Nothing’s mine. I mean, really. Time isn’t “mine.” It’s on loan by grace from the One who holds the beginning and the end. That’s why I want to begin each day with His perspective.
I’ve learned this about myself in recent years. I do much better when I start my day with God – when I purposefully get up before our home gets loud and spend time with my Lord. I know it may sound like what “old church people” say but it’s true. I need to feast on my God before the demands of life feast on my sanity.
When I don’t, I have a tendency to set my own (sometimes color-coded) agenda and hit the ground running…often running right over the hearts of people I love. So I need to start the day focused on the One who makes the sun rise.
I recently read through the book of Nehemiah in my morning quiet, and one thing that challenged me was the giving of their firstfruits. (Nehemiah 10:35-39) God called them to give first to Him. The first of their crops, cattle, grain, wine, oil, oh and their first-born son. Basically everything.
But He didn’t call them to give because He’s some egotistical, needy, pagan idol. He doesn’t need anything. He just knows us perfectly. He knows how easily the lies tempt us. He knows how quickly we can worry or fear — forgetting who holds it all together. He knows that we need His perspective. He prompts us to give of our firstfruits so we remember that it’s all on loan by grace. Even “our” time.
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, (Jesus) departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.
When I sit in my morning chair before the rest of the house wakes up, I do a few basic things to stir up His Spirit within me and to help set the course of my day.
- I remind myself of Who He is (and who I’m not). That just means I praise and thank Him. I speak truths about His character and recite some of His promises.
- I confess my “issues.” You know we’ve all got some issues. After I spend time focused on His awesomeness, I see my unawesomeness apart from Him. And I confess. He forgives.
- I voice my concerns to Him and ask for wisdom. He promises that if we give our anxious thoughts to Him, He will guard our hearts with peace. I cling to that one, friends.
- I read read from the Bible. I don’t mean that I just read the words from the Bible. I mean I try to really read from the Bible, like a conversation with God. I talk to Him about what I’m reading and trust that He’s speaking.
- I choose one verse or one truth to meditate upon that day. It’s what I take with me when I get up from that chair and enter into this busy world.
Some mornings it feels like He’s literally in the room with me. Other times I can barely keep my eyes open. Some seasons of life allow me time to linger before Him. While other seasons give me a few brief minutes. But every time I need it. I need Him…first. Because this day, and every minute in it, is His.
Fill me, Lord…
How else can we give the firstfruits of our time to Him?
If you’re having trouble finding your groove with a quiet time, you may want to check out a book I wrote wrote with Katie Orr called Savoring Living Water: How to have an effective quiet time.