Thursday, June 08, 2006

Snoozing. Spiritual Warfare?

Is the snooze button from the devil?

The never-ending list of problems that Christians face and attribute to spiritual warfare seems to always include the problem of not getting up early enough, especially for those who consider getting up earlier a virtue related to the practice of the study of Scripture and prayer in the wee, or not-so-wee hours of the morning. Some interesting questions arise, though, when one considers that people who are not Christians also struggle with getting up when their alarm goes off. This article even refers to a practice that would lead one to get up right when the alarm goes off in the morning - and none of it has to do with anything spiritual (HT: Truepravda.)

So what makes hitting the snooze button a spiritual problem for Christians and just a personal dilemma for everyone else?

First of all, it seems that many times anything less than Enoch-like devotion to God is labeled as some sort of spiritual warfare that must be dealt with by various means as if demons were the immediate and direct cause of any lack of concentration or highest "achievement." The flesh is rarely considered to be the culprit, since even most Christians believe that they are basically good, just needing a little 'boost' to be saved.

Second, there are lessons to be learned by the discipline that people demonstrate in the way that they live their lives, even if they are actually seeking to glorify themselves rather than to glorify God. If a man can train himself to wake up much earlier than his body would desire simply so he can gain some exercise time or reading time or something else toward personal improvement and achievement, then what about the follower of Christ?

Finally, it does seem right for a Christian to take a different perspective on things in life. Believers in Christ are at war with the flesh and there certainly is a spiritual, unseen battle raging. However, a man I know once started to ask a group for prayer that he would be able to devote more time to prayer but then he recanted and said, "I just need to do it." For most people, I don't think that a messenger of the devil has to whisper in our ear suggesting that we hit the snooze button. For most of us, we voluntarily do it because the flesh is king at 5 am.

Interestingly, in his article Steve Pavlina actually writes: "Your 5am coach is no good, so you need to fire him." From a completely secular piece on getting up early, he essentially refers to the flesh and its battle against the mind. He, too, lives in a fallen world. He, too, recognizes the struggle between better and worse.

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