BY PASTOR T. O. BANSO
One of the Hebrew words used in the Bible for seek when talking about “seek the LORD” is darash, which means “to resort to, seek, seek with care, enquire, require.” It also means “to seek or ask; specifically to worship.” Another Hebrew word used is baqash, which means “to seek, to require, to desire, to exact, to request.”
Verse 1b of Psalm 63 says, “Early will I seek You” (New King James Version). That “You” refers to God. The Hebrew word for the phrase “Early will I seek You” is shachar, which means “to seek, to seek early or earnestly, to look early or diligently for.”
We should seek the LORD early in the day and seek Him early in our lives. However, this message focuses on the former – seeking the LORD early in the day, seeking him at dawn or early in the morning. Rise up early from your bed and seek the LORD. Only God knows the number of Christians, who have abandoned having their quiet time, a discipline, which the Christians of old took seriously. Thank God there are still some Christians today 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 the LORD early in the morning before they go into the activities for each day. The LORD says to seek Him and live (Amos 5:4).
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 who know they should seek the LORD early have not been able to cultivate this discipline. 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.
A proverb says, “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” Avoid any unproductive or useless things that keep you awake and hinder you from sleeping in time to be able to wake up early to seek the LORD. Train yourself to wake up early – if you need to set an alarm, do so until you get used to it.
Proverbs 8:17 says, “I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me” (New King James Version). Seek the LORD everyday; 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 example of those who sought the LORD early in the Bible
1.Jesus Christ. As busy as Jesus was, He rose up early to seek the LORD 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 up early to seek the LORD means that you devote the best part of your day to the LORD, as there will hardly be anyone coming to distract you.
2. Moses. Moses rose up 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. “And the LORD said to Moses, ‘Rise early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh as he comes out to the water. Then say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD:”Let My people go, that they may serve Me’” (Exodus 8:20 New King James Version). That was a very important message that must be delivered and was delivered early in the morning.
The urgency of the message is again shown in Exodus 9:13-14. “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Rise early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh, and say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD God of the Hebrews: Let My people go, that they may serve Me, for at this time I will send all My plagues to your very heart, and on your servants and on your people, that you may know that there is none like Me in all the earth’” (New King James Version). Nevertheless, Pharaoh’s heart was hardened until the last plague, the death of the firstborn of human beings, including Pharaoh’s, and the firstborn or animals. That was when he allowed the Israelites to go.
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 worshiped before the LORD after which they returned to their house at Ramah. Rise up early to worship the LORD when you’re still fresh in the day, not tired from the day’s work!
4. Hezekiah. According to 2 Chronicles 29:20, King Hezekiah rose early, gathered the rulers of the city, and went up to the house of the LORD. It doesn’t mean you must go into a church auditorium whenever you want to seek the LORD 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 the LORD early in your house is not less rewarding as seeking Him in the house of God. Let your house also be the house of God!
5. Job. Job had a habit of rising up early in the morning and going into the house of the LORD to offer burnt offerings to the LORD. 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 the LORD 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 the LORD early in the morning, we shall find Him. 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 the LORD 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). The LORD 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 the LORD early, ask the LORD to wake you up or/and set an alarm. But you can be sure the LORD will wake you up. However, when He does, you must stand up from your bed, else you dose off.
Why you should seek the LORD early
1.Jesus rose up early in the morning to pray (Mark 1:35). You should follow His example.
2. Some Bible characters also rose up early in the morning. We have already read about Moses, Hezekiah, and Job. You should emulate them.
3. Oversleeping is not good for your health. Don’t stay in bed longer than necessary. Sleep but don’t oversleep. Experts usually recommend between seven and nine hours sleep each night depending on one’s age, health, and other relevant factors. Researchers have linked oversleeping or longer sleep habits to brain impairment, depression, increased inflammation, headaches, and increased pain, including back pain. Other effects of oversleeping are impaired fertility, higher risk of obesity, higher risk of diabetes, higher risk of heart disease, higher risk of stroke, and higher risk of death. You won’t die in your sleep in Jesus’ name.
4. It helps you to have enough time for fellowship with the LORD before the day’s work starts. Study, meditate, worship, receive instructions and direction from the LORD, and commit your way to Him. 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).
5. It affords you the opportunity of giving the best of your day to the LORD. You put Him first. You keep your appointment with the LORD before you keep your appointment with man.
Conclusion: Seek the LORD early. Don’t postpone it. Hosea 10:12 says now is the time to seek the LORD, that He may come and shower righteousness upon you. Seek the LORD. Seek the LORD and His strength; seek His face evermore (Psalm 105:4).
Seek Him through praise and worship. Seek Him by studying your Bible and meditating on the Word of God. Seek Him by listening to receive instructions and direction from Him. Seek Him in prayer and enquiry. Seek Him by committing your ways into His hand. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6 New King James Version).
If you’re not born again, I urge you to take the following steps:*Admit you’re a sinner and you can’t 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 resurrected the third day. I repent and confess my sins. I confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour and surrender my life to him today. I invite Jesus into my heart today. 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 the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I’ll be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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