Staying Awake as Approved Slaves
PHYSICAL sleep has its place. It is a wise provision of a loving Creator to restore one to freshness and vigor after a day of hard work. But there is never any good reason for spiritual sleep.
As we look about us we see the world sleeping on, spiritually asleep, oblivious to the threat of Armageddon, which is daily drawing nearer. As in the days of Noah, the world refuses to take heed. How thankful we can be that we belong to a class of people that is awake today, having been awakened by a group of whom it was long ago foretold: “Happy are those slaves whom the Master on arriving finds watching! Truly I say to you, He will gird himself and make them recline at the table and will come alongside and minister to them.”—Luke 12:37.*
These slaves first began watching on the day of Pentecost and have continued faithfully down to our day. In modern times, by pinpointing 1914 as the end of the appointed times of the nations, they showed themselves to be awake at least as far back as 1877. And they continue to show themselves awake by preaching the good news of the Kingdom and by warning all to flee modern Babylon before it is too late.
How can we stay awake as approved slaves with this “faithful and discreet slave”?—Matt. 24:45-47.
First of all, by keeping up with the spiritual food provided by this slave, as published by its legal instrument, the Watch Tower Society. That requires both private Bible study and attendance at congregational meetings, where this spiritual food is dispensed.
Secondly, to keep thus awake we must follow theocratic principles and policies. Our own way may seem right in our own eyes, but let us not forget that it is not in man that walks to direct his own steps. How can it be when the human heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked by reason of the sin of our first parents? So we want to look to God’s channel not only for spiritual food but also for instructions as to how we may serve God effectively and harmoniously.
Third, to stay awake as approved slaves we need to remain in our assigned places. Even as each of the three hundred men with Gideon “kept standing each one in his place all around the camp” of the Midianites, so must we serve in our respective places. Each one of us has his place, as a congregation publisher, pioneer, servant in the congregation, traveling representative of the Christian congregation or as a member of a Bethel family. Let us do our part faithfully as to Jehovah, content wherever he would have us serve as indicated by our circumstances and the directions coming to us from his channel.—Judg. 7:21.
A fourth way in which we can stay awake as approved slaves is by making financial contributions to the agencies Jehovah is using, both locally and world-wide. Just as we have benefited by the Bible literature and assemblies made possible by the contributions others made in times past, so our contributions will benefit still others who will yet hear of Jehovah and his purposes. And for the greatest possible blessing let each of us give according to what he has, doing so from the heart, cheerfully.—2 Cor. 8:12; 9:6, 7.
Manifesting loyalty to God’s channel and one’s brothers and showing love is a fifth way in which we can stay awake as approved slaves. There is so little loyalty in the world today, even as there is very little love. Loyalty makes for a strong organization, for unity. It furnishes a wall of protection against the attacks by Satan and his agents. As for love, is it not the outstanding quality of both Jehovah and his organization? Did not Jesus say that it would identify his followers? Surely!—John 13:34, 35.
And lastly, we can stay awake by being respectful and obedient to the organization, the Watch Tower Society and its appointed servants. Yes, “remember those who are governing you, . . . and as you contemplate how their conduct turns out imitate their faith.”—Heb. 13:7.
So let us stay awake as approved slaves by co-operating with the “faithful and discreet slave” to the best of our ability. Let us stay awake to lead happy lives of inspiring purpose now. Doing God’s will is indeed all-absorbing, fascinating, and it furnishes the greatest incentives: sharing in the vindication of Jehovah’s name, bringing the message of life to others and gaining life ourselves.
For details see The Watchtower, July 15, 1960.