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Moral Sleep

By A.W. Tozer


      My aim is to awaken some from the rut. I know it is impossible to awaken everybody, but I hope to awaken some. I use the word awaken here advisedly and carefully because the Bible contains significant teaching gathered around the word sleep. There is first of all natural sleep. "He grants sleep to those he loves" (Psalm 127:2). "I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety" (Psalm 4:8). . . . I am thinking of moral sleep and spiritual sleep. Moral sleep is suggested in First Corinthians 15:34, "Awake to righteousness and sin not" (KJV). There is such a thing as moral sleep. It is entirely possible to be displeasing God and grieving the Holy Spirit by being asleep morally; that is, by permitting what should not be allowed. Most people do not want to hear this. They want something added to what they have. They do not want to be told that they are permitting something that should not be allowed. In other words, they are doing what they should not be doing. But you ask, "Is it true of Christians? Do you believe that many Christians are doing this?" I have no hesitation in saying that all the symptoms in the church today point to Christians doing things they should not be doing and failing to do what they should be doing. That is the positive and the negative--sins of commission, sins of omission. To be unaware of these sins is to be morally asleep.

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