Remain in me, as I also remain in you (John 15:4a NIV).
Friend to Friend
The first time I went to a drive-in theater I was about six years old. The motion pictures on the reel that night were not just exciting – they were epic. A double feature of Godzilla and Star Wars. It was a rare treat for our young family. With five kids and an educator’s salary, movies were a luxury.
The details of that evening are foggy, but there are several things that I remember. Daylight ended as Godzilla began. Dad went to get popcorn while mom spread a blanket out and helped the three oldest littles get to the best vantage point for the show: the roof of our station wagon. Pillows were handed up to the roof perch and we settled in as freaky monsters took over the screen.
After the monster business finished, I got cozy with my pillow and faced the screen belly down, toes in the air. I was ready for the force to be with me. Ready to experience an exciting adventure with handsome heroes, odd creatures, rowdy robots, and a brave, beautiful princess all from a galaxy far, far away.
Anticipation skyrocketed as the movie started and the music rose.
Oh, the music!
The Star Wars theme song elevated every ounce of my heart and stirred my eagerness into a barely containable tizzy. Do-do-do-dooooo dooo, do-do-do-dooooo dooo, do-do-do-dooooo dooo, do-do-do-dooooo! I was such a big kid on top of our station wagon watching a movie! And we had popcorn! Real movie theater popcorn…that my older brother was hogging… (Anyhoo…)
As the battle between darkness and light began to heat up, I met the main characters one by one: Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Hans Solo, Chewbacca, C3PO, R2D2, and, of course, the mean man in black, Darth Vader.
Aannnndddd then I fell asleep.
Missed most of the movie.
Woke up to mom telling me to climb down from the roof because it was time to go home.
I’m still in therapy over that sleepy situation. How could I possibly doze off in the middle of one of the most thrilling nights of my entire six-year existence? My heart hung low with disappointment. I was there, but I missed the movie marvelousness.
It doesn’t take a napping nightmare for us to fall asleep during the marvelousness you know. Sometimes I fall asleep to the vibrant connection between God and me because I get lazy, too tired, or too busy to pray. I get too comfortable with a sleepy faith and doze, doze, doze while my Bible collects dust. I get distracted by matters that will fade like flowers and wither like grass. My soul yawns and runs all around town wearing jammies and fuzzy slippers.
Have you been there? Join me today in a soul mutiny against sleepy faith!
Jesus invites us to connect with Him continually. He wants us to be fully alive in Him. He said it this way, “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me” (John 15:4). He also called out the complacency of the church of Laodicea in Revelation 3, and He calls us beyond lukewarm living to a vibrant, white-hot faith so our lives can be maximized for His glory!
Thankfully, Jesus extends grace – even to us sleepy faith girls. “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me” (Revelation 3:19-20).
Ultimately, if we want a faith that’s wide open and fully awake to the glory of God, we have to connect our souls to Jesus.
Dear Lord, I’m sorry for the times when I doze off to Your glorious presence. Thank You for being a God of restoration and relationship. Thank You for Your Word and Your kindness that leads me to repentance. Help me to be fully alive to Your love and leading today.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
On a scale from 1-10, how sleepy is your faith? Meet us in the comments section of this post to share your heart and pray for one another.
More From the Girlfriends
Today’s post is an excerpt from Gwen Smith’s book, I Want It ALL. Ready to narrow the gap between ordinary faith and the not-so-ordinary promises of God found in His Word? Order yours today from Amazon, Gwen’s website or from your favorite retailer.
© 2023 by Gwen Smith. All rights reserved.
Just what I needed this morning. Before I opened my computer I said to God. I feel lazy in my relationship with you Lord. I am busy doing a thousand things. But when it comes to actually sitting in quiet and praying I fall asleep. I’m trying to get up early to pray and then find more things to do. This was encouraging this morning. And I too had one of those fall asleep moments. When I was 9 years old, Neil Armstrong took his first step on the moon, My dad let us stay up and they had a party with lots of cousins and friends. I sat in front of the TV up front so I wouldn’t miss a thing. I woke up to everyone screaming and yelling and it was over. Back then they didn’t have replay options I missed it. I don’t want to miss what God is saying to me, working on being intentional.
Thank you for all you do for the Lord. Your words are encouraging and refreshing.
Ahhh… what a story!! Thanks for sharing this, Debbie. I don’t want to miss what God is saying either!
Devotion spike to my heart. I compare my self to Martha in the bible. Always busy. So I do relate to this devotion sometimes too busy doing good things but spending quiet time with Jesus and getting into His word as I should. 4 times Jesus commanded his followers to be of good cheer. So if you feel sad overwhelmed with problems repent and be if good cheer as Jesus commands us. Jesus knows our hearts and our tomorrows. Prayers for comfort and peace to all my sisters in Christ
Glenna… so with you! Busy is my middle name… and it is not my best choice on many occasions.
Repentance is key!!
