Do you sleep well? I have become increasingly aware of many within the body of Christ who have trouble sleeping. Some have had this problem for so long, they have almost gotten used to it. There are many medical causes for this condition, known as Insomnia, but the most common cause I find is anxiety, worry, and fear. 1 John 4 tells us that "fear has torment". For too long, the strongman of Fear has tormented God's people, with many not even being able to rest at night without the use of sleeping aids. I believe this is an attack of the enemy, and I for one, am not going to take it lying down!
Earlier this year, my husband and I traveled to Texas to visit a close family member who is battling a life-threatening illness. While on this visit, I found out that two other family members in the same town were addicted to different types of drugs. They were not ready or willing to come into freedom, and this caused me to feel very helpless. These things, along with the weight of the family illness, was too much for me. I am a person who typically sleeps well, and rarely gets less than 8 hours of sleep at night. Suddenly, during our trip, and even after returning home, I found that I had trouble getting to sleep, and once I did, I awoke several times during the night. I prayed before going to sleep, read scripture, listened to worship music...nothing seemed to help! Night after night this went on...4 maybe 5 hours of restless sleep. I was grumpy, my immune system was suffering, and I started to feel sick in my body, as well. My stomach felt as if it were in knots most of the time, but especially at night. I even felt as if my relationship with the Lord was suffering...I couldn't seem to focus on the Word when I studied, my prayers seemed labored...It was affecting my whole life! At this point, I was desperate!Finally, about 2 weeks after returning home, while in prayer one day, I begged the Lord for help..."I can't do this anymore, Lord! You have to help me!!" Suddenly, I heard that still small voice - "You're not giving it to me." I immediately knew what He meant. I was still carrying all those burdens I had picked up while on my trip. I was concerned for my family, for those I loved...How do I help them? What do I do? "You cannot carry this burden", He said. "It is too much for you....you must give it to me." I thought on this for the rest of the day. When it came time to go to bed that night, I said, "Lord, I cannot carry these burdens, they are too heavy for me...I give them to you! Give me Your peace, give me Your rest!" As I spoke these words, I lifted my hands towards heaven in a gesture of surrender...as if I were literally giving Him my burdens. I immediately felt His peace, which passes all understanding, come flooding over me. I slept for more than 9 hours that night, and have slept just as well every night since.
Anxiety, worry, fear...these are not of God! 2 Tim. 1:7 says, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind." The enemy of our souls will use anything he can to get us into fear, to get us to be anxious. The word tells us that he has come to steal, kill, and destroy...but that the Lord has come to give us LIFE more abundantly! The enemy will steal our sleep, our health, and anything else that we ALLOW him to steal! I was allowing the enemy to steal my sleep, through carrying a burden that was not mine to carry! There are so many promises in the word of God...so many things that are rightfully ours, as children of God! One of my favorite promises is found in Proverbs 3:24 - "When you lie down, you will not be afraid; Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet." Another is found in Psalm 127:2 - "...For so He gives His beloved sleep." Are you His beloved? If you are a child of God, then you are. That means, God has promised to give you sleep! Now...just as with any gift that someone gives you, you have to take it. You have to READ IT, BELIEVE IT, and RECEIVE IT! Every night when my husband and I lay down to rest, we remind the Lord - "Lord, you said that you give Your beloved sleep...so, now we receive that sleep that you promised". And every night, we drift into a wonderful, peaceful, and restful sleep...casting all our cares upon Him, for we know that He cares for us.~AmandaIsaiah 26:3 -"You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You."