Summary: One of the greatest battles of spiritual warfare - getting ourselves out of Bed!
One of the most important things a believer does is spend time with God. If we were to walk up to people on the street and ask them, ¡§Do you think that if someone called themselves a Christian that they should pray¡¨ The answer would be duh, of course. If we were to ask them do they think a Christian should read the Bible ¡V wouldn¡¦t we get the same answer?
This morning, I am not trying to persuade you that you should have a quiet time, But for the purpose of having a starting point ¡V let¡¦s assume that we believe that it is important, whether we are currently having one or not, ok? If you aren¡¦t convinced of this ¡V I encourage you to get last week¡¦s tape.
Why, when a believer in Christ makes a commitment to or begins to have a quiet time do they have such difficulty or problems continuing this on a regular basis?
I believe that because it is one of the most important things we do as followers of Christ and when we do the impact on us is amazing ¡V that Satan will fight you tooth and nail to keep you from spending time with God. It is a spiritual battle.
Now be real with me for a minute. When I say spiritual battle ¡V what video clip goes on in your mind? Is it the old country western where the cowboy dressed in white faces the cowboy dressed in black for a showdown at the O.K. Corral? Maybe for you it is the Star Wars version where the force is fighting the dark side with light sabers and spiritual powers. This is the clip that goes through my head (play video clip from Lord of the Rings 2:07:30 to 2:08:42). Ok, I like the drama of the battle.
Satan, you see, hates nothing more than when a Christian gets down to business with God. He knows we are very dangerous to him and his kingdom when we are empowered by God through prayer and time in His word. So he leaves the drama of spiritual battles to Hollywood and his battles are fought more subtly. This first spiritual battle is one that many of us fight and not just once, but over and over. This battle would actually make a boring movie compared to the last clip.
The Spiritual Battle of the Centuries is the battle of the BLANKETS.
Every single morning what stands between you & spiritual empowerment is 56 square feet of cotton or wool. This stuff wouldn¡¦t even be able to stop a bullet, but don¡¦t put your guard down, because this seemingly harmless blanket has stopped many men and women from becoming a mighty man or woman of God.
Listen, one of the greatest and most common problems you will face is the discipline of getting out of bed in the morning to have your quiet time with God. The moment you wake up you are faced with the most important decision of your life ¡V am I going to get out of bed and have my quiet time?
Satan must be an early riser, because he is wide awake and doing his very best to keep us in those blankets. He will exaggerate how you didn¡¦t get enough sleep and you didn¡¦t sleep well, and you are so tired, and you just need a few more minutes, etc. And your flesh the whole time is going yes, Yes, YES! These dynamic duos have put the spiritual sleep hold on many believers keeping them powerless and ineffective.
In winning battles, it is not when we are at our best ¡V being at your peek performance for 15 minutes ¡V that counts. What counts is when you win the battles when you are vulnerable. Have you heard the phrase ¡V the chain is only as strong as its weakest link?
Man, to preach this kind of stuff isn¡¦t very impressive is it. Be let¡¦s be real! If we don¡¦t win this battle ¡V we aren¡¦t going to win too many others. This is a battle of discipline. It almost seems at times that those blankets have voices that talk so sweet and the ability to wrap around you making it more difficult to leave. But we need super strength to break out of their bonds and become Super Believer.
Here¡¦s a few thoughts on how to win the battle.
1) Go to bed on time
a. There is something about getting up in the morning that is harder when we don¡¦t go to bed on time. Burning the candle on both ends waxes you out. Many of us like to stay up late. Why did it seem the best shows where on late at night? After the 11:00 clock news was Johnny Carson and then David Letterman, Mash reruns were always late at night. Nothing new here, but is whatever you are staying up late for ¡V more important than your quiet time with God? To win the battle of the Blankets ¡V go to bed on time. Make it your priority. For generations people went to bed when it was dark and got up when it was light.