May I offer you a technique that helps me fall asleep at night, and at the same time aligns my spirit with the Holy Spirit so my heart ponders God's truths and God's grace all night as I sleep? I have used it for many years, and those I have shared it with and who have tried it, have said it helped them. So let's see if it could be of benefit to you, too.
What keeps me awake is...
Thinking is what keeps me awake. I am to take every thought captive (2 Cor. 10:5). Thus I am to take control over my thoughts. So here are some of the ways I do that. Thinking is a left-brain function. So I want techniques that cause me to stop thinking and relax. Well, I can shift to the right hemisphere of my brain by picturing. So the technique below involves picturing. Also being focused on a single thought or word takes me down into my heart. The techniques below involve focusing on a single thought.
Slow Down Your Breathing, Relax, and Smile
Since falling asleep means you will be breathing slower, encourage sleep by choosing to breathe slowly and deeply, in for 5 or 6 seconds and out for 5 or 6 seconds. Keep a light smile on your face (see blog on the coherent heart state). When I am laying in bed and put a smile on my face, I can feel my entire body relax!
Focus on Jesus and the Holy Spirit
"The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life" (Job 33:4).
Since "breath" and "spirit" are the same word in the Bible, when you breathe in, see the light of the Holy Spirit entering your heart and chest area and radiating out through your body. As you breathe out, see semi-light leaving you and going back to Jesus. Inwardly speak the name "Jesus." As you breathe in say “Je-” and as you breathe out say “-sus.” If you need peace or calm or joy or love, speak those words inwardly as you breathe in and out.
When you focus on the breath of God flowing through you, it helps calm and center you down into your spirit. It also helps you be fully present and focused on "now". Most of our stress and anxiety come from either worry over the future or guilt and regret from the past.
By controlling your breathing and meditating on God's Word you help prevent that tendency to "time travel" and instead are able to rest in the now I AM moment of God.
This brings your heart, mind and emotions into alignment with the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit and relaxes you, and prepares you to receive Spirit life and revelation from the Lord Jesus Christ as you sleep. In addition, you should fall asleep quickly as this technique gets your mind to stop thinking as you relax into the presence of Jesus.
If you need to add some sleep tea, valerian root, Melatonin, and ocean waves on your bedside CD, that is fine also. I also use the "sleep" cycle on the "Apollo" extremely helpful, and if I wake up in the middle of the night, I reset it for another 60 minutes. Though I fall asleep quickly, I find I do need to add all these things to help me stay asleep. By doing everything listed in this blog, I can now get 8 hours of sleep a night which is important to maintain health.
Some people would suggest that this is New Age and yogic "breathe in the light; breathe out the darkness." So let's respond by discussing what biblical principles would allow a Christian to use these techniques.
I do understand that things done by New Agers may be similar to Christian things and that can be disconcerting.
However, I did not get this from the New Age Movement. I believe they are the one’s copying the truth. The New Agers are counterfeiting us; not us, them.
As I mention in the 4 Keys to Hearing God's Voice video series, New Agers counterfeit things that: 1) are real and 2) have value. So I would be glad to discover the reality that has enough value to pay to counterfeit it. New Agers do many things I do. They get married, drive cars, eat three meals a day, and have families. I surely am not going to quit these things just because New Agers do them.
I do not live in reaction to New Agers. God has not called me to do that. I live according to the Bible and the Holy Spirit. And if every New Ager does what I do, or none do what I do, it is completely irrelevant to me. What they do has no bearing on my life. I do not live in reaction to them or their activities, nor do I copy them or their activities, nor do I even study them or their activities. I have read the introduction to one book which overviews what New Agers believe, just so I could write our book Am I Being Deceived? which explores the differences between New Age, Christianity, and Phariseeism. It is here.
The reason I slow down my breathing is because I understand that when I am asleep, I am breathing slower. So this becomes a mechanical way to move me in the direction of sleep and get me where I know I need to go and will be at when I am asleep.
Also, in Greek, the word “breath” and “spirit” are the same (pneuma), so it is clear from Scripture that when I breathe in, I am breathing in God’s Spirit. The Bible also says that one of God’s characteristics is that “God is light,” (1 Jn. 1:5) so I can see His Spirit entering me as light when I am breathing in. God's light is pure and holy, and since I am still involved in the process of cleansing myself from all defilement of body and spirit (2 Cor. 7:1), I would see my light as a "semi-light," not as pure as His light. Positionally, I have put on Christ's righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Cor. 1:30). Practically, I am working out my salvation with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12,13).
The reasons I say the name Jesus over and over are: 1) because I love Him, 2) because I am to be fixing myself on Him (Heb. 12:1,2) and 3) because I know that fixing my mind on a single focus quiets it so I am not thinking (and it is thinking that keeps me awake at night).
Sometimes I need Jesus’ peace or calm so I may say the words “peace” or “calm” over and over. Often I also ask the Holy Spirit to grant me wisdom and understanding concerning a situation I am seeking to resolve, and I then awaken in the morning and the resolution is there in my heart, as my spirit worked on it all night. Song of Soloman 5:2 tells us our spirits do not sleep at night. We find in the Bible that God granted lots of revelation at night through dreams.
- Discover the healthy changes which take place within your body as you fall asleep utilizing the technique suggested above. You enter the coherent state.
- A full website devoted to sleeping better
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