One of my good friends used to tell me, “you can sleep when you are dead” or “sleep is over-rated.” She was convinced that you shouldn’t waste your time sleeping. I always argued with her, simply because I like sleep and how I feel after a good sleep!
God Gives us Power over our Human Bodies
If you know me, you know that I am a night person. I can stay awake to hang out with friends or fight through sleep to experience something exciting that happens late at night. This happened recently while waiting for a friends child to be born. I knew that my body wanted to go to bed, but I also knew that what was coming was worth the exhaustion that would follow. Our human bodies need certain things to keep functioning correctly. Like food, sleep, water, etc. And your body will tell you when it needs these things. But I love that God has given us power over our own bodies to decide when to deny ourselves those things for the good of ourselves and others around us.
Example #1: Food & Water
Fasting is a great and powerful tool that can be used to hear from God through prayer and fasting. But this is not something easily done. It takes a concerted effort to deny your body these things when every muscle in you is screaming at you to eat or drink something. You can choose to deprive your body of food and/or drink for something greater.
Example #2: Sleep
Just like I was recently, I knew that staying awake at all costs would be beneficial to my friend and even myself getting to experience the joy of a great friends child. The support I wanted to give him and his wife as well as the experience, is something that sleep could never replace. I chose to deprive my body of sleep for something greater.
Key to Success: Friends
I have learned through both of these examples as well as others, that it is much easier (and enjoyable) to do these things with friends or like-minded people along the way. its much harder to stay away when you don’t have someone there with you to help. And its much harder to “cheat” on a fast if you know that you have friends or family that will keep you accountable if you do.
What to Watch Out For: Weakness of the Human Body
This is pretty simple. The earth is broken, and our bodies are weak. They will tempt you and BEG you to give them what they need. It is very easy to simply give up, the best of us have done it. But I would encourage you to keep your eye on what your goal is and remember why you are doing what you are doing. And find your friends to help you along the way. You aren’t meant to do it alone.
Don’t get Discouraged if you Fail
Like I said, even the greatest of us fail at this, but God gives us grace and allows us to make a difference no matter if we fail right in front of him. Look at the disciples who failed literally right in front of Jesus…
When He (Jesus) rose from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them sleeping from sorrow, and said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
God has given you power of your body for a reason. Be smart and take care of the temple he has given you.
1 Corinthians 6:19
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;
Be a good steward of your body that God has entrusted you with.