How best can a believer begin their day with the Lord?
One of my deepest impressions as a young believer growing up was seeing my godly mother sitting in her special chair each morning reading and studying her Bible . Rather than being distasteful to me, it was quite attractive. It motivated me to ask her to awaken me a little earlier each morning so that I could also begin my day with the Lord.
As a young person, I didn’t really know what I should do in my “time with the Lord.” Should I pray, and if so, for what? Should I read some devotional materials? Should I study the Bible?
So I tried, yet often falling asleep on my own prayers. Thankfully, I never gave up…
Early morning is the best time for believers to seek spiritual nourishment.
Later I learned that the earliest morning time for a Christian was not mainly for serious Bible study—although that has its place. Nor was it the time for heavy prayer ministry—although that is much needed as well.
The early morning time is primarily a time for believers to seek spiritual nourishment to live the Christian life, just as God directed Moses to command God’s people to gather the heavenly manna each morning (Exo. 16:15-21).
It was in this principle that the Lord, while rebuking the tempter, said,
It is written, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out through the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4).
Even the Lord Jesus, standing in His position as a man, knew the importance of taking God’s word as His daily food and living upon it.
How can we find the real spiritual nourishment to live the Christian life?
From experience, I can say it’s not just a matter of reading the Bible. Nor is just a matter of prayer.
I discovered that the primary need is to make living contact with Lord by exercising from deep within (using our spirit—see John 4:24) to call upon the Lord, to cry out to the Lord as the Psalmist did (Psa. 119:147). This crying out (although it may need to be soft in volume so as to not awaken sleeping family members) is the best spiritual breathing.
When we match such an inner exercise of contacting the Spirit with our spirit with a living contact with God’s Word by means of prayer, we receive tremendous benefits. It is in such a way that we may receive the Lord’s words which are spirit and life.
In John 6:63 the Lord Jesus said,
“It is the Spirit that gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that which I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.”
I realize that I am still a learner in this vast field of fellowship with the Lord. But I can testify even from my limited experience that in such a way the Lord’s words have become my inner supply, joy and the rejoicing of my heart (Jer. 15:16).
My impressions of how to begin each day with the Lord didn’t come just from teaching, but from observation. In my early college years in Los Angeles, I saw a group of Christian brothers who made a practice of taking personal time with the Lord each morning for praying and enjoying God’s Word.
Some ministry that helped me learn how to begin each day with the Lord included:
- “Early Rising,” a chapter in Watchman Nee’s book, Messages for Building Up New Believers, Volume 1, chapter 12.
- A Time with the Lord, a little booklet Witness Lee.
- A Hymn: I Come to Thee Dear Lord. Don’t forget to click “View Lyrics.” You may also want to read my post on it.
You can be find and freely read both on a website: ministrybooks.org. The later title is also included in Volume Two of Basic Elements of the Christian Life, a free literature set offered by Bibles for America on their website: bfa.org.
Such a matter of Christian experience, with far reaching benefits to our life as believers, requires persistent practice and mutual encouragement. So please share your experience of beginning the day with God in a comment to this post.