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CHAPTER ELEVEN EARLY RISING Scripture Reading: S.S. 7:12; Psa. 57:8-9; 63:1; 78:34; 90:14; 108:2-3; Exo. 16:21 I.

EARLY MORNING BEING THE BEST TIME OF THE DAY 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

We should spend the best time of the day— the early morning—before the Lord. All those who know God rise up early. They rise up early as a rule to fellowship with Him. Many people cannot part with their bed. Do not think that this is a small matter. and their fellowship with the Lord. The early morning is the best time of the day. they are on their bed. yet rises up late. If one wants to learn to serve God and be a good Christian. yet rises up late. "As the door turneth upon his hinges. he is still on the bed. rather than in other things. it has much to do with spirituality. Whichever way he turns. Then he turns to the other side on his bed. he has to rise up early in the morning every day. yet they fail to live a proper Christian life because they rise up too late. Their prayers at other times of the day cannot be compared with their prayers in the early morning. their prayer. When they turn left. he cannot leave it. Nor do we know of anyone who has intimate fellowship with God.normal Christian life because they rise up too late. Their fellowship with the Lord at other times cannot be compared with their fellowship in the early morning. He turns to one side on his bed." Here it says that a slothful person in bed is like a door that turns upon its hinges. Their Bible reading at other times of the day cannot be compared with their reading in the early morning. so doth the slothful upon his bed. Many people are not spiritual because they rise up too late. The slothful keeps turning upon his bed. Do not think that this has nothing to do with spirituality. we should set apart the early morning for fellowshipping with God and for contacting Him. . Many people just want to sleep a little longer. Many people have been Christians for years. When they turn right. The moment we believe in the Lord. They love their bed as they turn from one side to the other. They love to sleep and cannot part with their bed. They wake up too late in the morning. We do not know of anyone who knows how to pray. they cannot get out of their bed. Proverbs 26:14 says. Those who rise up early in the morning reap much spiritual benefit. they are still on their bed. No wonder they are ineffective in their Bible reading. 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.

Although one may spend the . Hannah—1 Sam. while it was still night. there are sufficient examples in the Bible to show us that all faithful servants of God rise up early. David—1 Sam. 34:4 4.II. EXAMPLES OF EARLY RISING In the Bible we find God's servants rising up early in the morning. Abraham—Gen. Although there is no commandment in the Bible that tells us to get up early. They also rose up early in the morning to consecrate themselves. Gideon—Judg. Joshua—Josh. 22:3 2. 1:19 7. When He wanted to appoint the twelve apostles. Mark 16:9. 21:14. Jacob—Gen. Moses—Exo. Samuel—1 Sam. Job—Job 1:5 10. Likewise. how much more do we need to rise up early? Any brother or sister who wants to follow the Lord must never think that there is little difference in rising up an hour early. 6:12. 17:20 9. He rose up very early in the morning. If the Lord had to rise up early to do these things. 8:10 5. 7:16. Let us consider their examples: 1. John 20:1 11. 28:18 3. 3:1. Mary—Luke 24:22. 19:27. He called them to Himself early in the morning (Luke 6:13). Even the Lord Jesus Himself rose up early. 24:4. They rose up early in the morning to do many things related to God's business. 8:20. 6:38 6. Every one of them had the habit of waking early in the morning and fellowshipping with God early in the morning. 15:12 8. and went away to a deserted place to pray (Mark 1:35). 9:13. You must realize that your Bible reading becomes ineffective if you rise up an hour late. your prayer becomes ineffective if you rise up an hour late. The apostles—Acts 5:21 These many verses tell us that God's servants had the habit of dealing with God early in the morning.

