| EARLY RISING by Watchman Nee|
Scripture reference: S.S. 7:12; Psa. 57:8-9; 63:1; 78:34; 90:14; 108:2-3; Exo. 16:21
[b]I. EARLY MORNING BEING THE BEST TIME OF THE DAY[/b]
What time should believers rise up every day?
A sister once put it well when she said, "How much a person loves the Lord can be judged primarily by the way he chooses between his bed and the Lord. Do you love your bed or the Lord more? If you love your bed more, you sleep a little longer. If you love the Lord more, you rise up a little earlier." She spoke these words more than thirty years ago. Yet they are still fresh to us today. A man must choose between his love for his bed and his love for the Lord. The more he loves the Lord, the more he will rise up early.
A Christian should rise up early because the early morning is the best time to meet the Lord. Except for those who are sick, all the brothers and sisters should rise up early. Actually, many sicknesses are not sicknesses at all. They become sicknesses because men love themselves too much. Other than those who are advised to rest by doctors, everyone should rise early. We do not want to go to extremes; we advise sick brothers and sisters to sleep more. However, the healthy ones should get up as early as possible. The best time to meet the Lord, to contact Him, and to fellowship with Him is early in the morning. Manna is gathered before the sun rises (Exo. 16:14-21). Anyone who wants to eat God's food should rise up early. When the sun waxes hot, manna melts and is gone. If we want to receive spiritual nourishment and spiritual edification, and if we want to have spiritual fellowship and spiritual supply, we need to rise up early. If we rise up late, the manna will be gone. The early morning is the very time when God dispenses His spiritual food and holy fellowship to His children. Whoever is late will not gather anything. Many children of God lead a sick life, not because they have spiritual problems, but because they rise up too late. Many children of God have no lack in consecration, zeal, or love, but they cannot live a normal Christian life because they rise up too late. Do not think that this is a small matter. Do not think that this has nothing to do with spirituality; it has much to do with spirituality. Many people are not spiritual because they rise up too late. Many people have been Christians for years, yet they fail to live a proper Christian life because they rise up too late. We do not know of anyone who knows how to pray, yet rises up late. Nor do we know of anyone who has intimate fellowship with God, yet rises up late. All those who know God rise up early. They rise up early as a rule to fellowship with Him.
Proverbs 26:14 says, "As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed." Here it says that a slothful person in bed is like a door that turns upon its hinges. The slothful keeps turning upon his bed; he cannot leave it. He turns to one side on his bed. Then he turns to the other side on his bed. Whichever way he turns, he is still on the bed. Many people cannot part with their bed. They love their bed as they turn from one side to the other. When they turn left, they are on their bed. When they turn right, they are still on their bed. They love to sleep and cannot part with their bed. Many people just want to sleep a little longer; they cannot get out of their bed. If one wants to learn to serve God and be a good Christian, he has to rise up early in the morning every day.
Those who rise up early in the morning reap much spiritual benefit. Their prayers at other times of the day cannot be compared with their prayers in the early morning. Their Bible reading at other times of the day cannot be compared with their reading in the early morning. Their fellowship with the Lord at other times cannot be compared with their fellowship in the early morning. The early morning is the best time of the day. We should spend the best time of the daythe early morningbefore the Lord, rather than in other things. Some Christians spend the whole day on other matters and kneel down to read the Bible and pray only at night when they are about to go to sleep. No wonder they are ineffective in their Bible reading, their prayer, and their fellowship with the Lord. They wake up too late in the morning. The moment we believe in the Lord, we should set apart the early morning for fellowshipping with God and for contacting Him.
| 2005/11/10 23:41||Profile|
| Re: EARLY RISING by Watchman Nee|
Those who rise up early in the morning reap much spiritual benefit. Their prayers at other times of the day cannot be compared with their prayers in the early morning
I have had a lot of problem with insomnia over the years and don't tend to be able to sleep until fairly late. I find it easier to have my time with God later in the evening before I go to bed as I can concentrate much better and am actually much more awake. I feel horribly sick every morning as it is and can only just about get dressed let alone do anything else. I have tried on numerous occasions to get up early and have a quiet time but have always been unable to keep my eyes open and stop myself from falling back to sleep. I fail to see how that could be better quality than having my time with Him in the evening and from my experience have had much more benefit from my times in the evening than in the mornings where I just fall straight to sleep as soon as I start!
| 2005/11/11 4:39|
I don't see any contradiction between Nee's teaching and your personal experience. Since you are suffering from insomnia, you should take our quiet time when you feel fresh. I do 100% agree with you. Please don't go by letters, it well lead you to legalism and bondage but by spiritual principles.
