Rising early in the morning
"It is a good thing to let prayer be the first business in the morning and the last in the evening. Guard yourself against such false and deceitful thoughts that keep whispering: 'Wait awhile. In an hour or so I will pray. I must first finish this or that.'
Thinking such thoughts we get away from prayer into other things that will hold us and involve us in prayer of the day comes to naught." Martin Luther
Many wake up and begin their days tackling a 'to do list'. They hurry into the day taking no consideration or thought about centering themselves in a spirit and attitude of prayer in spending time with the Lord.
As a professing Christian, I desire to follow Christ as the One who modeled how best to live out this faith life.
When we follow in heeding Christ as our preeminent example in how He modeling, showed and exemplified to us this new way of being and the importance of getting away to spend time with His father, even in the midst of heavy ministry and service, how much more is our need?
In reading through the gospel of Mark 1:35, the content of this verse indicates that at that particular time the Lord's responsibilities and ministry demands were heavy.
In the previous versus, Mark 1:32-34, we read how the night before He had ministered to practically the entire city after the sun had gone down.
This reveals to me, just how busy Jesus was and how he was under the constant pressure of caring for the many needs of those with sicknesses and demonic possession who came to Him for help. His living situation was not very convenient either as He was on the road - no hotels and warm showers, clean clothes of the many modern day conveniences we have come to know as 'normal'.
In spite of His heavy schedule, the many burdened persons He served and in spite of an often inconvenient environment, He rose early to spend time with His Father in prayer.
The Lord's earthly example of rising early to make time to be with His Father despite His full schedule, busy ministry in serving the overwhelming needs of those around Him, should help us to discern His 'still small voice' among our days activities.
That voice, if we will stop and listen, calls us morning by morning to rise early to come away to spend alone ime with our Father. This voice is the same life that in the Gospels Jesus practiced early rising to fellowship, commune, and soak in the presence with Father.
That voice is the life of Christ - who is our life - who still needs to spend time with the Father. Spending time with the Lord in the morning is a matter of depending upon the energizing work of the resurrected Christ within us to renew, refresh and give vision for our day.
The Lord's life within us is our life and one way we cooperate with the Spirit - is in choosing to make an intentional and purposed habit in regularly setting aside alone time to be with Him in these sacred spaces known in early morning times.
If we practice setting apart time in rising early in the morning entering into this near relationship with our Lord, we will discover there is a special capacity to enjoy and bear fruits from this sweet union.
Our Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit bestows upon us the continual filling of their life in ours during these blessed times in this union of sacred fellowship.
In my own experience, when I choose to withdraw, be alone in God's presence in these quiet, solitude, alone spaces early in my morning, before the day's tasks come rushing at me - I partake in receiving of this holy union where I taste and touch the hem of His garments in Divine holiness.
When I withdraw - not only in these early morning times - but throughout my day - I am revived spiritually - provided fresh supply, fresh infusion, and fresh energy imparted into my humanity in order to live a life expressing God.
If Christ as the very Son of God, depended upon these times, how much more do I need to practice withdrawing in order to be continuously supplied by the divine life?