Friday, June 15, 2012

Directions Against Excess Sleep by Richard Baxter, pt. 2

Yesterday, I mentioned that I was greatly impacted by a list I came across by Richard Baxter on directions against excess sleep. Funny as it may sound, I hit the snooze button yesterday morning about the same time it was scheduled to post. That thought alone drives home my need for this even more. I listed the first six directions yesterday, here are the final seven (I have taken some liberty to make these more readable)

Direction #7: Remember that God holds you and is calling you to work. If the king, or any great person, or friend, did but knock at your door, you would rise presently to wait upon them. Why, if God would speak with you by His Word, or hear you speak to him by prayer, will you lie still and despise his call?

Direction #8: Remember how many are attending you while you sleep. If it be summer, the sun is up before you, it has gone so many thousand miles while you have slept. It has given a day's light to the other half of the world since you laid down and is coming again to light you to your work, and will you let it shine in vain? All the creatures are ready in their places to assist you and you are asleep?

Direction #9: Consider whether you will allow your servants to do the same; they must be up and at work, or you will be offended, and that you hire them not too sleep. Is it any lawfuller for you than them, to sleep one minute more than is needful for your health? No, not a minute. 

Direction #10: Remember that your morning hours are the chiefest part of all the day, for any holy exercise or special employment of the mind. The mind is fresh and clear, and there is less interruption by worldly business; whereas when others are up and about their business, you will have distractions. Those that have tried it can say by experience that the morning hours are the flower of their time, for prayer or studies; and that early rising is a great part of the art of redeeming time.

Direction #11: Remember how many are condemning you by their diligence, while you are slugging away your time. How many holy persons are then at prayer in secret, wrestling fervently with God for their salvation; or reading and meditating in his word! What do they get while you are sleeping! The blessed man does delight in the law of the Lord, and meditate in it day and night; and you love your ease, and are sleeping day and night. How many thousands are hard at work while you are sleeping! Have you not work to do, as well as they?

Direction #12: Remember that sensuality or flesh-pleasing is the great condemning sin that turns the heart from God; and if it be hateful in a drunkard or fornicator, why is it not so in you? Mortify the flesh, and learn to deny it in its inordinate desires, and your sin is almost cured.

Direction #13: For then the executive part is easy when you are willing; it is but agreeing with some one to awaken you, and a little cold water will wash away your drowsiness if you consent.

I love that last one, if you have too hard a time, get someone to throw some cold water on your face. I have flashbacks to my mom when I was a kid in school. Scary! Redeem your time. Make the most of what the Lord has given you. Resist the temptation to make this summer about sleep, but make it about ministry and the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Question: Which Of These Directions Most Confront Your Heart?

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