How to Build Up the Habit of Spending Time with the Lord Jesus in the Morning
29 Dec 2013
We hope you’ve read our previous post “The Best Time of the Day to Spend with the Lord.” Today’s post builds on that; we’ll discuss some helpful points for how to get started on building up the habit of having regular morning time with the Lord. In a future post, we’ll discuss some ways we can spend time with the Lord in the morning.
To build up any good habit, we need to be motivated. Knowing the benefits of having a particular habit can motivate us. But understanding the detriments of not having a particular habit can also motivate us. Both positive and negative reasons can motivate us.
For instance, if we know that regular—not occasional—exercise helps us feel better, work more efficiently, and even live longer, we’re motivated to get off our chairs and get active and moving. Keeping these positive benefits in mind helps us to persevere, even when we don’t feel like exercising.
As another example, knowing what can happen to our teeth if we don’t regularly brush and floss can encourage us develop proper dental habits. We don’t floss because we enjoy it; we floss because we’re motivated by the negative results if we don’t.
So on the positive side, our spending time with the Lord Jesus each morning directly affects our spiritual life and our daily living. When we enjoy Him and His Word in the morning, we’re nourished and supplied with His life to face the challenges of the day. By being nourished, we’ll grow in the life of Christ.
But on the negative side, if we don’t develop a habit of having personal time with the Lord, we’ll find it difficult to maintain our vitality and joy. Because we’re weak from lack of spiritual nourishment, we’ll succumb to temptations more easily. Our personal knowing of Christ and growth in His life will be hindered.
Needing to practice
The characteristic of a habit is that it’s part of your life. If you only do a thing occasionally, it’s not yet a habit. But a habit isn’t built overnight. It takes time and repeated practice. And in the process of building up a good habit, we have times when we fail. But if we understand that it takes practice, we won’t get overly discouraged by our occasional lapses. We just pick up our practice again.
It’s the same with building up the habit to spend time with the Lord each morning. It takes time and practice to make this a regular, normal part of our lives.
Some practical pointers:
- Spend some time to pray about this matter. The Lord wants to have a personal relationship with us; surely He will answer our prayers concerning this. He will be faithful to remind us of our desire and intention to build up this habit. We can pray, “Lord Jesus, I really want to start my day with You, not other things. Lord, supply me with the grace each morning to put everything else aside so I can be with You first.” Praying about this opens the way for the Lord to be the grace we need to practice each morning to build up this healthy spiritual habit.
- Go to bed a little earlier so that you can get up earlier to have enough time before you start your day. Burning the candle on both ends—staying up very late and trying to get up early enough to have time—usually results in failure and discouragement. By scheduling, you’ll have the time specifically carved out to be with the Lord each morning.
- Keep in mind that it takes time to build up a lifelong habit. If we fail, we can start again fresh the next morning. There’s no need for us to give up. The Lord’s mercy is new to us every morning. We can take one day at a time.
- Some find it helpful to use a printed copy of the Bible rather than a digital one during this time. Since e-mail, news, and texts are all just a click away, it’s easy to become distracted with things on our digital devices. Especially when starting out, it’s good to minimize distractions when we can.
- You can start by aiming for a short time each morning, maybe ten minutes, and build up to a solid twenty minutes. If you have more time, you can spend more time. It’s up to you. The main thing is to receive spiritual nourishment in the Word and to contact the Lord Jesus to fellowship with Him.
Watch for the next post on this topic where we’ll discuss some things you can do during your time with the Lord in the morning.