“I will bless the Lord who has counseled me; Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night.” Psalm 16:7
Ever heard of the hippocampus? I bet you didn’t even know you had one. Your hippocampus is the part of your brain that works overtime as you lay your head on your pillow. As you sleep your hippocampus makes connections with other parts of your mind to help you remember, process and interpret the events of the day.
Recent studies out of the University of California San Diego confirm that the deepest stages of sleep enhance one’s ability to maximize their creative processing and memory. As you sleep your hippocampus begins to integrate seemingly unrelated data in your brain together–similar to the linking of information on the internet. In other words if you “sleep on it” you are more likely to see your problems from a fresh perspective when the sun rises.
Isn’t it funny how medical research eventually catches up with biblical truth. It’s positively elegant! God fashioned your brain to work on solving your problems as you lay down to sleep. Got a problem with no apparent solution? Maybe it’s a challenging relationship that you don’t know how to handle. Perhaps it’s a decision that has to be made? SLEEP ON IT.
Someone once said that sleep is God’s contrivance to give to man what he cannot do for himself while he is awake. Whether the answer comes from your hippocampus or from the Holy Spirit–God is still in it. He created the mechanics of your mind and gave you the Spirit to counsel you. When these two are working together in harmony our mind is renewed and transformed–both by natural and supernatural processes as you sleep.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2
Believer, allow the Holy Spirit direct your hippocampus before bedtime. It’s a habit that can accelerate God’s plan of renewing your mind.
Here’s some bedtime habits that will help facilitate this work in your life.
Reflect: On the decisions and problems of the day that burden your mind. Draw them back into your consciousness
Record: Write them down in a journal–David did. Sometimes David’s thoughts were raw and messy but they have proved to be an inspiration for millions for generations to come. Psalm 3 and 4 are examples of how David sandwiched his sleep in with times of worship.
Request: Bring your requests before the Lord who counsels your mind as you sleep. You have not because you ask not. Don’t forget to ask for wisdom:
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God,
who gives generously to all without finding fault,
and it will be given you”. James 1:5-6
Rest: In the understanding that God has your back as you lay down to sleep. If God’s eyes never close there no use for you to stay up ruminating over your problems. Surrender them to God and allow Him to do for you what you cannot do for yourself while awake.
Rejoice: That God fearfully and wonderfully made your brain and has given you the gift of the Holy Spirit.
What are the issues that race through your mind as you lay down to rest?
Can you think of any other ways to allow the Holy Spirit to direct your hippocampus as you sleep?