It is so important to have a longing for the knowledge of God as given to us in His Word, when trying to wake up early for Bible study.
I believe there are many different motivations for sacrificing sleep and spend early mornings with the Lord. Longing for fellowship with the Spirit, the Lord’s comfort, encouragement, unconditional love and supplication of heartfelt prayer especially in a time of tribulation and hardship, the most general motivation. BUT, what about days when things are actually going smooth? No difficult decisions to make, no emergency situation that make me rush to the Lord. On such mornings I will lay in bed, and all the different excuses for staying in bed will roll through my mind like the credits on a movie screen.
I just experienced it over this weekend. It was a relaxing weekend, no dead lines, nothing important on the to-do-list, no serious conflicting issues, that make me long for encouragement and guidance of the Spirit. Personally I was content and emotionally in the ‘better half of my monthly cycle.” When the alarm went off, it was still pitch dark outside and I could hear the soothing sound of rain on the rooftop. My dear husband was peacefully asleep next to the tiny, warm body of our two year old son, who called sometime during the night, because he was cold and thirsty. I wasn’t keen to share his single bed for most of the night and carried him over to our bed, where he very eagerly moved close in behind his Daddy back.
I had NO reason in the world to pull myself from my loved ones and get out of my comfortable, warm bed, to sit on a cold chair, at a cold desk on a freezing cold morning.
One after the other excuses and compromising thoughts filled my mind. After all it was weekend, I got up early every morning of the week for my family who need me to rise before them. There was no rush for this day. I didn’t need to wake them up and I liked the idea of spoiling them this one day to sleep in. If I got out of bed, there was the possibility I would disturb some of them and wake them up. Surely I will be able to find some time during the day to have Bible study and prayer, we’re not bound to a schedule today.
But the next moment I identified something else in my spirit. A longing to receive personal teaching/training from my Heavenly Father. What am I going to miss out on, when I stay in bed? I want to get to know His will more and more, His agenda for my life, understand God’s Manual for Man to live a holy life. This was a different longing than what I was used to. In the past I mostly longed to share with the Lord my agenda, my hardships and try to find His will in that.
Over the past 8 months, since I’m doing the Hello Mornings and Do Not Depart Bible Studies, I acquired so much wisdom and counsel from my Heavenly Father, through studying the Bible myself. All the Do Not Depart Bible Studies are based on the Savoring Living Water Study Method, which teach you to observe any passage, chapter or book through initial reading and finding context; digging deeper in God’s Word through observing Truths, Promises, Commands; and Personal application of these three aspects in how we love and live.
From Savoring Living Water:
Lies fill our world and seep into our homes. If we don’t know His truths then lies will take us captive. If lies bind us, we doubt God’s love and question His faithfulness when difficulties arise. If lies fill our minds, we define God’s character based upon our circumstance rather than based upon His revelation. Through the Savoring Living Water Study Method I’m able to maintain an arsenal of truths in my heart and soul in order to combat lies.
At times He Speaks conditional promises, meaning they will only be experienced when a condition is met. Other times He gives unconditional promises, meaning that they will happen regardless.
He’s our Father. He loves us. He designed us. He knows us perfectly. He gives us commands for our good and His glory. When we choose to obey, we choose His blessing.”
Structure and purpose was now typical of my Bible study. That didn’t characterize my studies in the past, and it was pulling me out of the warm comfortable bed, to a secret place filled with so much more warmth, comfort, peace and revelation, I couldn’t resist.
Through the Savoring Living Waters Study Guide I could design a place, time and plan to get to such a warm, comfortable, peaceful place. It is hard work to seek the Lord, even more to seek His will for my life, and then step out and do it. I remember the times when I just couldn’t figure out the meaning of passages in the Bible; seasons where I felt distanced from the Lord and couldn’t focus; moments when my heart was cluttered with sin and I was under so much personal condemnation, as well as condemnation from the enemy of my soul, that I was to ashamed to seek the Lord.
Then there were the times I would only rush to the Lord like the seriously injured rush to Emergency Rescue. My quiet times were determined by my state of well being. How seriously I needed the Lord for the day? And the sad part of that state of mind, is me only reading the ‘nice verses’ in the Bible. The verses on grace, His love for me and redemption. I would read the passages I knew would comfort me and assure me God loves me even though I’m a sinner.
Nothing wrong with reading and clinging to these verses, but there are so much more to discover in God’s Love Letter to me. Chapters on repentance, instructions to turn from my wicked ways; passages on becoming holy because the Lord is holy. Sections in which the Lord asked changes in my life I wasn’t ready to commit myself to, I would just quickly page through. I would often get up from my Bible study time with a feeling, “there was nothing in it for me…” I was still thirsty. This was all due to my lack of a plan and structure, practical tools to quench my thirst . What a breakthrough moment for me this morning to see through all these and long to be with the Lord, no matter what He sees fit for me for today!
Oh! I know I’m only scratching on the surface of what it is all about, but I’m in anticipation and know I’m entering a new season of seeking the Lord, like a man in the desert seeking water.
Bible study isn’t about me anymore, it isn’t about how I will feel anymore. It is all about me seeking the will of God Almighty. It isn’t about my happiness anymore, it is all about becoming holy and pleasing to the Lord, breaking down the barriers between God and me, through the instructions in His Word.
With much love