1 Thessalonians 5:7-11
7 For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. 8 But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.
I had to read this passage a couple of times to understand what Paul was saying here. My first thought was, “certainly he isn’t talking about sleeping and drinking.” He is not, literally. In the previous verses Paul used the analogy of being an unbeliever to that of being asleep. He continues this analogy, but adds another. His reference to “being drunk” here isn’t necessarily about drinking too much alcohol, although that is a part of it. Rather, his meaning here is indulging in worldly or fleshly desires so that we are consumed with them. The direct comparison is in verse 8, where he reminds us to wear the breastplate of faith and love and thehelmet of salvation. Some may have heard of these things before, they are more clearly articulated in Ephesians 6:
13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, 15 and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
I don’t know about you, but this was certainly a good reminder for me today. I woke up today being attacked from the start and it was my prayer that God help me in this by protecting me. Little did I know I’d be reading about His Armor today. God works in wonderful ways! Let’s read over verse 9 again, “For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,” This doesn’t just mean believers, this means EVERYONE. He doesn’t want any of us to miss out on what He has called us to. Did I say “miss out”? Yes, we are missing out if we reject God and a relationship with Him. It’s not about what we have to do, rather what we get to do. I mean, since God is all powerful, He could make us all believe in Him, couldn’t He? Rather, He gives us a choice, even though it hurts that much every time we reject Him, because He loves us enough to let us decide. But even though we reject Him, Hedied for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. If you haven’t experienced perfect love or know what it looks like, THIS IS IT! Nothing compares.
People try to explain to me that we don’t have a loving God, yet, He paid the ultimate price, THAT’s how much He loves us. He loves us so much that He sacrificed Himself, He humbled Himself in all His glory and magnificence, so that we can once again be united with Him through a relationship of love. It is in celebration of this that we can Therefore encourage one another and build up one another. All else is just a waste of time in sleep and drunkenness.
Are you asleep and drunk of this world? How long have you ignored God’s call in your life? What will it take for you to answer it?