Out of all the passions you could pursue in the precious hours of the morning, I believe there is none more beneficial than spending time with Jesus. Before you try to make anything right in the world, make sure you are right with Him.
For years, I felt guilty about having a devotional time. I stayed up too late. I couldn’t get up on time. I was running around focused on too many non-essential things. I always felt behind in my day and disconnected from my God.
Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn!Psalm 108:2
The psalmist was ready to worship before sunrise. His instrument would awaken the dawn and not the other way around. You have to be up before the dawn if you are going to awaken the dawn.
And why is that necessary?
Prioritize your time with Jesus in the morning because your soul needs more work than any other component of your life.
- My body needs exercise, but my soul needs more strengthening than that.
- I need to focus on Jesus’ to-do list for my life more than the one I’ve compiled.
- I need to connect with certain people early in the day, but I will be better for them once I’m good with Him.
It’s also wise to spend the opening hours of your day with Jesus because it sets you up for success with all of your other connections and responsibilities. If you delay that time, you set yourself up to feel unprepared spiritually for the unknown challenges throughout the day. I’d much rather have Jesus calm my soul before the day than go to Him at the end of it with the trainwreck I created trying to live in my own strength.
The earlier it can be, the better.
Before the sunrise, nobody wants me but Jesus.
Once the day hits, someone is clamoring for me every hour of the day. There are needs at home and at work. I will navigate challenges until my head hits the pillow. That’s why it is so important to take some time to start your day with Jesus.
I’d rather you give your evening to Him than nothing, but I cannot commend enough starting your day with the One who made it.
Even if it is a few moments, pray to God, meditate on Scripture, and/or sing to Him. Give your mornings to Jesus, and the rest of the day is much easier to keep in His hands.
E.M. Bounds – Begin the Day with Prayer
Read these wonderful words from a faithful saint:
The men who have done the most for God in this world have been early on their knees. He who fritters away the early morning, its opportunity and freshness, in other pursuits than seeking God will make poor headway seeking Him the rest of the day. If God is not first in our thoughts and efforts in the morning, He will be in the last place the remainder of the day.
David’s heart was ardent after God. He hungered and thirsted after God, and so he sought God early, before daylight. The bed and sleep could not chain his soul in its eagerness after God. Christ longed for communion with God; and so, rising a great while before day, he would go out into the mountain to pray. The disciples, when fully awake and ashamed of their indulgence, would know where to find him. We might go through the list of men who have mightily impressed the world for God, and we would find them early after God.
A desire for God which cannot break the chains of sleep is a weak thing and will do but little good for God after it has indulged itself fully. The desire for God that keeps so far behind the devil and the world at the beginning of the day will never catch up.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.