Your alarm goes off. You roll over, look at the time and realize you are already running late…once again.
You hop out of bed, grab your phone, and head to brush your teeth while simultaneously scrolling through your email. You can feel your stress levels rising as you mentally take note of all that you have yet complete.
You rush out the door, only to realize you forgot your work bag upstairs. Needless to say, your day is off to a rough start.
But what if instead, you started your day by waking up only a few minutes earlier, and spending time in the Word of God?
In Mark 1, we read that Jesus got up early in the morning to spend time praying:
“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)
If Jesus, the Son of God, got up early — really early — to pray, then why shouldn’t we?
This week, evangelist Beth Moore took to Twitter to share about some early-morning promptings she’s had lately: “The Lord’s been getting me up at like 4:00 AM these last few days. This is what happens when you have a close relationship with someone who can’t sleep,” she wrote.
The Lord’s been getting me up at like 4:00 AM these last few days. This is what happens when you have a close relationship with someone who can’t sleep.
— Beth Moore (@BethMooreLPM) July 25, 2018
Moore’s tweet might have had some humor to it, but it also serves as a great reminder of how we should look at our mornings.
Starting your day off with Jesus each and every morning shouldn’t be just another thing to check off your list — it’s not like a job where you “clock in” and “clock out,” and if it feels like that, then you might need to examine your “whys” and “hows” of spending time with God.
Sometimes your heart won’t desire this time with God, or you will feel your spirit leading you to other things, and that’s OK. As long as you make an effort to connect each morning with God, He will be there to spend time with you.
When we start to make a habit out of our mornings with Jesus, we will start to see them as an opportunity to be seen by Christ for who we are, and not by what we’ve done. Sectioning off time each morning will start your day off on the right spiritual food that is Christ, His word and the peace that comes from resting in both.
Rising early and spending Jesus not only sets our mornings off on the right foot but is also crucial to our spiritual growth.
First Peter 2:2 says, “As newborn babes, long for the guileless milk of the word in order that by it you may grow.”
The analogy demonstrates that just as newborn babies wake up longing for sustenance from their mother, we too should rise desiring sustenance from the Lord.
In Exodus 16, God commands the children of Israel to rise early in the morning to get the manna that the Lord will leave for them. If the children were late to rise, they would miss the manna due to it melting from the sun.
Let the Word of God be your “manna” — the driving force that wakes you up each morning, leading you to spend time with Him, instead of running around your home in a fury. Train yourself to get your “manna” each morning before the chaos of day-to-day life melts it away.
How can we spend time with Jesus in the morning?
Perhaps you have either been thinking about spending more morning time with God recently. Or perhaps Beth Moore’s post served as a reminder of the importance of starting your day off with Jesus but you’re unsure how to do it.
You might be thinking, “What do people mean when they say ‘spend time with Jesus?’ How can we work toward a routine of dedicating the early hours of our day to Him?”
One way you can spend your morning time with Jesus is by just talking to Him. To get started, consider praying about one or more of the following topics: thankfulness, confession and asking for forgiveness.
We serve a God of unconditional love and unrelenting understanding. Whatever you bring to Him, He understands. Not only does He understand, but when we bring things of repentance to Him, He forgives — immediately. He is a God of grace and mercy and wants you to be honest with Him.
One thing that has always strengthened my prayer life is praying out my gratitude, by going over things I am thankful for each morning. This could be as common as the sun rising, as menial as the coffee in my hand or as large as a significant healing in my life.
Either way, it changes my perspective at the beginning of each day, reminding me of how much I have and how many things I should be grateful for.
Another way to spend your quiet time with Jesus is by diving into the Word. There are many different ways you can do this. Some people prefer following a guided Bible study, while others, like me, like reading through books of the Bible.
As long as you are spending time in your Bible then you are sure to new things about Jesus and His love for you each and every day.
Just as Moore observed, we serve a God who never sleeps. So when we get up, He is already waiting for us to rise, and to spend time with Him.
I encourage you, if you don’t already, to spend time with Jesus each morning. It will reset your mornings, pull them back on track and encourage you in ways you cannot imagine.