III. you will live in spiritual poverty. They call this early rising "morning watch. Early rising brings in great blessing. Here are a few things to do early in the morning: A. God's children should not be sloppy people. We should maintain this good habit of meeting God early in the morning. pay attention to the matter of rising early. but no matter what name we give to it. 147). Many spiritual things are lost through late rising. and many other famous servants of God? They also rose up early in the morning. and we Christians should cultivate this habit. and touch us (Psa. speak to us. During this time our hearts are drawn near to God. To fellowship means to open up our spirit and our mind to God and allow Him to enlighten us. Have you heard of anyone who keeps watch when the sun is already up? Never! One keeps morning watch early in the morning. impress us. meeting God early in the morning is a very crucial matter. We have seen many examples from the Bible." All servants of God emphasize morning watch. WHAT TO DO IN THE EARLY MORNING We do not merely rise up early. One brother was asked at least fifty times during his first three years as a Christian. The church has been practicing this for years. who are of any use in God's hands. like George Müller. We can say that almost all the ones we know of or have read about from books. If you do not rise up early in the morning. We hope that you will not miss the blessing of early rising at the start of your Christian life. Late rising brings in much loss. How about the servants of God who are not mentioned in the Bible. and we allow . We can give it another name.same amount of time in reading the Bible. Those who have learned to rise up early know the significance of it. There must be spiritual exercise and spiritual content to what we do. This is a good habit. John Wesley. 119:105. The term morning watch is not found in the Bible. Fellowship with God Song of Songs 7:12 shows us that the early morning is the best time to fellowship with the Lord. an hour's difference will produce very different results. "What time did you get up this morning?" Early rising is a great blessing. The term morning watch itself tells us that it is done early in the morning.

In the early morning. You . I believe in this promise. We should rise up early in the morning to tarry before the Lord. The early morning is the time to gather the manna." You can also intercede. Lord. When we offer our highest praise to God. You can also pray to God concerning what you have read in the Word. you can say. to enjoy God's Word. "Lord. read a single portion of the Bible carefully. This portion. Come to God's presence and open His Word. our spirit rises to the highest peak. We have mentioned already that we should have two Bibles. and to enjoy His truth early in the morning every day. this verse. As you read certain portions." When you find a promise. After we eat the manna. C. You have to blend all these things together." When you find grace. You can say. we have the strength to journey in the wilderness. to learn to touch Him. do not read too much and do not take many portions of the Word. Read the Bible The early morning is the time for us to gather the manna (which is Christ). What does it mean to eat the manna? It means to enjoy Christ. I take this grace. to receive leading and impressions from God. "Lord. truly exposes my lack. you may remember the condition of those who fall short of what this portion says. to meditate. Praise and Sing There must be the sound of praise and singing in the early morning. At the same time you should also pray. Instead. always mingling your reading with unceasing communion with God and singing. The early morning is the best time to sing praises to God. "Lord. one with marks and notes in it to use in the afternoon and the other with nothing in it for "eating manna" early in the morning. praise second. and then read the Bible last. you can say. As you read. One will not be fed spiritually or be satisfied if he spends his early morning on other things. you may be touched by His grace to offer up thanksgiving. this word. This does not mean that you should fellowship with God first. and to give Him an opportunity to speak to us. fill up this lack of mine. you may be convicted to confess your sins. While you are reading. B.God to draw near to our hearts. this is truly what I need.

In Psalms David interchanged the pronouns you and He freely. "God. However. On the one hand. David spoke to man. four. fulfill this word in me. more than once he turned his speaking to the Lord. Fulfill this word also in my brother and sister. you should pray. and commune with God through them.should not accuse or criticize them. he would say a few sentences to man and then say something to God. The Psalms show us that David was a person who was in constant fellowship with God. He did not separate his work from his prayer. He mingled his work and prayer together. While Nehemiah was working. At one moment he would be speaking to man. and at the next moment he would be praying to God. she spoke to man in one instant and to God in the next . You can pray for yourself and for others. As you read these verses word by word. It seemed as if he were talking to God. three. or five verses are sufficient. In the same psalm. When the king asked him something. Two. They knew God and communed with God. Instead. he would speak a few words and then offer a short prayer. But in Madame Guyon's autobiography. Those who have read the autobiography of Madame Guyon will notice one characteristic of hers. You can give thanks for yourself and for others. he spoke to God. Most autobiographies are written for man. You can dwell on them for an hour. In an instant he could turn around and speak to God." You can confess your sins and the sins of others. Their fellowship with God became part of their lives. On the other hand. he would speak to the king first and then to the Lord. pray over them. We can find frequent examples like this in Paul's Epistles. it should not cover too much. you will be filled. Paul wrote the book of Romans to those in Rome. You can believe for yourself and for others. A few times he seemed to have forgotten the fact that he was writing to the Romans. there were people who fellowshipped with God this way. Your Bible reading in the morning should not be too long. Both in the Old Testament and the New Testament.

