Mornings with the Master: The Value of Time with God in the Mornings
Guest post by Jennifer Hayes Yates at jenniferhyates.com.
Startled by the alarm near my bed, I push the snooze and snuggle back down into the warm chenille blanket. Just between drooling sleep and stark awareness, the fragrance of coffee meets my senses, and I am reminded of the reason for the alarm.
It’s time for morning with the Master.
Ok, I just made that up, but I like the name, don’t you? There’s nothing quite like the peace and stillness that come from spending some time each morning at the feet of Jesus. It didn’t used to be that way for me, though.
I used to go about my day with a few whispered prayers, guilty that I wasn’t reading the Word as I should and struggling to get through the day without my sinful nature getting the win.
I finally realized that no matter what the sacrifice, spending time with the Lord before every other commitment was worth it. Totally worth it. Even when it meant getting up early to seek Him first.
You see, no matter how much we think we can handle life on our own, it’s just not fact. When we go about our day, trying to be good and do good, but not seeking the One who isgood, we will fail.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5, NIV 84).
The only way we can remain in Him throughout the day is if we started there in the first place. Time set aside with Jesus should be the first priority of our lives. Everything else should flow from that.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).
Jesus speaks this truth in the midst of His teaching on worry. He tells His followers not to worry about the details of life, such as how to provide for your family. He says instead to focus on Him, and He will take care of the rest.
To me, this was a call to start my day seeking Him, His rule and reign over my life, His righteousness living in me. And I have found that as I seek Him first each day, He meets my needs and keeps my heart at peace with Him.
I’m reminded of Mary and Martha. I know we’ve all heard the story a thousand times, but I think it bears repeating. Martha wasn’t wrong to be serving. God calls us all to serve Him and to serve others. She just lost her focus for a bit.
“But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made” (Luke 10:40).
Isn’t that so like us? We want to spend time daily with Jesus, but we’re so busy. And we get distracted by all the many responsibilities. Then we get frustrated when others won’t help. And out comes that sin nature, scoring another point.
But look at what Jesus told Martha:
“You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed” (Luke 10:41b-42a).
Jesus wasn’t saying that the work Martha was doing wasn’t necessary. It just wasn’t the priority. And if we can come to that understanding, we too will realize that although taking care of our families, working at our jobs, and serving in our church are all necessary, they take second place to our relationship with Jesus.
Throughout the years I have spent seeking His face each morning, I have always started that time with a good devotional—not one that just had a cute story and a Scripture, but one that would take me into the truth of God’s Word and help me to grow.
So, as a way of giving back, I have just released my latest book, Drawing Ever Closer: 365 Days of Transforming Truth. This devotional is taken from the wisdom and poetic Books of the Bible—Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs.
My prayer is that as you start your day with this book, you will discover the heart of true worship, learn how to walk in wisdom, understand your purpose in life, explore love and passion, and gain a godly perspective on pain.
May you draw ever closer to the Master morning by morning.
About the Author
Jennifer Hayes Yates is a wife, mama, writer, and speaker with an empty nest and a Southern accent. Having taught in Christian education for twenty-two years, she has a passion for communicating God’s truth and inspiring others to seek Him.
Jennifer is now a blogger, best-selling author, and passionate speaker. She serves in her church as a Sunday school teacher and music director and leads a small group of awesome ladies in Bible study at her home.
Lover of all things Jesus, books, and coffee, she can be found in quiet corners or busy spaces, sipping lattes, studying commentaries, and chatting up strangers.
Jennifer has now published three best sellers: Seek Him First: How to Hear from God, Walk in His Will, and Change Your World; Let’s Run: Running the Race with Faith and Perseverance; and Inside Out and Upside Down: How Intimacy with Jesus Changes Everything.
But she’s still just a small-town girl hoping to glorify God in all she writes and make a few disciples along the way.
You can follow Jennifer on Facebook, Instagram, and at Jenniferhyates.com.