Romans 13: “God’s Alarm”

What’s your number? No, not your phone number, your snooze number? You know, the amount of times you hit snooze on your alarm clock before you wake up! I LOVE the snooze button! In fact, I typically set my alarm about 30 minutes before I have to get up, just so I have a couple of whacks at the snooze button… Until I learned that this is a really bad practice. I encourage you to watch this two minute video about the Snooze Button.

Sleep Inertia

This groggy and tired state is due the amount of times we break our natural body rhythm of waking up, due to our choosing to go back to sleep for nine (in my opinion, beautiful) minutes.

Did you know that God has an alarm clock? I know what you’re thinking, why does God, who never sleeps, have an alarm clock? Well, you need to know, the alarm clock isn’t for him, it’s for you and me. When you look through the pages of scripture you’ll find multiple times when God’s alarm clock is going off in our ears; but unfortunately as Christians, we tend to hit the snooze button and choose to catch nine more minutes of harmful sleep. Take a look around folks, it doesn’t even take a Christian to help determine that God’s alarm clock is going off.

Here’s the problem: Have you ever had an alarm you got so used to that it failed to wake you up? I had an alarm clock in college that weaved itself into my dreams every time it went off. Either the microwave wouldn’t shut off, or the nuclear reactor was about to go into meltdown. Either way, my alarm’s going off, but I can’t hear it. Sound familiar? I’m afraid we’re living in a day when God’s alarm has simply lost it’s power in our lives. We see the devastation, we even hear the cries for help, but because we’re so used it, the alarm is now just a part of the dream.

Wake Up

Romans 13:11-14 (NLT)

In Romans 13, Paul offers for us a reality check to WAKE UP! Not only that, but he warns that hitting the spiritual “snooze button” only allows sin to linger and be even more tolerated by Christians. The apostles lived and taught as if Jesus was returning that very day. I believe we’ve lost that sense of urgency today and don’t really believe Jesus is returning anytime soon.

Clean Up

Paul not only talks about waking up, but the need to clean up in preparation for Christ’s return. Have you ever noticed how much easier it is getting out of bed when you’re excited about something or somewhere you’re going? There’s a major difference between my children’s ability to get out of bed on a school day in the middle of winter, verses when we’re on vacation at Disney World.

Paul says a part of the waking up process is taking off the clothes we were sleeping in. Before we dress up we are to clean up because dressing up without cleaning up just covers up the dirtiness. Jesus on a number of occasion advocated that we don’t put clean clothes on over dirty clothes.

Dress Up

Speaking of dressing up, Paul again gives us an imagery of armor, but this time the image is an armor of light or right living (v. 12). He continues in the analogy of recognizing we again need to take off the clothes of sin, and put on the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ (v. 14).

To put on the Lord Jesus Christ means to become more like Him. To put on the Lord Jesus Christ means that we walk in truth and love and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lust. To put on the Lord Jesus Christ is stop hitting the snooze button and wake up. We’re called to not only wake up, but wake up those around us who are spiritually asleep as well.