Daily Devotion

Spiritual Slumber

Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah"—because he did not know what to say, for they were greatly afraid.

Sometimes we fall asleep at inappropriate moments, like in church. But we can also be caught in a spiritual slumber as well. We sleep in when we ought to be speaking out. We are asleep on the watch when God is calling us to stand up for Him.

I find it amazing that Peter, James, and John were "heavy with sleep" as the transfigured Jesus spoke with Moses and Elijah (see Luke 9:32). And as though this were not bad enough, Peter decided to say a few words: "Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah" (verse 33). The Bible tells us the reason Peter said this was because he was afraid and didn't know what to say (see Mark 9:6).

When you don't know what to say, it is best to say nothing. Otherwise, you will probably say the wrong thing. But in defense of Peter, let's understand what he was saying. The operative word is "here." Peter wanted to build three tabernacles on the mountain where Jesus was transfigured. Peter was saying, "Lord, this is where You should be, radiating in glory with Moses and Elijah on a mountaintop—not talking about arrest and death. This is where you should stay. Let's just stay here and bathe in divine glory. Forget the needs at the bottom of the mountain. Let's stay here."

As the world grows darker, there is a tendency among Christians to want to withdraw into our own subculture and concentrate on our own needs and problems while forgetting about everyone else. But here is the thing to remember: Our goal is not to completely isolate, but to infiltrate. It is to go where people are and influence them.

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