I could seriously blog about John Piper’s Desiring God all day long. It has been rocking me to my core with so many things that I’ve never thought about, always wondered about, and had misconceptions of. I really recommend it.
The following paragraphs are on the subject of the importance of the Word in our lives (emphasis in bold added by me):
“Before this time my practice had been…as an habitual thing, to give myself to prayer, after having dressed in the morning. Now I saw, that the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to the reading of the Word of God and to meditation on it, that thus my heart might be comforted, encouraged, warned, reproved, instructed; and that thus, whilst meditating, my heart might be brought into experimental, communion with the Lord. I began therefore, to meditate on the New Testament, from the beginning, early in the morning.
The first thing I did, after gaving asked in a few words the Lord’s blessing upon His precious Word, was to begin to meditate on the Word of God; searching, as it were, into every verse, to get blessing out of it; not for the sake of the public ministry of the Word; not for the sake or preaching on what I had meditated upon; but for the sake of obtaining food for my own soul. The result I have found to be almost invariably this, that after a try few minutes my soul has been led to confession, or to thanksgiving, or to intercession, or to supplication; so that though I did not, as it were, give myself to prayer, but to meditation, yet it turned almost immediately more or less into prayer.”
Wow. So many times I pray in the morning [which is a good thing, promise!] and neglect to read the Scriptures on which my whole life is based. Piper is so right: the Bible is nourishment for the soul. There is a time for preparing to publicly speak or to minister, but in order to do so, we must be encouraged by the Word ourselves. Of what use are we if we’re not filling ourselves with the Word of God? “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matt. 12:34) comes to mind.
My Mum told me, “No Christian leader was ever known to have their quiet time at night.” BOOM. Conviction right there! We need to prepare for battle each morning. Yes, prayer is effective and I do not intend to lessen it’s extreme value, but it is imperative that we arm ourselves with the Word of God every morning. “Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Eph. 6:11). The writer of Hebrews says that “the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joint and marrow. It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Heb. 4:12). The Bible is our defense, but it is the breath of God that encourages, corrects, challenges, prompts..
By all means, submit your life to the Lord in the morning. Ask the Lord to incline your heart towards the desires of His heart. Choose surrender in every moment. But ask the Lord to cleanse you through His powerful Word. Build your life on the solid rock.
By the way, I am so preaching to myself. And the graphic below is just pretty. Nothing to do with this post whatsoever :)