When we have reached the age of seventy five we will have slept for twenty five years. A third of our life is spent asleep. Sleeping is almost as important as breathing and eating. Breathing is involuntary, eating is voluntary and sleep is somewhere in between. Deep sleep physically is the time when the body is repaired and rejuvenated, when energy levels are restored.
In complete contrast when we are spiritually asleep we are in the hands of Satan, living a sinful life with no dissatisfaction with that state. To become awake, we need to cast off this deep sleep. However many people just move from deep sleep into a day dreaming doziness, which Wesley compares to the Laodicean church – neither hot nor cold but lukewarm.
In our society this would be people going through the niceties of religion without any commitment. All churches have these people, willing to come to a service but not willing to commit any further, perhaps going as far as seeing the fire but not willing to jump in and be refined by the Spirit.
I remember being on the edge of the fire twice before I just leapt in, an amazing journey started in that first step. I woke up from my deep sleep and awakened into a new life. John Wesley also moved from sleep to awake and I think this is the power of his preaching. When he shouted to the gentry in the paid pews “Awake!” “Awake!” he wanted them to have the revelation of Holy Spirit that he had. He was passionate to bring many souls to the Cross and he didn’t assume that just because a person was sitting in the pew they were an altogether Christian.
In the last paragraph he urges them individually and corporately to awaken before the great trumpet of the Lord is blown! and our land become a field of blood.