Sleep, Slumber, and Folded Hands

Journal Entry // May 29, 2021

A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, [34] and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.

Proverbs 24:33-34 ESV

It is such a simple matter to move from a little sleep and a little slumber and a little rest to a life of lethargy and apathy. This is not just a warning for the physical poverty of this world, but a warning about the spiritual dangers of apathy. I think we all deal with this temptation at every point of our lives and will continue to deal with this no matter how dedicated or consistent we may be in our spiritual disciplines and routine.

Just a little is how it all begins. This is the story of pervasive sin in my life. It all seemingly begins with some form of this phrase, “just a little.” The encouragement from God’s word is to stay vigilant in the face of pressure. To hold the line. The barrage of temptation coming from my enemies (world, flesh, devil) is not going to relent and take it easy. The enemy of my soul is relentless and that means no rest for me. No peace for me. No folding of the hands of sitting back to bask in a job well done or to take stock of how God has used or is using me for his glory.

Usually, it’s a simple matter. A simple adjusting of God’s standards through my understanding. It is such a simple thing to move the line and let just a fraction of disobedience and non-conformity seep into life. To tell myself that this is an insignificant battle and one that is not worth getting worked up about. Maybe even criticizing others for the Pharisaical attitude toward rigidity in an area. All the while, knowing that I am making excuses. Knowing that I am in the wrong. Yet, still moving the line. Until one day I wake up and the line has moved so far away from me that I can no longer see God’s clear commandments any longer.

I need a ferocity and vigilance in my pursuit of holiness. I need to see my life as a calling to cultivate delight. Cultivation is hard and difficult work. Like a farmer who relies on the production of his crops to provide for him and his family, so too must I see the cultivation of delighting in the Lord as the most vital and basic command of the Lord. I am in the business of caring for my heart, soul, mind, and strength. All of these needing to be shaped and cared for in such a way that the Lord is glorified in and through my life. For it is only when I am delighting in the Lord with every ounce of my being that I am truly living. Circumstances come and go. Trials and adversity will find me. It is only faith being lived in daily moment by moment actions that anchor me to the delight and fellowship of God.

So a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands will need to wait until their proper time – in heaven. When the Lord calls me home, then I will have true rest. I will find that comfort and rest that my soul longs for. The path leading to my true home is uniquely designed for me and is meant to mold and shape me to be more like Christ with each and every step. I need patience and steadfastness. I need humility. I need mercy and grace in abundance. I need Jesus.

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