There is just something about seeking the Lord in the early morning hours that cannot compare with any other time of the day. Maybe it’s the discipline of denying yourself or maybe it’s the greater opportunity of uninterrupted time with God. Nevertheless, it’s a proven beneficial time for which even the Lord Jesus Christ and David took advantage.
Luke 6:12 (ESV) — 12 In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God.
Psalm 143:8 (ESV) — 8 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.
It’s not just the physical side of the early morning that makes the difference, it’s the heart that is in need of time with God through prayer and hearing from God through His word. It’s like the necessity to make it through another day.
Psalm 143:7–12 (ESV) — 7 Answer me quickly, O Lord! My spirit fails! Hide not your face from me, lest I be like those who go down to the pit. 8 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. 9 Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord! I have fled to you for refuge. 10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground! 11 For your name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life! In your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble! 12 And in your steadfast love you will cut off my enemies, and you will destroy all the adversaries of my soul, for I am your servant.
Psalm 119:105 (ESV) — 105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
Granted, many get up just in time to run out the door without eating and barely prepared to meet the day. No wonder so many people arrive at work stressed out. Is that anyway to live, especially for those who claim to be followers of the Lord Jesus Christ? Where’s the priority?
Proverbs 3:5–6 (ESV) — 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
When God is your priority in life – it shows! There is a scene in Genesis where Abraham is tested by God. God instructs Abraham to offer his son, Isaac, as a burnt offering to God. Notice what Abraham did.
Genesis 22:3 (ESV) — 3 So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.
Abraham arose early in the morning and got on his way to worship God. Of course God provided a substitute so Isaac was not taken but Abraham was willing to offer his son, knowing if that was what God required, he would do it knowing that God had promised to provide a great nation through his offspring so in the book of Hebrews we learn that Abraham believed God would raise up Isaac. Nevertheless we see Abraham’s devotion to God in the priority that was given to the command by his getting up early to accomplish it.
If spending time with God is not a priority in your life, consider the words of David as he expressed his utter dependency upon God.
Psalm 63:1 (ESV) — 1 O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
Our dependency upon God is an indicator of our spiritual growth and maturity. Whereas a parent looks for his/her children to grow in independency as they mature, the person who has been born again, grows and matures as they depend less on themselves and more upon God.
John 15:1–5 (ESV) — 1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
If we are dependent on whatever God supplies, wouldn’t it make sense to apply the discipline of denying ourselves a little sleep in order to spend time with Him as you express your need of Him and seek to draw comfort, direction, and help from His word in an uninterrupted state? Consider the words of Jesus:
Luke 9:23 (ESV) — 23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.