One does not know where fellowship with God begins and where it ends. Hence. for the church. you should learn to mingle prayer with God's Word. praises. Prayer surely requires much strength. the power acquired in the early morning through fellowshipping with God and eating manna. After one fellowships. Such reading of God's Word. or for the world. The prayer spoken of in the previous paragraph is a kind of blending prayer. is indispensable to us. We need to ask them.instant. But if he takes advantage of the fresh power he has gained. but the next moment you are in God. You should learn to mingle praise and fellowship with God's Word. Then he can set aside about half an hour or a quarter of an hour to pray for a few urgent things. This is why we need to rise up a little earlier. such gathering of manna. he will receive greater support. he has strength and can present everything in prayer before God. We have to rise up early in the morning to labor in God's Word. Psalms 63:1 [KJV] and 78:34 [KJV] both say that we should seek the Lord early. But the prayer we are talking about here is more specific. he can pray also in the afternoon or at night. Of course. In one moment she would be speaking to LaCombe (who asked her to write her autobiography). One moment you may be on earth. and gather the manna. It is to do both simultaneously. but the next moment you are in the heavens. . Pray In the early morning we should fellowship. and eats manna. Manna is gathered in the early morning. One moment you may be in yourself. D. and at the next moment she would be speaking to God. This is fellowship. "Have you eaten anything?" They cannot walk because they have not eaten enough. We will not have any manna if we are late. Many brothers and sisters are weak and unable to take the wilderness journey. One must first draw near to God early in the morning and be fed. praise. you will be filled after some time. and God's word will dwell in you richly. We must also pray to the Lord. Fellowship does not mean to set aside other affairs to pray. Nor does it mean to pray first and then deal with the affairs. He can pray for himself. If you maintain this practice before God every morning. during this early morning hour of gathering manna.

"If I skip practicing for one day. New believers should learn to rise up early.Every believer should do these four things conscientiously before the Lord early in the morning: fellowship with Him. THE PRACTICE OF EARLY RISING Finally. read the Bible. If I skip practicing for three days. new believers should strictly discipline themselves. we will know it. From the very first day. they become loose in everything. my friends will notice it. How can we rise up early? We need to pay attention to a few things. it is even more true for the spiritual lesson of rising up early. this is another matter altogether. we should speak a little about actual ways to implement this practice. A very famous musician once said. Many Christians find themselves weak during the day because their mornings are ill spent. praise Him. and they are not that easily shaken by anything. Their outward man is broken. If we fail to have a good morning watch before God. This is like burning a candle at both ends. Once they become loose in this. However. my audience will notice it. No one can stay up late and rise up early. There is a great difference between being nourished and not being nourished in the morning." If this is true for practicing music. Those who are experienced in the Lord also will know it when they come into contact with us. If I skip practicing for two days. and everything will go wrong. Whether or not a person has done these four things in the morning is manifested in his walk during the day. Of course. All early risers must have the habit of going to bed early. His spiritual condition for the day depended on his feeding before the Lord in the morning. Every morning they should rise up early to exercise this way before the Lord. IV. I will notice it. and pray to Him. George Müller confessed that the degree to which he was fed by the Lord in the morning determined his spiritual condition throughout the whole day. there are those who are so far ahead in their spiritual journey that they can experience the total separation of the spirit from the soul. They will know that we have not touched the spiritual source. .

