Summary: What is submission, how do we do it, and to whom are we supposed to submit?
Spiritual Lifehacks - Submission
Three weeks ago we began our series on Spiritual Lifehacks with rhythm -- establishing a set rhythm of time alone with God and time with other people is very important to your physical health. Two weeks ago we discussed listening to God through prayer. Tonight we’re going to continue our series with a lifehack on how to improve something we all enjoy -- sleep.
There are several things you can do to improve your quality of sleep. One is to remember the “90-minute Rule”. Most people have a 90-minute sleep cycle, which means your brain cycles through different types of sleep every 90 minutes, so it’s important to keep those cycles uninterrupted. This means that, for most people, you will feel more rested with 7.5 hours of sleep than with a full 8 hours. A good way to ensure you do this is to determine what time you need to get up, and count backwards in 90-minute intervals to find what time you need to go to sleep. If you need to wake up at 6 AM, for example, try falling asleep at 9:00, 10:30, or even midnight.
On a related note, if you wake up in the middle of the night -- or, if you wake up before your alarm goes off -- and you don’t go back to sleep in 20 minutes, stay up. Your body has gotten the rest it needed and woke you up for a reason. If you force yourself to go back to sleep, you’ll throw off your internal clock and end up feeling more tired because of it. This is what happens when you feel tired because you got too much sleep!
Another hack that seems like it doesn’t quite make sense: drink a cup of coffee 20-30 minutes before you take a short nap. Caffeine takes 20-30 minutes to reach your brain, so if you time your nap right, the caffeine will kick in right when you wake up.
The color of the light in your room can make a huge difference as well. Research has shown that blue and other cool-colored light keeps you awake because it slows down your brain’s production of melatonin, the sleep chemical. Warm-colored light, like amber, does the opposite and will help you fall asleep faster. Unfortunately, the light from your TV, laptop, computer, phone, iPod, tablet, and any other electronic device is -- you guessed it -- blue! On a side note, there’s a reason why I have blue lights in the room so often...
Sleep is something we all must do, and most of us simply don’t get enough. Improving your quantity and quality of sleep will give you more energy so you can have a happier and more productive day. Now, this is all well and good, but what does this have to do with improving our spiritual relationship with God?
I’m so glad you asked!
Turn with me to Colossians chapter 3. Verse 17 says, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Go forward to verse 23, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” Go now, please, to I Corinthians 10:31, “So whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
Do you guys see where I’m going here? Whatever you do, whatever you say, whatever you eat, and whatever you drink -- do it all in the name of Jesus, working for Him and for the glory of God. Whatever you do -- including sleep.
But how do you do this? How can you be sure that you do everything for the glory of God? After all, we’re all sinners, and sin by definition doesn’t glorify God.
It’s easy -- just submit. I know, that’s harsh. Submission is often considered to be a “dirty word” in today’s society. However, it’s important to know not only who to submit to, but how to submit.
Who to submit to is easy -- at least, at first. James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Simple enough. Submit to God -- easy, right?
Unfortunately, all too often people concentrate only on the second half of that sentence -- resist the devil -- instead of the first part. We try and try to resist the devil and sin on our own, but we simply can’t do it. When we inevitably give in to temptation, we feel frustrated and discouraged.
The key to a closer relationship with God -- which is, after all, what this is all about -- does not hang on our own resistance to the devil! This is great news -- if it was up to us, no one would be able to go to Heaven. No, it hangs on our complete submission to God.