A sizable percentage of Americans skip breakfast every day, in the interest of grabbing a few more minutes of shut-eye. But skipping breakfast sets your body up for an empty fuel tank just an hour into the day, and can poorly influence the choices you do make when you finally find a moment to eat.
Similarly, many believers skip that first morning meal with the Lord, their spiritual breakfast. Then the rest of the day becomes a catch-up game. But the Lord never intended us to live that way.
Psalm 127:1 (NLT).
Each day, the Lord wants to build our day. We can go charging on ahead of him and make our own way, but then we spin our wheels and wonder why we feel so ineffective day after day.
So how can you get off to a good healthy start? Three key elements make up a nutritious spiritual breakfast: proper preparation, a collection of the right ingredients, and a simple recipe. As you probably already know, when your morning routine strays from simple, it disintegrates into chaos.
1. Rest. Did you know that the Hebrew day started with evening, then continued with daytime? Notice the phrasing in Genesis 1: And the evening and the morning were the first day. Similarly, Sabbath began at sundown of the day before it.
The amazing result of this structure has us rising each morning to greet God in the midst of his daily work. He doesn’t need our help to do anything. He first gives us rest, then we join him at work by applying ourselves to our daily routine.
But first... he wants us to greet him, and perhaps he wants to speak at the beginning of our day. He can do this when we take at least a few moments to read Scripture, this living document that can speak directly to us.
And while getting up a few minutes early is seldom easy for me, it is always more difficult if I have not set myself up with a full night of rest. Prepare yourself to hear God by guarding your rest.
2. Invite. Before ever opening God’s word, train yourself to stop and breathe a prayer of invitation for the Lord to join you in the moment and speak to you through his life-changing Word. Without this, God can still speak, but I think it’s like trying to listen to your iPod through a set of earmuffs.
I like to picture myself inviting God to look over my shoulder as I read; to reach down to point out the words he has for me; to lift them from the page and give them life before my eyes.
Tomorrow we'll talk about having the right ingredients for your "breakfast" Bible reading time. For today, how about you? How do you prepare for your time reading the Bible?