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Do You Struggle With Sleepy Faith Syndrome?


Gwen Smith

August 18, 2015

Blog, Christian Living, Confession, Devotions, I Want It All

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The first time I went to a drive-in theatre I was about six years old. The motion pictures on the reel that night were not just exciting – they were epic. A double feature of Godzilla and Star Wars. It was a rare treat for our young family. With five kids and a school administrator’s salary, movies were a luxury.

The details of that evening are foggy, but there are several things that I remember. Daylight ended as Godzilla began. Dad went to get popcorn while mom spread a blanket out and helped the three oldest littles get to the best vantage point for the show: the roof of our station wagon. Pillows were handed up to the roof-perch and we settled in as freaky monsters took over the screen.

After the monster business finished, which I was less-than-thrilled by, I got cozy with my pillow and faced the screen belly down, toes in the air. I was ready for the force to be with me. Ready to experience an exciting adventure with handsome heroes, odd creatures, rowdy robots, and a brave, beautiful princess all from a galaxy far, far away.

Anticipation skyrocketed as the movie started and the music rose.

Oh, the music!

The Star Wars theme song elevated every ounce of my heart and stirred my eagerness into a barely containable tizzy. Do-do-do-dooooo dooo, do-do-do-dooooo dooo, do-do-do-dooooo dooo, do-do-do-dooooo! I was such a big kid on top of our station wagon watching a movie! And we had popcorn! Real movie theatre popcornthat my older brother was hogging… {Anyhoo…}

As the battle between darkness and light began to heat up I met the main characters one by one: Luke Skywalker, princess Leia, Hans Solo, Chewbacca, C3PO, R2D2, and, of course, the mean man in black, Darth Vader.

Aannnndddd then I fell asleep.

Missed most of the movie.

Woke up to mom telling me to climb down from the roof because it was time to go home.


I’m still in therapy over that sleepy snafu. How could I possibly doze off in the middle of one of the most thrilling nights of my entire six-year existence? My heart hung low with disappointment. I was there, but I missed the movie marvelousness.


It doesn’t take a napping nightmare for us to fall asleep during the marvelousness you know. Sometimes I fall asleep to the vibrant connection between God and me because I get lazy, too tired, or too busy to pray. I get too comfortable with a sleepy faith and doze, doze, doze while my Bible collects dust. I get distracted by matters that will fade like flowers and whither like grass. My soul yawns and runs all around town wearing jammies and fuzzy slippers.

Have you been there? Join me today in a soul mutiny against sleepy faith! {Are you in? Tweet it!}

Jesus wants us to connect with Him continually. To abide in Him. He called out the complacency of the church of Laodicea in Revelation 3, and He calls us beyond lukewarm living to a vibrant, white-hot faith so that our lives can be maximized for His glory! And He extends grace – even to us sleepy faith girls. “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” (Revelation 3:19-20)

Wide Open Faith

I want every ounce of marvelousness I can wring out from this day – which can only happen when I connect my soul to Jesus. I want a faith that is wide open and fully awake to the glory of God! Are you with me?

Holy Father,
Please forgive me for the times when I doze off to Your glorious presence. Thank You for being a God of restoration and relationship. Thank You for Your Word and Your kindness that leads me to repentance. Help me to be fully alive to Your love and leading today.
In Jesus’ name, amen.


Okay, girlfriend. Today I challenge you to mobilize your faith in a fresh way by doing 3 things: Read John chapter 15. Journal a prayer in response. Share a verse or thought about this on my Twitter feed, my Facebook page or my blog.


I’m giddy to share with you that I have a NEW BOOK coming out next Spring! It is called
Exchanging Your Average Life for Deeper Faith, Greater Power and More Impact
…and you can ALREADY pre-order it on Amazon, and Barnes & Noble!

ALSO – I will be forming a launch team soon that will help me announce the release of the book. Many, many, many perks will be lavished on my launch team (did I say many?!) – so if you are fairly savvy at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – once the opportunity knocks,
be sure to OPEN THAT DOOR!! {Much fun will be had by all!}

And HERE is a sneak peek at the cover:

IWIA 3D Cover LR


Thanks for doing life with me. I love you sistas so much!

