BY PASTOR T. O. BANSO
David said in Psalm 63:1, “O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water” (Psalm 63:1 New King James Version). Note the phrase, “Early will I seek You.” The word “early” in that phrase refers to the early dawn or the morning. Thus, “Early will I seek You” means “early in the morning will I seek You.” However, some translations use the word “earnestly” instead of early.
We should seek God early in the day and earnestly. We should also seek Him early in our lives. “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come, and the years draw near when you say, ‘I have no pleasure in them’” (Ecclesiastes 12:1 New King James Version).
However, this message focuses on seeking God early in the day, seeking Him at dawn or early in the morning. That does not mean that we can or must seek God only in the morning. We can seek God, which means have an intimate fellowship with Him, at all times, day and night (Matthew 14:23; Luke 6:12; Psalm 55:17; Daniel 6:10; Acts 3:1; 1 Thessalonians 3:9-10; 1 Timothy 5:5; 2 Timothy 1:3). As you have seen, David said, “O God, You are my God; early will I seek You.” You also should seek Him if He is your God.
Seek God early in the morning
Rise early from your bed and seek God. You should thirst or long for an intimate relationship with God. Begin your day with God. Some Christians have abandoned having their quiet time, a discipline that Christians took seriously in the past. But thank God there are still Christians who don’t joke with it.
Unfortunately, many young Christians today were never taught to observe their quiet time after they gave their lives to Jesus. Therefore, such people never cultivated this discipline as they continued their journey in the faith. However, it is never too late for them to learn how to do quiet time and seek God early in the morning before they go into the activities for each day. The LORD says to seek Him and live (Amos 5:4).
Beware of oversleeping
Psalm 119:147 says, “I rise before the dawning of the morning, and cry for help; I hope in Your word” (New King James Version). Too much sleep or oversleeping is the reason many have not been seeking God early. Proverbs 6:9 asks, “How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep?” (New King James Version). In Proverbs 26:14, the Bible says, as a door turns on its hinges, so the lazy man does on his bed.
As the saying goes, “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” Avoid any unproductive or useless thing that keeps you awake and hinders you from sleeping in time to be able to wake up early to seek God. Train yourself to wake up early – if you need to set an alarm, do so until you get used to it.
Oversleeping is not good for your health. Experts have recommended different hours of sleep each night depending on various factors, including age. Researchers have linked oversleeping to brain impairment, depression, increased inflammation, headaches, and increased pain, including back pain. Other effects of oversleeping are impaired fertility and higher risks of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and death. You won’t die in your sleep in Jesus’ name.
Proverbs 8:17 says, “I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me” (New King James Version). Seek God every day; seek Him early in the morning before you go to face the work of the day and be connected to Him throughout the day. David said, “Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly” (Psalm 5:3 New Living Translation).
Some examples of those who sought God early in the Bible
1. Jesus Christ. As busy as Jesus was, He rose early to seek God, His Father, before people came to Him. “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed” (Mark 1:35 New King James Version). Rising early to seek God means that you devote the best part of your day to Him, as there will hardly be anyone coming to distract you.
2. Moses rose early in the morning and went up to Mount Sinai. Exodus 34:4 says, “So he cut two tablets of stone like the first ones. Then Moses rose early in the morning and went up Mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him; and he took in his hand the two tablets of stone” (New King James Version).
Earlier in Exodus 24:4, Moses had risen early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve pillars according to the twelve tribes of Israel. When someone comes to your house early in the morning, you know that a serious matter brought him.
3. Elkanah’s family. 1 Samuel 1:19 says that Elkanah and his family, who had gone to Shiloh for the yearly festival, rose early in the morning and worshipped before the LORD after which they returned to their house at Ramah. Rise early to worship God when you’re still fresh in the day.
4. Hezekiah. According to 2 Chronicles 29:20, King Hezekiah rose early, gathered the rulers of the city, and went to the house of the LORD. It doesn’t mean you must go into a church auditorium whenever you want to seek God in the morning. What is important is going into His presence, not essentially going into a building designated as the house of the Lord. Seeking God early in your house is no less rewarding than seeking Him in the house of God. Let your house also be the house of God!
5. Job. Job had a habit of rising early in the morning and going into the house of the LORD to offer burnt offerings to Him. He didn’t offer burnt offering just any time; he offered it early in the morning. “So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, ‘It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.’ Thus Job did regularly” (Job 1:5 New King James Version).
The Bible talks so much about seeking God with the assurance that seekers will find Him. Jeremiah 29:13 says, “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (New King James Version).
Azariah the son of Obed said to King Asa of Judah and all Judah and Benjamin, “The LORD is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you” (2 Chronicles 15:2 New King James Version). David said, “Seek the LORD and His strength; seek His face evermore!” (1 Chronicles 16:11 New King James Version). Psalm 105:4 says a similar thing.
If we seek God early in the morning, we shall find Him. As I said earlier, that doesn’t mean that it is only in the morning that we should or can seek Him. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8 New King James Version).
Seeking God is not in vain. There is a great reward for it. David said, “I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4 New King James Version). God doesn’t forsake those who seek Him. “And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You” (Psalm 9:10 New King James Version). Psalm 119:2 says they are blessed who keep the testimonies of the LORD and seek Him with the whole heart. According to Psalm 34:10, the young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing.
To cultivate the habit of seeking God early, ask Him to wake you up or/and set an alarm. God will wake you up but when He does, you must stand up from your bed, or else you will dose off.
Why you should seek God early
1. Jesus rose early in the morning to pray (Mark 1:35). You should follow His example.
2. Some Bible characters also rose early in the morning. We have already read about Moses, Hezekiah, and Job. You should emulate them.
3. It helps you to give the best of your day to God and have enough time for fellowship with Him before you start the day’s work. This means that you put God first and keep your appointment with Him before you keep your appointment with human beings. Study, meditate, worship, and receive instructions and direction from the Lord. Psalm 5:3 says, “Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly” (New Living Translation). The psalmist says in Psalm 90:14, “Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives” (New Living Translation).
4. It allows you to commit your day to the Lord and seek His help and direction. During prayer early in the morning, you can talk to God about your assignments for the day and pray for guidance and success. Psalm 37:5 says you should commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. Similarly, Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (New International Version).
Conclusion: Seek God early. As Hosea 10:12b says, it is time to seek the Lord, that He may come and shower righteousness upon you. Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face evermore (Psalm 105:4).
Seek God early. This involves praising and worshipping Him, studying your Bible and meditating on the Word of God, listening to receive instructions and direction from Him, praying and enquiring from Him, and committing your ways to His hand.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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