What keeps you up at night? I don’t mean in a stressed out, worried sort of way. I’m talking about in an excited, hopeful kind of way. Like “the light bulb’s on and it won’t go off” sort of way.
What’s the idea that gives you insomnia?
Sometimes I lie down dead tired at night. It’s been a long day, I’ve put in good work, and all is right with the world. Everything is set up perfectly for me to drift off to dreamland, and then I just…don’t. Something pops into my head, and everything in my body that was winding down starts gearing up again. It might be a sermon subject or a script idea or a blog starter. Whatever it is, it robs me of that restful feeling and turns my brain ALL the way back on. And at that point, I may as well get out of the bed and crack open the laptop.
So what is it for you? What’s the revelation that won’t let you rest? What’s the thing that’s wrong with the world that something in you is saying you can help make right? What’s that tugging in your head or your heart that, every so often, pulls you right back from the brink of a beautiful night’s sleep?
Sometimes God takes your peace so He can give you your purpose.
One day a young man named Samuel had turned in and tuned out. But before he could go all the way under, he heard someone calling his name. Now Samuel assumed it was his mentor Eli calling for him, so he got up and went to see what he wanted. Strangely, though, Eli said it wasn’t him and told the boy to go back to bed.
It happened again. Samuel’s reaction was the same, and so was Eli’s response. Then the voice spoke a third time. Samuel again went to Eli, but this time Eli realized something bigger was going on. He told Samuel to lie back down, and if it happened again, to say, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” Sure enough, it was the Lord Himself who was keeping Samuel from his sleep. And He had a word He needed the young man to hear.
Listen, when something in your spirit won’t let you rest, it’s time to ask God what it is He’s trying to tell you! The reason you can’t rest maybe because there’s a revelation trying to breakthrough. And before God shows and tells, He wants your undivided attention. He wants to know that you want to know. He’s waiting for you to recognize His presence, fully submit to His purpose, and give Him permission to pour into you.
Now the reality is, you can condition yourself over time to sleep through what used to wake you up. This is great news if you’ve recently acquired some noisy new neighbors. Or if you travel a lot and need to catch some zzz’s on the train or the plane. But sadly, we often teach ourselves to sleep straight through the calling of God on our lives.
Some of us have been ignoring the Lord’s voice for so long that it’s blended into all the other sounds around us. We hardly even notice it anymore. We’ve learned to shut off our sensitivity to the Spirit’s leading.
There are a few ways we like to hit the spiritual snooze button when we get a divine wake-up call. (See if any sound familiar.)
Maybe you’ve convinced yourself that someone else is better equipped for the job.
Sure, you could try…but what’s-his-name is way better at this stuff than you are. What’s-her-face can do that without breaking a sweat! No need for an amateur to get in the way when a professional can knock it out of the park.
Or maybe you’ve been telling yourself (and God) that you’ll do it when you’re “more.”
When you’re more educated. When you’re more experienced. When you have more time. When you’ve got more money in the bank and more years under your belt. So you keep deferring the decision for a day that never comes.
Or maybe you’ve just decided that God’s got the wrong number.
In your “wisdom,” you’ve made up your mind that it’s too far out of your comfort zone or too far beyond your capabilities. That even if you wanted to try, it just wouldn’t work because (insert favorite self-deprecating excuse here).
Stop finding reasons to roll over. You’re awake anyway—you may as well do some work! Ask the Lord to tell you what He’s trying to tell you. Give God permission to give you your purpose.
Until you do, you might not get any peace.
Written By Rigel Dawson
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Planted Trees