“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” -Isaiah 41:10 ESV
I just realized that devotions are not, primarily, for making you stronger. They are to bring you into God’s presence.
I used to think it was reasonable to trade devotional time for sleep, because I used to think that the point of everything was to make yourself stronger. And sometimes you really need your sleep in order to be strong.
If you don’t get enough sleep, you may not think as clearly, you may not be as cheerful, you might perform poorly.
But what would you rather be: a high-performer, or abiding with God?
The reason you should prioritize devotional time over sleep is that it’s better to be close to God than to perform at your peak.
Not that you shouldn’t try to perform well. Make sure you do go to bed with enough time for sleep and devotions. But if you have to sacrifice one, let it be sleep.
In other words, you can be a wreck, and still spend the day with God. God isn’t the boss that you have to maintain a professional relationship with. He’s your parent or your spouse, who you can go to when you’re sick, sleep-deprived, and stressed, and all you want is to be with someone.
The joy of living, is living with God. Not accomplishing your goals. Not feeling energized. Not meeting deadlines. It’s abiding in His presence.
And you can abide with God no matter how much sleep you get–if you give yourself a chance.