In my case it is different. Since God in His mercy has given me a healthy and sound body, I prefer and strive to spend time in the morning. That always helped me to go against the current of the world and kept me from backsliding. By the time I come back from my research work, I am mentally and physically tired, that is the time I love to spent time with my wife and two naughty kids (boys). Whenever I fail to spent quality time with my wife, she is used to say "you should been be like Paul." Hope you got the clue. In view of these real life issues, I prefer early morning with the Lord.
A Christian should rise up early because the early morning is the best time to meet the Lord. Except for those who are sick, all the brothers and sisters should rise up early. Actually, many sicknesses are not sicknesses at all. They become sicknesses because men love themselves too much. Other than those who are advised to rest by doctors, everyone should rise early. We do not want to go to extremes; we advise sick brothers and sisters to sleep more. However, the healthy ones should get up as early as possible.
I have had a lot of problem with insomnia over the years and don't tend to be able to sleep until fairly late. I find it easier to have my time with God later in the evening before I go to bed as I can concentrate much better and am actually much more awake.
I believe that only in eternity some of us wake up to realize what we have missed because of our indisciplined life. Our lives could have more effective for God and His kingdom, if we had spent more time in studying the scripture and seeking the face of God. Often we love sleep more than the intense desire to spend time with the Lord, root cause is "the lack of eternity consciousness." This morning I was challenged by the burning passion of Paul in striving forward, which is mentioned in 1 Corinthians 9:27 (Amplified Bible) "But [like a boxer] I buffet my body [handle it roughly, discipline it by hardships] and subdue it, for fear that after proclaiming to others the Gospel and things pertaining to it, I myself should become unfit [not stand the test, be unapproved and rejected as a counterfeit]."
| 2005/11/11 6:35||Profile|
Since you are suffering from insomnia, you should take our quiet time when you feel fresh
Actually although this is true and I don't go to sleep till late, I am not sure that this is the issue. I still feel that way in the mornings even after a good night's sleep and so insomnia or not, that is the better time for me. I think what I felt was that you don't have to have an excuse of illness for just choosing to have your quiet time in the morning or evening and the statements suggest that if you have no excuse like that, you do not love God as much as those who 'rise early in the morning'.
Many people have been Christians for years, yet they fail to live a proper Christian life because they rise up too late. We do not know of anyone who knows how to pray, yet rises up late. Nor do we know of anyone who has intimate fellowship with God, yet rises up late. All those who know God rise up early. They rise up early as a rule to fellowship with Him.[/quote
I cannot see how that is true and regardless of sickness and I also can't see how it can be said that you spiritually benefit more if you spend time with God int he morning. Why woud you? He is the same surely, no matter what time it is.
Actually, many sicknesses are not sicknesses at all. They become sicknesses because men love themselves too much. Other than those who are advised to rest by doctors, everyone should rise early. We do not want to go to extremes; we advise sick brothers and sisters to sleep more. However, the healthy ones should get up as early as possible.
As I said I don't see that it matters whether you are sick or not as to when you feel it is best for you to have a quiet time.
Sorry - I am not dissagreeing with the benefits that morning quiet times obviously have for some people but I don't think you can say it is a hard and fast rule even putting aside the issue of sickness.
Nor do we know of anyone who has intimate fellowship with God, yet rises up late.
Sorry - but this statement makes me feel really angry as it is saying that even if I am not sick, I cannot possibly have intimate fellowship with God if I don't get up early to pray!
| 2005/11/11 6:53|
| Re: EARLY RISING by Watchman Nee|
continuation of the article "EARLY RISING" by Watchman Nee
[b]II. EXAMPLES OF EARLY RISING[/b]
In the Bible we find God's servants rising up early in the morning. Let us consider their examples:
1. AbrahamGen. 19:27; 21:14; 22:3
2. JacobGen. 28:18
3. MosesExo. 8:20; 9:13; 24:4; 34:4
4. JoshuaJosh. 3:1; 6:12; 7:16; 8:10
5. GideonJudg. 6:38
6. Hannah1 Sam. 1:19
7. Samuel1 Sam. 15:12
8. David1 Sam. 17:20
9. JobJob 1:5
10. MaryLuke 24:22; Mark 16:9; John 20:1
11. The apostlesActs 5:21
These many verses tell us that God's servants had the habit of dealing with God early in the morning. Every one of them had the habit of waking early in the morning and fellowshipping with God early in the morning. They rose up early in the morning to do many things related to God's business. They also rose up early in the morning to consecrate themselves. [b]Although there is no commandment in the Bible that tells us to get up early, there are sufficient examples in the Bible to show us that all faithful servants of God rise up early. Even the Lord Jesus Himself rose up early. He rose up very early in the morning, while it was still night, and went away to a deserted place to pray (Mark 1:35). When He wanted to appoint the twelve apostles, He called them to Himself early in the morning (Luke 6:13). If the Lord had to rise up early to do these things, how much more do we need to rise up early?[/b]
Any brother or sister who wants to follow the Lord must never think that there is little difference in rising up an hour early. You must realize that your Bible reading becomes ineffective if you rise up an hour late. Likewise, your prayer becomes ineffective if you rise up an hour late. Although one may spend the same amount of time in reading the Bible, an hour's difference will produce very different results. Early rising brings in great blessing. We hope that you will not miss the blessing of early rising at the start of your Christian life. One brother was asked at least fifty times during his first three years as a Christian, "What time did you get up this morning?" Early rising is a great blessing. Those who have learned to rise up early know the significance of it. If you do not rise up early in the morning, you will live in spiritual poverty. Late rising brings in much loss. Many spiritual things are lost through late rising.
