“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mark 1:35, NIV).
As we read the Gospels and look at the life of Jesus, we quickly discover that Jesus was always willing to make the required sacrifice to be in God’s will for his life and to meet the needs of the people around him. We know that Jesus developed the habits of spending time in the predawn hours in solitary prayer seeking God’s will. In this verse, we see that he willingly sacrificed additional sleep, physical comfort, food, and companionship to spend time alone with God in prayer. I am convinced that as he prayed that early morning, Jesus asked God what His “To Do List” included for the day. We see a few verses later that rather than return with the disciples to the house for fellowship and breakfast, Jesus declared His purpose for the day—to preach the Gospel.
I am always puzzled when fellow Christians talk about their desire to grow spiritually and have a John 10:10 abundant life, but they are unwilling to renew their minds and adopt Kingdom thinking, make the necessary sacrifices and create the essential habits that a life of holiness and faithful obedience requires. As I grow in my faith walk, I am discovering that I sleep less and less. In fact, God called me to get up at 2 a.m. this morning so we could write this latest volume of devotionals. I seldom look at the clock anymore when I get up to read my Bible or spend time with God in my prayer garden. I know that God will give me all the grace, strength, and power I need to accomplish my marching orders for the day. I have simply decided to stand with David in agreement that an offering and life with God must cost me something—starting with a small sacrifice of sleep! How about you? Will you give up sleep for Jesus?
Lord, thank you for teaching me the importance of willing sacrifice and the need for the habits of faithfulness and obedience. Jesus, help me to be willing to give joyfully all that you ask of me including some sleep. Through the blood of Jesus and in the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.