The #1 Reason to Wake Up Early

Have you
ever had a craving (non-pregnant) and gotten out of bed– you may or may not
have even suffered to put on an undergarment (ladies) simply to go after that
delicious Peanut Butter Sonic shake…or Zaxby’s Banana shake…or whatever?
I may or
may not have done that i.e. created a mouth watering description so my husband
craved one and went instead.
But you
know what I love more than any of those sweet treats.
Mornings
with Jesus. When the house is still. It’s just the gurgling coffee pot, my
bedhead, and the lover of my soul. Alone. And I’m passionate about passing that
love off on you. On my Wednesday night class. On my children. I want to see
Christians everywhere longing for the treasure of God through His word.
Today’s post may be a little longer than usual, but I pray it not only
blesses you, but moves you with excitement to fill up on the sweetness of Jesus
Christ.
In
preparation for my class on reading and studying the Word of God, my lesson I
normally teach took a drastic turn. And I’m thankful it did.
If you
have your Bible in your hand, take a look at Exodus chapter 16. If not, you can

read it later. I hope you will!

The
Israelites had been led out of Egypt, which represents bondage many times in
scripture. They were slaves. Miserable. And they cried out to God. Who heard
them! I love that God not only hears the cries of His people, but He acts. He
rose up a deliverer. You know him by the name, Moses.
When they
left Egypt, they journeyed into the wilderness with a few stops. They’d seen
the Red Sea parted, bitter waters turned sweet by tossing a branch in. But when
they entered the Wilderness of Sin (pronounced Seen and has nothing to do with
actual sin–in fact the word in Hebrew means thorns and clay) they grumbled and
complained.
“Oh
that we had died by the hand of the LORD in Egypt when we sat by pots of meat
and when we ate bread to the full!” Exodus 16:3
According
to Numbers 11:5, they had pots of stew, onions, leeks, garlic and bread. The
people of God were freaked out. Fear sometimes does that–freaks us out and
makes us forget the former miracles of God.
But God does not lead us into new places of promise to watch us wither
and die. He has every intention of filling us to the full.
Bread to
the full. I can picture God, “Oh, you want bread? You have never seen the
kind of bread I’m about to give you. Watch. And. See.”
Verse
7 of Exodus 16 says, “And in the morning you shall see glory of the
LORD.”
God
was about to supply them with bread from heaven. Something they’d never seen
before. That’s why it’s called Manna. It means, “What is it?”
Exodus
16 accompanied with Numbers 11 tells us a few things about this Manna.
  • It
    was small and round, like coriander seed.
  • It
    came with the dew and when the dew lifted, it covered the ground
  • Moses
    said, “This is the bread of which LORD has given you to eat.”
  • And
    it came with detailed instructions.

They had to gather it every morning. When?
Every. Morning. Why? Verse 21 tells us that when the sun became hot, it melted
away. We’re coming back to that.
Hang
with me, I know this post is long.
So
what does this have to do with us today? Many of know that Jesus represents the
Manna. This OT account is a foreshadowing of Jesus. And God is in the details.
I want you to see it. And I want you to long for the Word of God….for the Bread
of Heaven. Let’s dig into some scripture.
John
1:1-5 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and
the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were
made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the
light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did
not comprehend it.
John
1:14 goes on to say, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we
beheld His glory…”
Now
go back and insert the word JESUS in every place you read “Word.” Did
you do it? Well, go do it!
Jesus
is the Word. Now, lets’ pick up in John Chapter 6. Jesus has just fed the
multitude with 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread. A miracle. Then he walked on water
to the neighboring town. Cause He’s Jesus and He does stuff like that. I chose
the MSG translation for this next passage because it packs a punch.
John
6:22-40:
22-24 The next day the crowd that was left
behind realized that there had been only one

boat, and that Jesus had not
gotten into it with his disciples. They had seen them go off without him. By
now boats from Tiberias had pulled up near where they had eaten the bread
blessed by the Master. So when the crowd realized he was gone and wasn’t coming
back, they piled into the Tiberias boats and headed for Capernaum, looking for
Jesus.

25 When they found him back across the sea,
they said, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
26 Jesus answered, “You’ve come looking
for me not because you saw God in my actions but because I fed you, filled your stomachs—and for free.
27 “Don’t waste your energy striving for
perishable food like that. Work for the food that sticks with you, food that
nourishes your lasting life, food the Son of Man provides. He and what he does
are guaranteed by God the Father to last.”
28 To that they said, “Well, what do we do
then to get in on God’s works?”
29 Jesus said, “Throw your lot in with the
One that God has sent. That kind of a commitment gets you in on God’s works.”
(NKJV says, Believe in Him whom He sent; believe in Jesus)
30-31 They waffled: “Why don’t you give us
a clue about who you are, just a hint of what’s going on? When we see what’s
up, we’ll commit ourselves. Show us what you can do. Moses fed our ancestors with bread in the desert. It
says so in the Scriptures: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”
32-33 Jesus responded, “The real
significance of that Scripture is not that Moses gave you bread from heaven but
that my Father is right now offering you bread from heaven, the real bread. The Bread of God came down
out of heaven and is giving life to the world.”
34 They jumped at that: “Master, give us
this bread, now and forever!”
35-38 Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life.
The person who aligns with me hungers And once that person is with me,
I hold on and don’t let go. I came down from heaven not to follow my own
whim but to accomplish the will of the One who sent me.

no more and thirsts no more, ever. I have
told you this explicitly because even though you have seen me in action, you
don’t really believe me. Every person the Father gives me eventually comes
running to me.

