I discipline myself to get up in the morning. I am not a morning person at all. My diminished consciousness blurs my vision, I’m disoriented with the environment, and my coordination is almost nonexistent for some time after I first rise from slumber.
Awake with me, read on!
Note from Kip…
For at least the next hour my preference would be not to have to speak. Speaking would require much more cogitative function than I am capable of and will only confuse me further than what I already am.
I have been accused of being a ‘pop out of bed and hit the road running‘ type person, but that is only an aberration, that is the aftermath of my determination to get the most out of the day.
I’m so glad they aren’t around in the mornings while I struggle to fire neurons one at a time. Else, ‘out of bed’ might not be the only popping taking place.
I am really not a morning person!
But I Awake
Stay awake and pray, so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Matthew 26:41 (CSB)
As I fumbled with my lens cleaner towelette this morning, in an attempt to remove what little smudges that might be fogging my vision through my glasses it hit me, that we Christians seem to suffer from a similar disorientation in our walk with the Lord. And unfortunately, it’s not always a brief period of time in the morning when there is no one around to see our unfocused, disoriented, stumbling on the path Jesus has laid before us.
My routine is to start my devotions before I have breakfast, or do much ore than crawling out of bed. Perhaps this is strategic because, my mind isn’t filled with the volumes of data poured into it from the day. It is perhaps the only time my mind becomes an empty vessel for God to pour His instructions into.
So, even though I’m not comfortable with not being a morning person, I yield my mind to the Lord and give Him the opportunity to fortify me, putting me on the right track for the day.
For you are all children of light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or the darkness. So then, let us not sleep, like the rest, but let us stay awake and be self-controlled. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night.
1 Thessalonians 5:5-7 (CSB)
Every morning is a new spiritual awakening for us. We need to be awake and take hold of those things God has poured out for us so we don’t squander the time we have before we are called home.
We struggle with this on our own. In our own abilities we can’t really begin to render the service the Lord calls us to or we wish to provide to Him.
With the power and strength of the Lord being fed to us we are able to resist the insistence of our flesh to return to spiritual slumber. It requires self control, but even more so, prayer and immersion in His Word, so that we are fully prepared for the challenges that lay ahead.
For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 (CSB)
Being Fully Awake
I have my routine in the mornings to get my day started off right. It works for me. But how do we establish a practice to be spiritually awake and ready for the day?
The first thing that I want to do is to focus on where my trust is going to be placed. We can’t trust the things of this world. People will fail you. Our jobs, governments, organizations all have flaws and lack the strength and reliability to really trust them to drive us. They are like a cup of decaffeinated coffee in the morning, lacking in the necessary stimulus to motivate us.
Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart And do not rely on your own insight or understanding.
In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, and He will make your paths straight and smooth removing obstacles that block your way.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (AMP)
The assurance that we desire spiritually is right here in the Word of God. We can firmly place our trust in the Lord. We don’t have to summon up the cognitive ability to understand all that is blowing up around us when we trust Him to plot our way through the valley. In all our way know Christ Jesus, acknowledge that He is our Lord and Master, and recognize Him by making it known that He is the one to whom we reflect back all praise and honor.
Do not lack diligence in zeal; be fervent in the Spirit; serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer. Share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality.
Romans 12:11-13 (CSB)
Prayer is essential in our lives as followers of Jesus. Paul here gives us several good pointers for being spiritually awake. Have zeal, be fervent in the Spirit, serve, rejoice, have patients, pursue hospitality, and “be persistent in prayer“.
There is a lot in this passage. We could spend an entire discussion focused on just this but I want to pull out the prayer component here. Don’t disregard the rest because it is beneficial too, but note that we aren’t just being told to be casual about our prayer. Persistence and casual can not coexist in the same action. Persistence pushes through. Casual conflicts with being “fervent in the Spirit” as well.
If there are two things we should pull out of this passage in Romans is be fervent in the Spirit and persistent in prayer. For clarification, fervent is to be hot, to the point of boiling, and persistent is to give one self to it constantly without interruption.
This provides additional reinforcement for one of my favorite passages as well.
Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (CSB)
Then the final key component to be awake spiritually, is going to be God Word and our immersion in it.
Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.
Psalms 119:105 (CSB)
But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
James 1:22 (CSB)
He answered, “It is written: Man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
Matthew 4:4 (CSB)
God — his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is pure. He is a shield to all who take refuge in him.
2 Samuel 22:31 (CSB)
His Word is the source of all our understanding of Him and that which He calls us to.
Establish your awakening spiritual routine. Practice it consistently. Don’t wait until you find yourself spiritually groggy before you brew up a fresh cup of, trust, abiding in the Spirit, earnest prayer continually, and immersion in His Word.
Wake up, my soul! Wake up, harp and lyre! I will wake up the dawn. I will praise you, Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. For your faithful love is as high as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches the clouds.
God, be exalted above the heavens; let your glory be over the whole earth.
Psalms 57:8-11 (CSB)