It's a problem in ME.
Ultimately, it's a fleeing from the fight to conquer sleep, a delay, an extension of the problem, for if I go to bed at 1:30 or 2, then I certainly "can't" get up tomorrow morning at 5, and the flesh has won another skirmish.
I thought to myself this evening--said out loud, in fact--"This continued issue with sleep is a symptom of a dysfunction somewhere."
I have looked at things like staying up late as causes and not getting up in the morning as a result. But the whole cycle of defeat is a symptom of a greater problem. What is the root?
It came to me while I was brushing my teeth. The root is an improper or insufficient application of the gospel to my soul. I saw that I had wanted the gospel to be something it is not.
What did I want the gospel to be? I asked myself.
I wanted it to be a system that allowed me to do whatever I wanted. I certainly did not want it to be a daily death.
And I had been living trying to make the gospel into something it is not, and therefore I was in defeat.
So, what I need to do, I realized, is submit to the gospel, and recognize it for what it is, and go forth in victory.
Now, how do I do that?
Lord, how do I submit to the gospel in such a way that it will deal with the root causes that continually produce the symptom of disobedience regarding sleep?
Can I do that today? This minute? Enter into it, and walk in it, and continue to abide in it?
I believe the answer is yes.
I believe it's not an "it," it's a Person that I must enter into, walk in, and abide in.
That person is Jesus.
What is it about Jesus, and my relationship with Him, that is not as it should be in order for the gospel to WORK?
(Of course Jesus is as He should be.) How do I get where I should be.
The gospel says that my flesh is dead.
My flesh is the root of these symptoms.
I saw long ago how the only way I would ever get rid of the sin (these symptoms) was to die.
Jesus has already offered me death. He has already grabbed the flesh, snatched it into Himself on the cross, crucified it, and buried it. He left it behind, let go of it, when He rose from the dead.
The flesh no longer should ever have any say in my life, bear any fruit, or cause any symptoms.
If the flesh is still bearing fruit in my life, what does that mean?
It means that I am yielding my members unto sin and death rather than righteousness and life.
It doesn't say I am yielding my members to the flesh--because that it literally out of the picture. But sin can still come clamoring, "Yield to me! Give me your machinery! Let it produce my fruit." Before, the flesh obliged me to yield to sin. Now, the flesh is gone and the soul is free to yield to righteousness for the first time. But the soul still remembers how to follow the old designs, still is used to lending its machinery to produce bad fruit. When sin comes calling, the soul sways to heed it.
IT NEED NOT!
So how does this look at 5:00 tomorrow morning, when my sleep-deprived body does what it usually does and turns off the alarm and rolls over and goes back to sleep? How do I apply the gospel? Where is the stronger force to overcome that so-far-unconquerable sleep drive? Where is Jesus? What is He going to do for me and how does the gospel set me free?
What I have been wanting the gospel to be, which apparently it is not:
- An anti-tiredness drug that pops me wide awake in spite of myself--Instead, it's a choice.
- An overpowering force that obliges me to obey and submit to righteousness the way the flesh used to oblige me to follow evil--but Christ is not a dictator; He tenderly leads.
So if the gospel isn't going to do that for me, what is it going to do? When I'm tired, and defiant and rebellious toward anyone who would rob me of my sleep, this gospel somehow has more poser than that tired, defiant, flesh-loving self.
WHAT IS IT?
What is it that the gospel will do?
Set me free to choose? But I won't choose.
Plant somebody in me who will choose? (Jesus?)--But He's not going to overpower me with brute force.
But somehow there is power there.
I doubt I have ever accessed that power in the realm of sleep. In the realm of forgiveness, yes, and in other areas, but not in the realm of sleep.
I have an inkling you access that power by faith.
Oh God, give me something!
- Some insight
- Some breakthrough
- Some victory
- Some taste of walking by faith.
I'm falling asleep!
Before tomorrow morning, I need to know so that I can begin to walk in victory today and not delay any longer.
Is it not available today? YES.
Help me! I feel like I was so close to grasping it, "getting warmer," and now I feel like I'm "colder." Don't leave me! Have mercy on me.
Just get up in the morning and prove the power of the gospel.
Am I not to ask how?
Just do it? Just experience it?
It has to be done to be understood?
Every other time of going to sleep in my life, I have lost my pep talk, my resolve, my good intentions, everything, overnight in my sleep.
And now you're telling me to go to sleep and get up in the morning?
Isn't that all I can say?
Oh. Isn't that "yielding" to righteousness?
Something doesn't get lost in sleep. There's something about the gospel that endures--because the gospel is Jesus, and Jesus will never leave me, and He that has power over death has power over sleep.
Jesus says "Yes, sir" to the Father. He says it here.
May it still be so at 5:00 in the morning!
No analyzing! No excuses! No second opinions!
Let your yea be yea and your nay be nay.