I like to be up really early in the morning, but I do not like the act of getting out of bed. As a heavy sleeper, I am very dependent on my alarm clock to wake me up. Many years ago, I discovered that, if the alarm clock was within reach, I would just put it off and go back to sleep. The snooze button just gave permission to lie a little bit longer, and a little bit longer, and so it went on. I am not going to tell how many times I sometimes pressed it, but it was not so many times as a friend who told me he once repeatedly pressed the snooze button for five hours! However, I had to find a foolproof way to actually get me out of bed, and many years ago I began to use a simple method that I have used very effectively ever since. A loud alarm was the first essential. Then, when I set the alarm in the evening, I placed it on the floor well away from the bed. This ensured that I actually got out of bed as soon as the alarm went off. Pride ensured that I did not get back into bed! Recovery was very quick when I realised that I was out of bed at an early hour and had gained some of that precious commodity:- time.
Is there such a thing as God’s alarm? Yes. It does not just waken us from sleep, but in a sense it wakens us from the dead! God’s alarm sometimes works dramatically quickly. This may happen under the preaching of the gospel, or a simple few words from a faithful witness, or from reading the bible, or one of many other means that God uses as His alarm. The person is dramatically awakened from his or her spiritual death.
However, God’s alarm very often works very slowly: sometimes so slowly and imperceptibly as to be at first unrecognised. Yet it is the same work as in the more sudden awakenings. Every person who is spiritually awakened is raised from the dead by God’s alarm, that is, God’s omnipotent and irresistible power being applied to them. Often it is simply a case of the person becoming increasingly disappointed with the enjoyments of the world as he realises that the world never delivers on what it promises. He may for a time make greater and greater efforts to gain the satisfaction he used to get from the world, but it no longer works for him. He loses his peace, and perhaps even feels that he is heading for a mental breakdown.
But God will always provide the necessary understanding of His own great purpose to relieve their stress. Again, God uses different means. Some remember what they were taught in childhood, some may be led to seek peace in a gospel church, or perhaps they may listen to a recorded sermon. Whatever means is used they will learn with new understanding, that God loved human beings in such a way that He gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross of Calvary as a substitute in the place of sinners. God will enable them to repent of their sins and to believe and trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. They will have the unspeakable joy of being RightWithGod now and forever.