Stewardship Director, South American Division
Summary: The writer talks about how a daily communion with God will help us to live a real and authentic Christian life.
Each day is a new opportunity that God gives us to remain in a saved relationship. Daily we need a new gift of power from on high. During the first hours of each morning we should renew our salvation in Christ in order to live like a saint during the day. This was the Savior’s lifestyle when he was among us. As never before, we need to follow His example of communion with God.
Without daily receiving the power that comes from the Word we are not able to live as an authentic Christian because only those who daily renew the surrender of their life to the Savior receive power to be made authentic and true children of God. Without first receiving the power of God in our life for the day, we will be controlled by our carnal natures.
So that these and other truths may be implanted deep within our mind, let us study the reasons why we should seek God during the first hours of each morning.
Jesus stated, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” Matthew 6:33 (NIV). Our mind was structured to first receive the Word and to be guided by it. As in the past, our steps to the heavenly Canaan are guided by the Lord.
“A man’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand his own way?” Proverbs 20:24. The psalmist states that in order to identify the path to follow, it is necessary to develop a close relationship with the Lord. “Who, then, is the man that fears the Lord? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him” Psalm 25:12. Our priorities will determine our life and spiritual direction. A significant question asks: “Is walking in an unknown land without a guide an intelligent consideration?” I suggest that like the children of Israel, we need a trustworthy guide in the difficult days in which we are living. They were guided by a pillar of fire during the night and a cloud during the day. As in the past, the Father also has provided a “pillar” to guide his people in our days. The Bible is this unfailing guide.
“The word of God, if studied and obeyed, would lead the children of men, as the Israelites were led by a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud by day. The Bible is God’s will expressed to man. It is the only perfect standard of character, and marks out the duty of man in every circumstance of life” (Testimonies to the Church, Vol. 4, p. 313).
The prophetic message for our day is clear and direct: the most important and urgent commitment that we have in the first hours of each morning is to seek communion with God so that we may live out holiness during the day. The admonition is: “Consecrate yourself to God in the morning; make this your very first work. Let your prayer be, ‘Take me, O Lord, as wholly Thine. I lay all my plans at Thy feet. Use me today in Thy service. Abide with me, and let all my work be wrought in Thee.’ This is a daily matter. Each morning consecrate yourself to God for that day. Surrender all your plans to Him, to be carried out or given up as His providence shall indicate. Thus day by day you may be giving your life into the hands of God, and thus your life will be molded more and more after the life of Christ” (Steps to Christ, p. 70).
Daily reality demonstrates that when we leave this most important time for later in the day, generally we will not keep it. Therefore before any activity we should accustom ourselves to put our communion with God first. Why is it dangerous to put God in second place? Because our hearts betray and deceive us as Deuteronomy 11:16 and Jeremiah 17:9 make clear. Early in the morning as we awaken and feel the need for a meal likewise we should feel our need for spiritual nourishment. The great challenge is to develop and practice the habit of waking up with hunger and thirst for the Word of God and going to this banquet to satisfy the soul with the living bread that descends from heaven.
Daily spiritual communion with God
Blessings from God upon his children are continual and for this reason we should praise Him at each moment. Developing and maintaining a habit of spiritual communion with God should be the most significant daily goal for each follower of Christ. The lifestyle of Jesus demonstrates how this is possible.
The prophetic word describes this daily practice: “He lived and thought and prayed. From hours spent with God He came forth morning by morning, to bring the light of heaven to men. Daily He received a fresh baptism of the Holy Spirit. In the early hours of the new day the Lord awakened Him from His slumbers, and His soul and His lips were anointed with grace, that He might impart to others. His words were given Him fresh from the heavenly courts, words that He might speak in season to the weary and oppressed. ‘The Lord God hath given Me,’ He said, ‘the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary. He wakeneth morning by morning, He wakeneth Mine ear to hear as the learned’ Isaiah 50:4.” (Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 140).
Jesus devoted the first hours of each morning to personal devotion. He did not do this sporadically but continually. In this manner He kept and maintained the habit of seeking God during the first hours of each morning. This lifestyle deeply touched the life of the disciples. In the following sentence the book indicated above states, “Christ’s disciples were much impressed by His prayers and by His habit of communion with God.” Each day we are deciding our destiny. We will follow the indication of the pillar of fire or the cloud by a safe route or we will follow the swampy, dangerous path that leads us to death. God has a plan laid out for our life in His Word and as the Apostle Paul states, “today is the day of salvation” (II Corinthians 6:2).
The present day on the other hand, can also be a day that is cursed, because the Enemy also has a plan for our life that is far from the Word of God. Therefore during the first hours of each morning we are free to choose or not choose God’s guidance as we find it in His Word.
The inner person renewed each day
The Bible teaching is clear and direct, salvation from the power of sin is for one day at a time. The theory of “once saved, always saved” is not biblical. Those saved from the penalty of sin upon accepting Christ as Savior, who are on the path to eternity or salvation have to keep in mind that salvation from the power of sin is daily, and should be developed with fear and trembling each day. Let us see what the Bible says:
“...Inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” II Corinthians 4:16 (NIV).
“I die every day....” I Corinthians 15:31. “ …so that I can perfect my holiness in reverence to God.” II Corinthians 7:1 (NIV).
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans12:2 (NIV).
“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Hebrews 3:13 (NIV).
“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” Hebrews 3:15 (NIV).
“.., ‘In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.’ I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” II Corinthians 6:2 (NIV).
“Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.” Joshua 3:5 (NIV).
How to have peace and joy in our hearts
Jeremiah 15:16: “Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts” (NKJV). Three matters deserve our attention in regard to this verse:
“Your words were found”—What does finding assume? To find something it is necessary to look for it. So, when I get up in the morning the Word of God is not going to look for me, but it is I who must search for it. I have to seek God during the first hours of each day and it should not be a superficial search; but must be done with all my heart. Jeremiah characterizes this type of searching: “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jerermiah 29:13). My soul needs the Savior each morning. Without Him, it is empty, unordered and without guidance.
“And I ate them”— It is not enough to say that the Word is important, that it is good, that it is divine or that it saves. The Word must be “eaten,” I must place the divine nourishment into my heart. Only in this way will its nutrients enter into the blood flow of the soul and I will be able to have the life and energy that comes from God and goes directly into my life.
“And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart”—The individual who decides to make seeking God a priority during the first hours of the morning will have peace and joy throughout the day.
Walking with God and expanding our relationship with Him is a question of life and prolonging that life. In Deuteronomy 30:20, we read: “and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years...” (NIV).
Daily communion with God will allow us to live real and authentic Christianity. Daily receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit brings with it all of the life and power of Christ that makes us more than conquerors in all circumstances. Walking daily with God keeps us connected to heaven, and we receive a transforming influence directly from the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Those who will put on the whole armor of God and devote some time every day to meditation and prayer and to the study of the Scriptures will be connected with heaven that will have a saving, transforming influence upon those around them. Great thoughts, noble aspirations, clear perceptions of truth and duty to God, will be theirs. They will be yearning for purity, for light, for love, for all the graces of heavenly birth” (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, p. 112).