Big Group e-Hug,



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About Gwen Smith

Gwen Smith

I am an unashamed, imperfect worshiper of Jesus Christ. I cling to His goodness to cover my mess and purpose my days to live out the hope of the Gospel. It is my joy and passion to inspire women to live fully in grace and truth. I write books, devotions and songs. I speak. I sing. I worship. I post, pin and tweet. I am intensely in love with the Word of God and believe, wholeheartedly, that the Bible is divinely inspired truth.


31 responses to “Do You Struggle With Sleepy Faith Syndrome?”

  1. Meredith says:

    “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.” (John 15:18-19)

    This verse really spoke encouragement to me about how this world we live in isn’t our true home, it’s only temporary. It’s normal for us Christians to struggle and go through hard times in this world because we are not of this world. It’s refreshing to see that written out in God’s world as a reminder that we are His and He chose us. To God be all the glory!!!

  2. o.j. says:

    Hi to one and all! I read John 15 and rediscovered there three verses that I am re-memorizing! Verses 7, 9, and 13 are so pivotal, I feel, in my faith walk. My daily walk in our Lord has been pretty good–daily reading from “Women of Faith” Study Bible; the weekly studies has been both fun and challenging for me.

  3. Stacey Robinson says:

    For me verses 4 and 15 really captured me. he said I should remain in him and he will remain in me and 15 he no longer calls me servant but friend as a friend knows his masters business, so am so thankful for this bless assurance from Jesus. This chapter from verse 1-17 it really shows me how to really cling to Jesus for him to carry out his work in my life. I am so bless from this chapter so amazingly powerful.

  4. Lucia Ganda Chifamba says:

    Verse 13 spoke to me and has made me want to work I hard on me.I am a person who always puts me first.Lord I want to thank you for dying for me a sinner. AmenHelp me put other first before me.

  5. Erica Burdette says:

    Whenever I read John 15, it always brings to mind how important it is to be productive with our life in Christ. There have been many times where I felt I was going in a rut spiritually and nothing seemed to change. However, I remember to turn it over to Jesus and He truly does reignite my passion for Him. I am also glad that we have a friend in Jesus and His love is with us.
    If we remain in Christ we can truly live fully in grace and love.

  6. Tara Parker says:

    Can you imagine this…”15 No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. ” I mean…Jesus, the Son of God, calls me His friend. I also looked up what it takes to prune a tree or a grapevine. It’s an awesome analogy that Jesus used…and explains this chapter precisely in my mind.

    Father God…Oh how I love You and thank You for choosing me, calling me Your friend. I can’t put my thoughts and heart into words that will express how I love You and desire all that You have for me. I ask Lord that I be sensitive to the moving and operation of the Holy Spirit as I continue to place my faith in You and what You accomplished for me on Calvary’s Cross. Be with each one that is following this post, be with Gwen as she daily encourages us, leads us and helps to strengthen us in You. Just watch over each one and know that I desire all of You…and commit all of me to You Lord Jesus…Amen and amen!!!!

  7. Suzan Wudijono says:

    i just love John 15:16, that said i did not chose God, but God chose me and appointed me to go and bear fruit. I just prayed that whatever i do each day, it will be pleasing to Him and i will keep on trusting Him and reach the goal HE prepared for me. Right now, i just want to learn to be obedient and take one step at a time.

  8. MollyBarney says:

    I love your personal statement….I live with a mess most days because I am always trying to do more, to be more, to earn more favor and yet the beauty of our Savior is that it is a gift. Grace! Thank you God for you unfailing Grace in the lives of us crazy ladies!

  9. Jehrica says:

    ~Psalm 119:36-37 (NIV)
    “36 Turn my heart toward Your statutes and not toward selfish gain.
    37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to Your Word.” HALLELU YAH!

  10. Christy Cundiff says:

    John 15:7 -The word abide kept sticking out at me, then the Lord gave me this…..

    Oh, that my soul would ever abide, Lord,
    Not just in the quaking of the storm,
    But with the breaking of the dawn, Lord,
    Or from the mountain should I soar,
    Into Your loving arms, oh Lord.
    Safe to abide forever more.

    Thank you for the inspiration and the reminder! It came at the perfect time.

  11. Lori says:

    Sometimes I feel as if I am far away from God. My son recently said he does not want to go to our church and wants to attend another church because of the pressure. This makes me sad and angry that our church is putting too much pressure on our kids. I want to stay close to Jesus and believe in him with my whole heart. Things will work out. My son is still willing to go to church and still loves Jesus. I need to cling to that fact just as I cling to Jesus.

