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A Heavenly Sleep Disorder

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A Heavenly Sleep Disorder

Acts 12:1-6 (7-11)

THESIS:  As born again baptized believers in Jesus Christ in times of difficulty our faith should kick in and allow us to have peace in the most difficult of situations.  Peter’s sleeping on death row is the ultimate sign of peace in the face of adversity.

My brothers and sisters I am convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is something odd about you and I.  Yes the Bible says that we are a peculiar people.  But there is something else that’s different about us.  What is it about us that when someone who is not saved meets us they can tell that something is different?  I know that when they find out you go to Steeple Chase they say “I knew there was something different about you.”  But I dare to argue that it is not the title of Christian that makes you different.  Let me pause right here and tell my young people there’s nothing wrong with being different;

Martin Luther King Jr. was different,

Rosa Parks was different,

Michael Jordan was different,

Thergoode Marshall was different,  

Tyler Perry is different,

Kwame Kilpatrick is different,

Kirk Franklin is different! 

You see if you are going to make a difference in this world you’ve got to be different.  Just be different in the right way and for the right reasons.  Our ultimate example Jesus Christ was different.

It should be in your most difficult moment that this difference is most obvious.  When all hell is breaking loose your reaction should not be the same as the world’s reaction.  When times are getting tough and you don’t have the answers your reaction should be different.  When things have gone from bad to worse your reaction should be different.  When you are at your wits end and you feel helpless your reaction should be different.  We act different and we are different because we all have a sleep disorder.

Medical doctors tell us that the vast majority of Americans suffer from some type of sleep disorder.  Some people suffer from sleep apnea, which is when you stop breathing in your sleep.  Others suffer from Narcolepsy which is when you have what they call a sleep attack and you suddenly fall asleep without warning or control.  And then there is insomnia which is when you can not sleep at all.  But what you and I have a medical doctor can not diagnose it, a psychologist can not psychoanalyze it and a sociologist can demo graph it. There is only one doctor that can diagnose it and his name is Jesus.  I came by today to tell you that Dr Jesus said you are suffering from a case of acute peace brought on by chronic faith!  My God I feel like preaching today!  This is why you and I are different from the rest of the world because the Jesus in us is the root cause of our sleep disorder.  You see there is something on the inside working on the outside.  When trouble kicks up our faith kicks in and the world thinks your sleeping but you are letting God do what He has to do to fix the problem. 

I.                   Your faith should allow you to let God handle it           

a.       The situation is so severe because God wants you to let go

b.      Trying to fix it yourself can mess it up

                                                              i.      Men- b/c of our aggrieve nature we try to fix the problem by doing something (husband wife scenario)

                                                            ii.      Women try deal with the symptoms by putting a band aid on it or decorating- how many brothers are wearing a suit and tie your wife picked out;

                                                          iii.      bottom line neither one of us are capable of fixing all our problems

c.       Famous theologian and one of the most profound thinkers of our time Howard Thurman said in his essay Silence is a door to God “Suddenly, I may become aware that that which I thought was the sheer result of my own effort came my way despite my effort.”

                                                              i.       IAW All I was doing is getting in the way; but God kept blessing me anyway

d.      Let go and Let God

                                                              i.      I use to believe it is true

                                                            ii.      Now I know it is true

e.       There comes a defining moment in every Christians life when you finally through your hands in the air and say God you do it.

In the 12 chapter of Acts we find Peter in a bad situation

II.                Dangerous times for Christians

a.       It was deadly to believe in Christ and speak the truth

b.      The followers of Christ were scattered all over

c.       Those who Peter fellowshipped with were upset with him because he preached to non Jews at Cornelius’ house

d.      Herod had Just killed James and because it pleased the Jews he arrested Peter

e.       So there he lay between two guards, bound w/ two chains with two guards watching the door; on death row

f.       Peter was stuck between a rock and a hard place; trouble was on every side!

III.             He was under attack by the enemy; the attack was

a.       Well organized (4 squads of 4 is a military term)

b.      Powerful; 16 men

c.       Persistent- 4 men stood watch for 6 hours each

d.      But in the mist of it all Peter is SLEEPING!  WHY!

IV.             Verse 5; “BUT prayer”!

a.       This is why fellowship is important

                                                              i.      Surround yourself w/ people w/ similar beliefs

b.      James 5:14-18 calls us to pray for one another

                                                              i.      Because the effective prayer of the righteous accomplish much

c.       The church does not mean Steeple Chase exclusively

V.                Passover and Festival of Unleavened Bread

a.       It says Herod d/n kill Peter right away b/c of the Passover

b.      It also says it was the days of Unleavened Bread; Passover being the first day in the Festival Unleavened Bread

c.       Although connected they both represente different things

                                                              i.      The Passover represented the death angel passing over the children of Israel’s home the night of the tenth plague in Egypt

                                                            ii.      The Feast of Unleavened Bread represents the following day when God delivered them from Egypt

                                                          iii.      Passover saves your life but the feast delivers you from the situation that is endangering your life

d.      Analogy: Man and woman fall in love and get married

                                                              i.      Love is blind but marriage is the eye opener

                                                            ii.      Suddenly the man begins to change

1.      Controlling

2.      In secure d/n trust her

3.      Egotistical

4.      Rage

5.      Her love for him has her handcuffed

VI.             Put it in the master’s hand

a.       In my hand a:

                                                              i.      Bat                              Albert Pujoilus

                                                            ii.      Tennis racket               Serina Williams

                                                          iii.      Basketball                   Micheal Jordan

                                                          iv.      Football                       Micheal Vick

                                                            v.      Nail                             Jesus

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