Have you ever desired to be an early riser or struggled to spend time with God in the mornings?
Around this time 2 years ago I was so torn over not being an early riser. My daughter was almost 2 and I felt at that time like I should have been able to wake up early to pray & have my quiet time. I would set alarms to tell me to go to bed and wake up give them funny little names like 'responsible people go to bed early' or 'seek Him with all your <3'. I can laugh at it now but it was such an agonising time for me. I was 100% a night owl. I would write or draw at night then have my quiet time before I went to bed, and those quiet times were just as amazing as they are now, being on 'the other side'.
I remember one of my Costa mornings with Abba sitting and studying and praying over the subject. He brought me to realise that what really counts to Him is, am I seeking Him with all my heart in this season? He was not unhappy with the time I sought Him - what mattered was my attitude towards seeking Him. He also showed me that a season would come where I would need & be able to wake up early.
Nowadays, I can be up early most of the time. I love the diversity of my times with Abba and my mornings do feel more productive. Yet I've learned some valuable lessons and even now We still have to sit and check my heart on the feelings of frustration when I find myself waking up (wayyy) after 6am. I pray some of these lessons speak to your heart if you have been worried about early rising:
Heart motives for everything must be pure: Looking back to 2014, I have to admit I wanted to wake up early because everyone around me was doing it - and so easily might I add. I felt less 'spiritual' or that God wasn't pleased with me. Maybe I was using my daughter as an excuse? Maybe I just needed to have stricter routine? I've grown to know that God is not looking for a great performance. He is looking for hearts that will seek Him earnestly, no matter the time of day. He is uninterested in making our lives look good on the outside whilst we remain unchanged on the inside. When we stop 'trying to' do something out of impure motives and get our heart right before God it'll begin to flow out of us naturally.
Security & worth must remain in Christ: If I look to outward things like the time I wake up or how long or intensely I prayed to determine my value, or determine whether or not God is pleased with me, I will be up & down the condemnation roller coaster as I beat myself up or compare my walk with Christ with someone else's. Being an early riser has it's benefits, but God doesn't love me anymore for it. We are forever secure in Christ's love and can find peace not only in looking to the Cross, but in remembering He makes US His dwelling place - what an honour! We are loved!
Lifestyles are ever evolving with each season & level of responsibility: God understands our lives as individuals. We mustn't make a formula out of what worked for us (or 'them') the last time or feel condemned when we find for example, that we can no longer wake up as early as we used to because we are now a mother or adjusting to a new work load etc. What's important is to make sure that we are seeking God with all we have in every season, and since we are so different in our personalities that will look very different for each of us. Different doesn't mean wrong.
A prayer life and a prayer time are equally important: A prayer life is unceasing prayer, a prayer time is undisturbed prayer. If you have both, then you're abiding in Him which is most important. In all that's been said, we certainly must discipline ourselves to cultivate a lifestyle of prayer. Commit to your spiritual growth and be intentional about it always.
In closing, Abba really desires that we seek Him with all of our hearts, and love Him with all our heart, soul, strength and mind. What this looks like will be so different for each of us and that is the beauty of being unique. Whether you are rising early or later - rest in His unshakeable love for you. If you desire to be an early riser then bring this before Him, search your heart's motives and trust that in season He will bring it to pass as you follow His leading moment by moment. This post isn't a pass to be lazy or undisciplined, but rather a heart check and reminder to rest in and embrace your season. Remain true to God, who He has called you to be and how He has fashioned you, because who knows, maybe you like to wake up at 8am and spend your quiet time journalling, singing, dancing or painting your prayers! Whatever the case, stay focused on your walk, eyes fixed on Christ.
Have an awesome day! Xx
Jeremiah 29:13 (AMP) - Then [with a deep longing] you will seek Me and require Me [as a vital necessity] and [you will] find Me when you search for Me with all your heart
1 Samuel 16:7b - For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.
2 Corinthians 10:12 (AMP) - We do not have the audacity to put ourselves in the same class or compare ourselves with some who [supply testimonials to] commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they lack wisdom and behave like fools.