Most mornings my alarm goes off around 5am, at which point I will hurriedly jump out of bed and walk across the room to turn off said alarm before it wakes Kelli up. If you’re the perceptive type, you might be wondering why my alarm clock is on the other side of the room as opposed to on the nightstand next to the bed. Actually, you’re probably wondering why I even use an alarm clock at all when my phone has the same capabilities.
For me, it’s a matter of discipline. Were I to keep my alarm within arm’s reach, my success rate of getting up and at it early would be far worse. Every morning my flesh would be tempted to hit that snooze button a dozen times before just deciding to turn the alarm off altogether. But I need to get out of bed to turn off the alarm, because I need to get up early, because I need to spend those quiet early morning hours feeding my soul in the Word and responding in prayer. I’ve learned that, if I don’t, I’m too easily distracted by a myriad of lesser things that rob my affection for Jesus.
Again, that’s just me combatting my own flesh. It probably looks different for you – but make no mistake, your flesh will wage war against you. That’s why Paul reminds us in the last few verses of Romans 13 to “wake from sleep” because “salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed” (v. 11). There’s no time for spiritually “sleeping in” when it comes to warring against our flesh. Rather, let us be diligent and disciplined to “make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (v. 14).
You may not need to set your alarm on the other side of the room – but don’t be so naive as to believe that you have your flesh under control. Where do you need to “make no provision for the flesh” in order to give more of your affection and attention to Jesus?