by Pastor Tim Burt
Hey Readers, I’ll be on vacation with my family for the next two weeks. I’ll be back to writing on Monday August 8th. If you want to keep reading just go to TimBurt.org and click on archives and you can do some catch up reading! If you subscribe while I’m gone, you’ll get your first email devotion on August 8th! Thank you and God bless you! We’ll be praying for you all!
There are things that each of us may have gone through in some point of our life that have left us with the thought, I never want to go through that again. That’s how I felt after growing up as an insomniac. I believe it’s what led to my becoming addicted to alcohol and drugs prior to giving my life to the Lord at the age of 24. I drank to pass out so I could sleep. That obviously only led from one set of issues to another. After I gave my heart to the Lord, not only was I delivered from drugs and alcohol, but I was delivered from insomnia. I began to read my Bible every chance I got and ended every day by reading my Bible. I had read the verse Proverbs 3:24 NIV “When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” I took that as God’s promise to me. I memorized this, thanked God for it and fell asleep thanking Him for it—every night!
The Lord taught me that I had to pay attention not only to the part that said, “your sleep will be sweet” but also to “you will not be afraid.” There were some occasions where I was afraid—afraid of returning insomnia. God taught me that fear, whose source is Satan, is the same force as faith. Whatever you have feared in the past or future is the fear that he’ll try to present to you today. Faith is fueled by belief and trust in God’s promises. Fear is fueled by your faith in what Satan might or will do wrong to you in your life.
One promise that should become your sword to protect you and dismember fear, comes from 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” When I would feel fear over not being able to sleep or fear the return of insomnia, I’d rebuke those fears and call them out as the lies that they were! I’d literally speak God’s promises out loud to overcome those fears. A calm and peace would come and I would continue to thank God for the promises of His Word.
Over time the Lord revealed that some of the reasons I could occasionally not sleep well were self-inflicted. The Holy Spirit taught me not to drink coffee with caffeine pass noon. It was keeping me awake at night. God later taught me that eating later in the evening or at night made my digestive system work and that kept me awake. He showed me that sometimes it was triggered by nighttime sugary snacks or drinking orange or cranberry juice (loaded with sugar) in the evening. I had to pay attention to the Holy Spirit. I had to listen to His voice as He helped me think through and discern what I needed to change. When I did my part in what I allowed myself to consume in the evening and then refused to allow fearful thoughts to reside in my mind, my sleep stayed sweet, and surprise…I lost weight.
I know when I write some of this, it might appear like these things happened suddenly and easily. Trust me when I tell you these are lessons learned over time taught by the Holy Spirit while spending time in the Word and prayer. God’s promises always prevail in our life when we learn to take hold of them by faith and stand on them. We do so until they are completely manifest in our life. And then we thank Him again and again forever and ever!
2 Samuel 22:31 (NLT) “God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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