Thanks so much for connecting today,
I think my faith is at about a 5. I question the value of going to church. My devotion time and prayer life stinks. I pray for others and believe in Jesus,but I just question so much. I wasn’t always like this. There was a time when I was more of a 10. Personal loss and the hate in this wot makes me feel so uncertain.
Good morning, Debbie! Thanks for being vulnerable and honest. Yours is a struggle of so many! The Lord established the church as a vital source of community and worship… keep going, even when your feelings tell you otherwise. It’s purposed for the reading/teaching of the Word and for community worship… which is all about the exaltation of Jesus and the magnification of His name and fame. And HE IS WORTHY. (Amen!?) Now, here’s a really practical suggestion: grab a journal or a notebook and write down 5 things per day that you are thankful for – write out a prayer – make a list of people and situations you are praying for… simply be intentional to do SOMETHING each day to focus your heart, mind and soul on the Lord and His Word. Healing comes as you get with the Healer… and HE will do a beautiful renewal in your heart as you turn to Him.
Praying for you now,
I am guilty of a sleepy faith – 5/10? Even find myself dozing off during the message sometimes (the window blinds roll down before the message making it cozy but sleepy for me.). I feel like I’m slugging along putting one foot in front of the other. I’ve gone for prayer and been told I must need the sleep. Can’t help but think of the disciples who fell asleep instead of praying at Gesemanee or the bridesmaids who didn’t have enough oil and were locked out of the wedding feast. I would appreciate prayer. Thanks.
Hi Cathy! Thanks for sharing this. One thing that helps me in church is I take my journal with me and take notes during the sermon. I also use a few different pens to change colors when there’s a new point sometimes as well. 🙂 If there aren’t a lot of “applicable” notes to jot down, I often write out the verses that are central to the sermon. This disciplines my mind to stay on point throughout the sermon.
Praying for you now!
Oh boy, did I ever need this article to feel better because, yes, I feel like I’ve fallen asleep and I don’t know when this happened..Likely when I was having challenges with certain people at church and to block out the pain I just fell asleep. This is the first time I’m acknowledging this.. I hadn’t realized I guess. I don’t like feeling this way so I’ve been praying for more love for Jesus, more faith and more zeal and fire for Him. I’m still waiting but surely they’ll come because it’s within His will that this come to pass. Dare I hope for an explosion of all this at once? Yes! We’re supposed to ask for big, impossible things for Him to show His power, well, here they are! That’s my comment to this post.
Yes, yes, YES Suzanne!!! So grateful that you shared this! Praying for a great awakening in your heart, mind and soul as you step in to His fresh mercies this morning! 🙂 TIP: Grab a notebook or journal and start to write out your prayers for the next 7 days. See how that fans the flame…
WOW! this was so to the point of where I am with my faith (almost in a coma maybe 4/10) I am so easily distracted even when I make a point to have time with the Lord if I don’t fall asleep then I’m thinking of other things when praying I feel so guilty and disconnected, I still attend church and serve in the choir and ushering but feel like when it’s time to devote and give thanks I really fall short. I have tried journaling and honestly by the time I write down the first point and that’s if I remember it, there are several others that I missed that are equally as good and I get frustrated and give up, so I stick to just listening. I appreciate and enjoy these girlfriend’s in God messages because they hit close to home and really give food for thought, Please pray for me.
My faith isn’t sleepy but I feel like it’s been impaled.My daughter over the last three months has been estranging herself from us.She is living in San Francisco with her new same sex partner.She says that she doesn’t want an agree to disagree relationship as we had before when she was married to her last partner.Sadly the partner died last year.We grew very fond of her and we’re doing much better than when this started.The new partner is encouraging her to distance herself from us if we do not give up our faith views.Yesterday was the one year anniversary of her first partners death and I sent her a message that I was covering her in prayers.She says she no longer believes in God or Jesus and barely acknowledged the message.I must prepare for the estrangement that I know is coming and could last a very long time.
May all your surrounding nreighbors and this sisterhood continue to pray for you! Seek the Lords face unceasingly!
My phone and social media is affecting my prayer time. I need to shake this off
I really am glad I didnt delete this devotion before reading it. I would say my sleepy faith is about a 3. I am having a hard time staying in Gods word and praying constantly. Ever since Covid hit–3 yrs ago, I have become laxed in my coporate worship. I do watch several church services on TV and participate in praise and worship. I remarried two years ago. We have gone to two different churches. My husband likes an old fashioned type service. Me on the other hand, can understand and love contemporary service. We are both Christians and love the Lord. We just need to find a middle ground where we both can serve the Lord.
I needed this today even though I’m 5 days late. My faith has been rocky, everything that is happening in my life I’m completely lost right now. A lot of personal stuff has happened to me and my faith disappeared now I’m trying to rebuild and I’m attacked from all angles and trying my best to keep it together. Needless to say I needed this devotion tonight.