You must not miss the grace of fellowship early in the morning. his practice may not last long. They get into problems with their family or their work. Do not think that you are an exception. Do not worry that early rising will affect your health. When they find out that they cannot make it. You may face a little difficulty at the beginning. In the end you will rise up early spontaneously. This is especially true in winter. Some people have set too high a standard for themselves. Give up your bed daily to rise up early. they quit after a few days. If one tries to get up too early. But the third day is difficult. you will not want to go back to sleep even if your mind is telling you to do so. We do not advocate extremes. In the beginning you will need to force yourself a little in order to rise up early. A healthy person does not need more than eight hours of sleep. It is better to take a moderate course. You will find it easy for the first few days. your mind will gradually adjust to getting up early. Five or six o'clock is a suitable time to get up. It is always easy the first and second day. Do not set too high a standard for yourself. You may need ten or . Many people love themselves too much and worry themselves to sickness. It takes a long time for us to build up a new habit. Some people want to rise up at three or four o'clock in the morning. You should take into consideration your physical limitations as well as the environment.Do not set too high a standard for rising. But after a few days. When they take hospitality at the homes of others. Try to do this again and again. you will love the bed so much that you will not want to get up at all. It may be your anxiety which is affecting your health. Our standard should be reasonable. Perhaps you are used to getting up late. Get up when the sun is about to rise or has just risen. you need to ask God for grace. This is not a profitable thing to do. Before the Lord you should consider carefully the proper time for you to rise up. Before a habit is built up. An unreasonably high standard will only result in a condemned conscience. You must build up this habit before God. After you do this for a few days. But if you rise up early a few times. Set your standard accordingly and keep it. Always get up around sunrise. and your mind has been used to getting up late. Continue to ask until this habit is built up. they get into problems with their hosts.

it is all right for you to lie on your bed in the morning and read your Bible there. "What time do you get up every day?" After a few days. If you are sick. those who are not advised by doctors to stay in bed and who are not really sick should rise up early in the morning. the culmination of all the little portions will make the whole very rich. When one brother receives more light. The church should push the sluggard ones to go forward. We do not expect those who are sick to rise up early. You need to go to them and render them some help in this matter. "What time did you get up this morning?" This kind of reminding should go on for at least a year into a person's initial Christian life. After a year. However. Meeting together on the Lord's Day is also a habit. the church as a whole will become richer. and if everyone will rise up early in the morning. You should take every chance to ask the new ones. if we have not learned the lesson well before the Lord. But six to eight hours of sleep are sufficient for a normal person. the whole church will receive more shining. The church is poor today because too few people are receiving their supply from the Head. However. However. what time do you rise up now?" Ask the new believers whenever you see them. They should be shaken up a little. it will be hard for us to do this to others. Giving thanks before meals is a habit.twelve hours of sleep if the doctor says that you are ill. the church will grow. This is why we must first learn this lesson well ourselves. you may still need to ask. . It is unfortunate that some have been Christians for years and yet have never enjoyed the blessing of early rising. If everyone receives something from the Head. We hope those who are mature and weighty in the Lord will uphold this practice. "Brother. you have to ask them again. Rising up early is even more an essential habit. We should usher the new believers into this great blessing. Early rising should be a believer's first habit among all habits. They have never enjoyed the grace of early rising. A new believer needs to build up this habit. When everyone receives a little more light each day. do not go to the extreme. If we want to experience this grace. however little it may seem to be. If more brothers and sisters will come together to learn this lesson. Maintain at least six to eight hours of sleep. we have to learn this lesson well.

. What one member receives from the Head becomes the profit of the whole Body. We hope that you will not consider early rising as a small matter. we will have a bright spiritual future ahead of us. and if we all maintain this habit. and we will be richer and richer as the days go by. there will be many containers before God. If every brother and sister takes this way.We do not wish to see only a minority of people working in the church. We hope to see all the members rising up before the Lord. If we all learn to rise up early. We hope to see the whole church rising up to receive God's riches and grace.