The second step Paul recommends in 1 Thessalonians 5, in order to prepare for judgment, is to not be asleep, spiritually speaking. Paul writes, "So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep..." Paul offers no excuse for believers in Jesus to be asleep in the light. "To sleep" in this context means to live as though there will never be a judgment day.
A number of years ago, the Associated Press ran a story about a 52 year old man who went sleepwalking in Pasadena, California. Wearing only his pyjamas, he was carrying an alarm clock that was set to ring at 6 am. The story concluded with these words: "The police beat the clock in waking him!"
Sometimes, as we look around at the world, it seems like there are millions of people blindly groping around in a daze, spiritually "sleepwalking" through life, not knowing where they are going or what they are doing. Some may think that in the future they will wake up, when circumstances alert them. However, many fail to hear "the alarm clock" of God's word that is already ringing throughout the world. How much better it is to hear that alarm now, rather than miss the opportunities we have to serve the Lord in this life. How much better it is to live our lives fully awake, rather than sleep away our existence.
C. S. Lewis has a lovely line in his book, Reflections on the Psalms. He says that God "is that Object to admire which (or, if you like, to appreciate which) is simply to be awake, to have entered the real world; not to appreciate which is to have lost the greatest experience, and in the end to have lost all."
Lewis also makes a similar statement in Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer. There he writes,
We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade, the presence of God. The world is crowded with Him. He walks everywhere incognito. And the incognito is not always hard to penetrate. The real labour is to remember, to attend. In fact, to come awake. Still more, to remain awake.