level.
When you pardon your sin and your laziness by
saying that God understands, you are spiritually sleeping.
When you as a Christian can easily adjust to
the life style of the world. You dress differently to church and
differently outside. It is a sign that you are spiritually
asleep. If you still crack dirty jokes with unbelievers, or they
feel at ease in your company to do whatever they like, then you
are asleep. The correct position is that they should find it
very difficult to do or say certain things before you.
When you are willing to cheat your employer,
you have slept.
Today, my cry to God for you is that you will
wake up like Paul said. Paul was not talking to unbelievers. He was
talking to Christians. He said, “Awake thou that sleepest and Christ
has shown you light.” So, it is time to awake from our sleep because
now is our salvation nearer than it was before. Do not waste time
clearing the evil eggs that the enemy has laid in your life while
you were sleeping. The time you should do useful things for the
Lord, you are busy using it to do deliverance for what happened to
you while you were sleeping. It is better to be awake and pursue the
enemy right into their gates. This is a serious matter and must be
It is not a good thing for you to say that you go to church and God
does not speak to you. You cannot hear Him even on simple things of
life such as your job. You are a Christian, yet you are gambling
with life. When somebody begins to experiment with life, he does not
get the best out of it. The best thing is to be in the right place
at the right time and to be sure what the Almighty wants to do with
your life. The fact that what you are doing is good does not mean it
If you have things to sort out with the Lord, do that now. Look back
at your spiritual life. Look at what is happening now. Are you
having the best? Haven’t you noticed the mistake that you have made
because you could not hear from heaven? Haven’t you noticed the
mistake was because you were spiritually asleep? You have given your
enemy opportunity to plant weeds. Sort yourself out with the Lord.
Make a promise that as from now on, your spirit man will be on fire
and that fire will be burning on the altar of your life. Why should
your ears be making noise and you are hearing nothing? Why should
your eyes be itching but you are seeing nothing. You know everything
about your field of specialization but you do not know what the Holy
Spirit is saying about your life.
Please, pray aggressively.
1. O Lord, wake me up from every spiritual
sleep, in the name of Jesus.
2. Every evil seed sown into my life while I was sleeping, be
removed by fire, in the name of Jesus.