While Men Slept
The world of computers and the internet has really changed in the last three decades. In April 1976, Apple released its first desktop computer to the public. The two computers companies IBM and Commodore released their own desktop computers in August of 1982.
In August of 1998 Apple then released their iMac G3 all-in-one computers which were designed and made in thirteen various colors. However, since that time men through new technology have changed desktop computers into much smaller devices to use such as laptops, cellphones or an iPad.
In January 1983 researchers began to assemble various networks which we know today as the internet. Through the many types of computers that we use, we can go onto the internet to shop online, launch an online business or talk with friends who could be in a different part of the country. We also use the internet by taking online college classes which will help a person to further their professional, financial and personal life. However, later in the 2000s, it became more public that the internet was being used in a devious way by people. The dark web or the internet was being used by people through a cloak of secrecy to commit illegal activities while men slept having their personal information stolen.
The users of the dark web such as hackers would use the internet to hack into people computers, to breakthrough their firewall and to disable their antivirus software. Once the hacker had broken past a person’s security system they are able to steal their passwords, social security numbers and bank and credit card accounts numbers. The computers and the internet which man-made to benefit us for good was now being used by online hackers to victimize men while they were sleeping by sowing their own tares. Now there are three important lessons that we can learn from these internet attacks which computer hackers do which the devil does when men are asleep. One the devil wants to keep men asleep and not aware of the damage he has done behind the scenes. The second thing that the devil wants to do those who are non-believers and believers is to steal God’s word and their knowledge who God is in their lives. Finally, the third thing that the devil attempts to keep believers asleep is by stealing their identity of who they are in Christ.
Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
While Men Slept
The first important lesson that we learn is the devil wants to keep men asleep and not aware of the damage he has done behind the scenes. Now let please clarify for all my bible scholars that the devil is a defeated foe who was defeated when Jesus died on the cross. The Apostle Paul told the Colossian believers in Colossians 2:14-15 that “ Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it”. However, the way we allow the enemy to be effective by keeping the church as a sleeping giant is by deception and through distractions. In the parable of the good seed, Jesus tells us that “a man sowed good seed in his field and then when to sleep”. While the man was asleep, the word of God tells us an “enemy at night sowed tares among the wheat and went on his way”. When the wheat came forth from the seed, the tares sprung up from the ground as well. When the servants of the man as could they remove the tares and the wheat together, the man explained to remove them both would cause damage to the wheat so both had to remain until it was time to harvest the wheat. The tares would be removed first and burned and the wheat could then be harvested by the sower and his servants (Matthew 13:24-30).
The word of God tells us that “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17). In 2018 the Lord wants to do some new and exciting things in your life which we help you to have a deeper intimacy with Him. The Lord is preparing you to receive an outpouring of blessings that were held back in the past but now your level of maturity is now where it needs to be. These blessings are not just for your enjoyment to feast on but He created you to be blessed so that you can be a blessing to others. However, as these good and perfect gifts are released to you, you must not give place to the devil to cause you to become distracted. How can a person become distracted by the enemy? The answer to that question is that you fall asleep or you put your focus more on the blessings of God and less on the one who blessed you. You fall asleep to deception by believing your own press that the work of your hands has blessed you when in reality it was the Lord who was on your side and provided the breakthrough in your life. In 2 Corinthians 2:11, the Apostle Paul said: “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices”.
Our Knowledge of God’s Word
A second important lesson that we can learn why the devil works to keep men asleep is by stealing their knowledge who God is in their lives. When it comes to unbelievers, the devil according to 2 Corinthians 4:4, “is the god of this world has blinded the minds of men lest they believe the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ”. Not only has the enemy blinded the hearts of men but he has also convinced them into accepting the lies that common sense no longer matters. He has men asleep believing what feels good to you and what is right in your own eyes is far more important than having common sense. Every day in my line of work I see this sad truth playing itself out in the lives of small business owners who fall victim to merchant fraud scams. A fraudster convinces these men to accept credit card payments and to give a portion of the payment back to them in cash and deposit it into a third-party bank account. These small business owners unknowingly fall for the story they are given but later on it costs them the loss of their merchandise, thousands of dollars and even their livelihood.
You asked how could this possibly happen to men who are in a business that they foolishly fall for these scams they, later on, would be responsible to pay back out of their own pockets. The answer can simply be found in Ephesians 4:17-18 when the Apostle Paul stated that Gentiles “walked in the vanity of their own minds”. The Apostle Paul reminded the Ephesian church to not be like the Gentiles “who had their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God and the ignorance that is in them has their hearts to blinded”. As the church, we are the ones empowered by the Spirit of God to get the message of Christ to the hearts of men. We cannot be selective in who we want to share the gospel message to because it is not God’s will for any man to perish but all to have the opportunity to be saved. Our part in sharing God’s word as the Apostle Paul said in Romans 13:11 is to let them know “that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed”.
Our Identity in Christ
Another way that the enemy is keeping believers asleep is by stealing their identity of who they are in Christ. In our society, we see online hackers and fraudsters who look for opportunities to steal people identity by stealing their social security and online passwords to their financial information. Once the online hacker has obtained access to a personal information from online, they then open up credit cards which that they max out under the person’s identity they stole from them. A computer hacker may also get access to a person’s checking account by compromising their debit card and withdrawing all of their funds from their account from online purchases. Once the person has learned of these things which have happened, they now have to spend several stressful hours doing damage control by putting alerts on their credit report and restoring their name, reputation, and their financial credit.
The same way that these online hackers steal a person’s identity online, the enemy also seeks to steal a believer identity who they are in Christ. If we do not read and apply God’s word in our lives, by us staying asleep we then will allow our thoughts, reasoning or imaginations to exalt itself above the knowledge of God’s word (2 Corinthians 10:4-5), The Holy Spirit tries to reveal to us who we are in Christ, but we allow the opinion of men to become more important than whom God says we are in Christ. We also allow ourselves to remain sleep as the men of the parable of good seed in the field, by not allowing the word to take root in us, when we are persecuted by others (Mark 4:14-17). The time has come for us as men and the church to wake up and stay aware of what is going on in our lives, in the church and what is going in these last days. The enemy is roaming about as a roaring lion seeking to devour people lives and not allowing the good seed of God’s word planted in their hearts to become a harvest of bringing souls into the Kingdom of God. However, we must adhere to the words of the Apostle Paul which he stated in 2 Timothy 4:5 that we must “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry”. Your ministry may not be that of one of a Pastor or a missionary but we have all been given the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:17-18).
How have you in the past allowed the enemy to lurk you asleep? How did the Lord empower you to wake up and to stand on His word, to walk in your identity in Christ? Share your comments below.