  12. Laura says:

    That is me too, I feel like I am asleep in my relationship with God. I am still struggling with learning to abide in him. I watch others who are full to overflowing, of the joy of the Lord, and want that myself.Try all kinds of things to get there, but can’t do it on my own. I don’t carve out the time of day to spend with him. A quick read of these devotionals isn’t enough to remain in Him. I know that. Need to connect with the vine, remain in him, let him connect with me. How to do that is my trouble. I love him, but don’t know how to connect with him any more. Things are in the way. Father God I love you. You are the true vine, the source of abundant life. You restore, forgive, prune away the useless stuff. Father help me learn to abide in you, to remain in you. To connect with You again. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, bring me close to you again so others can see that joy overflow. Not the always smiling, happy kind, but the kind that is full of peace and contentment, love and praise of you, so that others won’t mistake my love for you.

  13. Tatiana Bennett says:

    Although, I want it all from GOD, I’ve been scared and my environment makes it even harder for me to not be faced with my past mistakes. But verse 4 and 16 resonated with my spirit. Remain in me, as I have remained in you. I am the one who puts distance between the joy that GOD can give me and his everlasting love. I picked back up the branches that should’ve been burned. But today I want to bear fruit. I asked him for consistency and a boldness of expectation, that He will use me as I put Him before everything and everyone else, in Jesus’ name because if I ask in His Name GOD WILL DO IT.

  14. Brenda Millar says:

    Congratulations on your book! Excited for you. And yes.. am interested in helping out via the internet when the time arrives. Verse 2 really spoke to me this morning.. actually the entire chapter–thank you!! Just being reminded that God loves us so much that He will remove people or things that are not beneficial to our Spiritual growth and will purge us so that we will bear fruit and continue to grow in our walk in and with Him. Ourr God is forever faithful!!!!!

  15. Jeanie says:

    Oh and congratulations on your book! May God use it to transform hearts and minds for His glory!

    • Gwen Smith says:

      Thanks, Jeanie!! I’m just jumping up and down with excitement over here. Can’t wait to share it with the word! Amen – my God use it to transform hearts and minds for His glory!!! That’s exactly the goal!!!!


  16. Jeanie says:

    v. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. The entire chapter is so powerful, but this verse always takes my breath away. He chose me with all my wrinkles and flaws. He knew the beginning from the end and He still chose me to be an image bearer and a fruit bearer.

  17. nancy says:

    Vs. 7 reminds me of the faith we need to invest in Christ. A reminder that a pure faith in God can give us what we desire when we live through him. That is a gift that I needed today! Oh! And what a bummer to fall asleep at the drive-in, I’ve done it too!

  18. Mini says:

    I’m so glad He is the vine and I am the branch. to me, it means my children are of Him too. They past through me because of Him. As I see their struggles I am comforted knowing that our Lord is in charge of them too.

  19. patti says:

    “if you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you”. What does it truly mean to remain in Him? Are unanswered requests, obviously in line with His word, if they go unanswered does this mean we do not/are not remaining in Him? There is fruit yes, but not answered prayer. I have always found this verse to be difficult.

  20. Emily says:

    Sometimes the church IS the world — hating me.

  21. Cathy says:

    vs 5: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

  22. Chioma says:

    Vs 16-17-“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.” The lover of my soul chose me; to serve and share the love I so freely receive from Him. I must keep awake to see the needs of those near and far and take action to reach out in any way I can. No more sleepy “shoulda” kind of love.

    • Gwen Smith says:

      Chioma… TOTALLY love this. Exactly my heart… that HIS would shine in us and then through us… for HIS glory. No more sleepy “shoulda” kind of love. Amen.

      Blessings, friend,

  23. Janet Lutz says:

    Yes, I often hold on to bitterness, rage, anger for a long time! I harbor resentments, so small and petty of me. Please help me me, God, to be obedient to your will for me as I attempt to run this race by casting off the above sins. My strong desire is to be full to overflowing of your joy!

  24. Mint says:

    I realize in a fresh way that we are chosen. He chose us! He has fruit “appointed” for us to bear. He cleans us (prunes us) to be fruitful. And we do it all by him, not by ourselves. And the outcome: Joy! I want it, all of it!

  25. Lynne Childress says:

    Yep, this is often me. I exist on much less of the amazing closeness and power that God as available to those who love Him. Boo. I am praying that He remove that from me and keep me awake! Thanks, Gwen.

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