We have seen many examples from the Bible. How about the servants of God who are not mentioned in the Bible, like George Müller, John Wesley, and many other famous servants of God? They also rose up early in the morning. We can say that almost all the ones we know of or have read about from books, who are of any use in God's hands, pay attention to the matter of rising early. They call this early rising "morning watch." All servants of God emphasize morning watch. The term morning watch itself tells us that it is done early in the morning. Have you heard of anyone who keeps watch when the sun is already up? Never! One keeps morning watch early in the morning. This is a good habit, and we Christians should cultivate this habit. God's children should not be sloppy people. The church has been practicing this for years. We should maintain this good habit of meeting God early in the morning. The term morning watch is not found in the Bible. We can give it another name, but no matter what name we give to it, meeting God early in the morning is a very crucial matter.
| 2005/11/11 7:46||Profile|
Psalm 55:17 (NKJV) Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud,And He shall hear my voice.
Can you tell me where this suggests that He will hear me less in the evening that in the morning or noon or that it would be less effective?
By the time I come back from my research work, I am mentally and physically tired, that is the time I love to spent time with my wife and two naughty kids (boys).
So in the context of the above does that make my quite time in the evening less effective or useful than your morning devotion?
Sorry I do not want to be difficult I just still can't really understand that God would not be the same no matter what time you call on Him never mind the examples of people getting up early. I am still not disputing that getting up early is a good thing but I cannot see where it says that God will not give you as much spiritually at a different time of the day. Maybe I am wrong and in need of the Lord's correction on this matter but I still can't see it
| 2005/11/11 8:14|
1 Thessalonians 5:16 - 22
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstance; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Do not quench the spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.
It's worth remembering that your doing it out of obedience and to the glory of God, I guess if your life is subject to him (in seeking after His face) so is your sleep :D. It's hard getting up after 5 hours sleep (thanks uni!) and you often feel half asleep or ill but I find it's far, far better than staying in bed or moping around (well, so long as its none done begrudgingly).
"On judgement day, God isn't going to turn around and say - hold on a second, I think you took me a little to seriously".
| 2005/11/11 8:52||Profile|
Thanks for that - but I just have to point out that I get up and go to work every day and that even on the weekend I do not 'mope about in bed'. I start my job between 8 - 8:30 in the morning so I am not exactly a 'late riser' anyway.
Good point about obedience. I think that God has us do whatever He knows is best for us and I think it will be different for everyone. If I feel that He is speaking to me about getting up earlier in the morning in future then I would give it a go again but until then I feel it is fine to do it late evening before bed.
| 2005/11/11 9:06|
| Re: EARLY RISING by Watchman Nee|
Hi Sister. Liz,
I am not for argument or fight with biblical words. You can have daily morning devotion without touching God. Many do it as ritual, to cease their conscience. More than anything what matters is "the condition of the heart." If our heart is right with God, He will hear us whenever we call on Him. Therefore I do agree with you.
Though we all are under same Grace, why then some grow consistently and others get stagnated. Is there any partiality with God? Scripture says there is no partiality with God (Romans 2:11 & Galatians 2:6). Because He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). God find only few who are willing deny them self to seek Him diligently, to them He bestow His unmerited blessings and burden though there is favoritism with Him.
I really believe that in order to get in the morning we need more self-denial. In my place the winter has started. I know how difficult it is to get up during winter time. Often, before I come out of my bed, I have to battle between "shall I get up or go to bed again." Here we don't have centrally heated house like western countries (you all privileged). The floor will be very chill. This is personal testimony, there is a special blessing to those who seek God early in the morning. Certain spiritual blessings we won't be able to verbalize only you can experience. Like the wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes (John 3:8).
I write this not as a legalistic but one who is battling in this area. [b]Those who are sick and mothers with small kids please take proper rest, Lord knows your struggles in life.[/b]
| 2005/11/11 9:35||Profile|
a good illustration is the children of Isreal- they had to gather the manna[ bread] early before the sun got to it- later in the day it rotted
the mannna is symbolic for the bread of life-Christ or the word of God I think
| 2005/11/11 10:56|