There are two types of people on this planet- those who are morning people, & those who are not! You either rise & shine or slumber & snooze. In the past I was definitely an owl rather than a lark..
So, I was intrigued to read:
‘The first hour is the rudder of the day.’
(Henry Ward Beecher)
I was also fascinated by the number of times the Gospel writers record that Jesus got up early to spend time with His Father e.g. Mark records, ‘Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.’
(Mark 1:35 NIV)
The challenge of course is that if Jesus, God the Son found it necessary to begin the day with His Father,how much more do we as mere mortals, & saved sinners need to begin our days with God?
I do believe I should begin my day with God but as I said initially I’m not naturally a morning person. I struggle with getting up early enough & hit snooze repeatedly in a dozy state.
I’ll sadly admit, I’ve only managed to start my day with God consistently for two periods in my life. The first time was at university in Dundee when I chose to get up early on a Monday morning to attend the DUCU prayer meeting. The last time was for several months after the New Horizons conference, triggered by pledging to pray for Iraq at 6:45am. But after a trip away from home I defaulted back to my old ways.
I am now trying to reform this habit. I believe its an important habit for me to re-establish.
‘Habits are the invisible architecture of daily life.’
(Gretchen Rubin-Better than Before)
I was challenged by these two clarion calls from yesteryear:
‘Let God’s voice be the first we hear in the morning’ ( M’Cheyne)
‘Do not have your concert first, and then tune your instrument afterwards. Begin the day with the Word of God and prayer, and get first of all into harmony with Him.’
The tasks & tempo of life vary with what season of life we are in. But whatever stage of life you are at, it will always be challenging to create the time you need to start well each day.
‘The constant sensory input from all sides is gently addictive-we become used to being entertained and diverted, and it is difficult to carve out the spaces and silence necessary for serious and thoughtful reading of scripture’
This was written by DA Carson in 1998 in the preface of his book For the love of God.This was written before Twitter, Facebook & iPhones. How much more input bombards us now!
The fact that I often chose to begin my day with Facebook rather than communing with the King of the Universe is a sign of how broken I am. I am truly grateful that God Isn’t Finished With Me Yet!
Our lives need to be infused with God’s Word.
Our souls need His truth as an anchor.
‘The soul responds to space, silence, and Jesus.’
(Emily Freeman )
There really is no substitute for time alone with God.
This past week I have been reading about Moses’ relationship with God:
‘The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.’
‘When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord.’
Our faces may not visibly glow after time with God, but the positive after-effects will radiate out to affect our daily lives.
‘Let’s remember to exchange whispers with God before shouts with the world this morning. Let’s take a moment to pause. Get into God’s Word and let it get into us. Before the craziness of another day begins, before checking our phone for text messages, before logging onto our computer…let’s soak in the life-giving truth of God’s Word’
(Lysa TerKeurst-The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands)
I love that idea-whispers with God before shouts with the world.
‘When I begin the day with God’s word, with silence, with a grounding sense of his love for me, then I find it’s easier to bring those things with me throughout the day, and it’s harder for me to locate them if I didn’t pause with them at the start. So let’s begin together. Let’s savor this day’
To truly savour each day we need to nourish our souls with unhurried uninterrupted time with God. We must be intentional in removing distractions & creating soul space so we can hear the still small voice of God.
This quiet time is not an empty ritual but a relationship- one to One with God. He sees our hearts & knows our true attitude. Yet He still loves us & desires to spend time with us, that we might know Him.
Starting well requires discipline- from the moment we chose to go to bed & the time we chose to set alarm for.
Some simple steps to starting well:
•Get to bed early
•Set the alarm at a time that allows enough time
•Don’t hit snooze
•Get organized- keep a Bible & whatever else you need in one place
•Read the Bible before you read anything else
•Talk to God before anyone else
•Keep your phone in another room during Quiet Time
If we are intentional with our time with God, He has promised that He will meet with us:
‘Draw near to God & He will draw near to you (James 4:8)
‘This is always the realest, hardest, truest thing — the exhaling relief:you can always have as much of God as you want.’
‘Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.’
(Psalm 143:8 ESV)
This was originally posted at http://www.blessedme.co.uk & I’m still working on my morning routine!