Are there some reasons that you should consider getting up early to spend time with God? Does it really matter when I spend time with God? I believe God will meet you whenever you come, but I think there are some good reasons to meet Him early in the day. Let me suggest a few. There are many more.
1. You are not prepared to stand before people until you have bowed before God.
I read a post this morning on FB or Twitter from someone saying the best minute they spend in the day is the minute they invest in another person. As important as it is to invest in other people, I have to disagree with that statement I believe the best moments we spend in our day are those which we spend in the presence of God.
When I worship Him, it restores my perspective on life. As I confess my sins, it frees the flow of God’s Spirit through me. As I give thanks to Him, the gratitude unclogs any blockages in the rivers of God’s blessings. As I pray about the multitude of “stuff” in my life, I gain God’s priorities and direction. As I abide in His Scripture, I discover His will which is so much more important than mine. All of this prepares me to stand before people with fresh insight from His Word.
2. When I rise early to meet with God, I am following the example set for me by Jesus.
Mark 1:35 tells us that Jesus rose early before daylight to pray. Here is the God-man demonstrating a habit of His life that was normal, not the exception. I cannot help but believe to whatever degree He needed that communion with the Father, I need it a hundred fold more.
We talk about following Jesus. We speak of doing what Jesus would do. There is no area more significant than this matter of time with God. So incredible was the prayer life of Jesus, that the disciples came to Him and said, “Lord, will you teach us to pray.” (Not how to pray, but to pray.)
3. It makes sense to begin with God, rather than to wait until we need Him.
It is true that I can read the Word of God and pray anytime. But it just seems so much more sensible to begin our day with God than it does to either wait until we are in trouble, or until our day is over.
I like to get up and fix a cup of coffee and sit down with my Bible and prayer journal and spend the first and best moments of my day with God. I read from Psalms by reading the date and adding thirty; so for example, today the 15th, I read 15, 45, 75, 105, and 135. It tunes me in to the heart of God and takes me through Psalms once a month. I read Proverbs, chapter matching the date in search of God’s wisdom for my life. And I read from either the Old or New Testament, and sometimes both, seeking to go through the Bible once a year.
4. I cannot explain it, but the day is just better rising early and meeting God.
Some would say, that is because you are a morning person. Not really, or at least not initially. It took some discipline, including going to bed in a timely manner.
But my day, whatever comes, good or bad, is just better when I begin with God, rather than wait until some later point in the day. If you will try it for a couple of weeks (allow enough time to alter your habits), you will probably discover the same thing.
5. On a practical side, it enables me to spend uninterrupted time with God.
When I wait until a little later in the morning or day I find that too many other things demand my time and attention. The phone rings more. Family or friends need my time. It is just so much more uninterrupted in the early hours.
Typically, I have to set an alarm clock. Sometimes it seems God wakes me earlier than I planned and there is this longing in my heart to get to the place of quietness before Him. But I believe God is more important than serving as my personal alarm. So I demonstrate some discipline by making the arrangements for the meeting.
I don’t think you should allow this to be legalistic. Satan would love to beat you up when you miss your timing on anything. But recognize that God desires to spend the time with you. He waits for you to come. He invites you to come. You will discover it to be the sweetest and most valuable moments of your day.
You will need a Bible that you can read easily. And a journal for when God speaks to your heart. Find a place that you can be faithful to shut out the world and meet with God alone. If it is a new habit, set a reasonable time, 7 minutes, or 15 minutes. You will quickly discover that you need more time, but begin with something you can be faithful to and then grow in it.