39-40 “This, in a nutshell, is that will:
that everything handed over to me by the Father be completed—not a single
detail missed—and at the wrap-up of time I have everything and everyone put
together, upright and whole. This is what my Father wants: that anyone who sees
the Son and trusts who he is and what he does and then aligns with him will
enter real life, eternal life. My part is to put them on their feet alive and whole at the completion of
time.”
Jesus
is the real Manna. Jesus is the Word. Jesus is the Bread of Heaven. Jesus holds
onto you and does. Not. Let. Go. Ever. He puts you on your feet alive and
whole! He expects us to fill up on Him.
When
the Spirit drove him into the…what? WILDERNESS, and Satan tempted Him, He
replied with ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’”
And we know that the Word is Jesus himself from the earlier scripture in John
1. 
The
Word.
Matthew
26:26, Jesus is instituting a new covenant, “And as they were eating,
Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My
body.”  This is symbolic, just in case
you got grossed out or thought, “She really needs to lay off the show
Hannibal.”
When
Jesus taught us how to pray he said in Luke 11:3, “Give us day by day our
daily bread.”
How often are we to have bread? Daily?
Exodus
16:4 The people were to go out and gather it according to their need daily.
Get
up and gather what you need for the day. Before the noon heat comes–the
trials, unexpected circumstances, grumpy co-workers, rebellious teens wake
up–they ain’t getting up before noon–financial crisis, bills come in the
mail, rent is due, the car breaks down or runs out of air, the babies get sick
and you lose your insurance. Heat of the day. Before the hot noon sun beats you
down. Before all of this comes, gather your daily bread. Be filled. Be ready.
Be content. Satisfied.
Because
when the heat comes and you haven’t gathered your bread for the day, you’ll

melt. You’ll melt.

This
is where I beg you to do it early! And for sake of word count–too late–I
can’t give you dozens of scriptures about seeking God early and God Himself
meeting you early, but… look up the keywords: early, morning, seek in
Biblegateway. Do it early!
Now
that’s not to say God won’t meet your needs if you don’t get up early. His
mercies are new every day and His compassion fail not. Any time with God is a
great time for God. But for the love God, literally, do it! If for no other
reason. If you can’t come up with some good motivation other than, “I’m a
Christian and I’m supposed to.” Which I cringe at but have said. How about
this, for crying out loud!
This
is it! Right here!! Pay attention!
Let’s
revisit Numbers 11:8-9. Let’s breakdown this Manna together. I want you to see
the God of details. I want you to feel the love Jesus has for you! And here it
is:
The
had a part to play in receiving this bread of heaven. What does it say they
did?
Gather
it
Ground
it
Beat
it
Cook
it
And
then they ate of it. It’s taste was sweet like a pastry with honey. Exodus
16:31
What
does this have to do with Jesus?
Gathered: John 18:3 tells us, “Then Judas, having received a detachment of troops, and officers from the chief
priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.”
And in Luke 22:54 we see,  “Having arrested Him, they
led Him and brought Him into
the high priest’s house.
They went out and found him. They gathered Him up.
Ground: In the Hebrew this word is
“tachan” (tah-han) and it means to crush.
Isaiah
53:5
says, “But He was wounded
for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The
chastisement for our peace was upon
Him, And by His stripes we are healed.”
 The word bruised in Hebrew is:
“daka” (duhah) and it means “to be crushed.” ” to be
shattered”.
He was crushed, ground just like the coriander seed.
Beat: Matthew 26:67 tells us, “Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others

struck Him with the palms of their hands… Luke 19:2-3 “And
the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on
Him a purple robe. Then they said, Hail, King of the Jews! And they struck him
with their hands.”

Where were
the Israelites when God rained down bread of heaven? What environment were they
in? The Wilderness of Sin–a place of thorns. Here is the Bread of Heaven,
being gathered, ground/crushed, beat–prepared with thorns upon His head.
This is no
coincidence. This is the mastery of our Lord. The details. We can trust someone
who works things out down to the minute detail…down to thorns.
Cooked: They took a cat of nine tails, filled
with bone fragments, and they tenderized his flesh. (Matthew 27:26)
Then they
cooked him on a cross. They watched as he baked. John 19:30 “He said, It
is finished!” And bowing His head (even humble in death) he gave up His
spirit.
Death on a
cross was like a crock pot kind of death. Slow. And sometimes they would hurry
the process by breaking the legs of the criminals, but when they came to Jesus,
he had already died. But just to make sure he was done. John 19:34 tell us,
“But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear. And blood and
water flowed.” As if sticking a fork in him–the juices running out.
But that’s
not the end! It had to be this way in order to get to this next part!
Sweet to taste: 
Exodus 16:31  lets us in on the
fact that the Manna, “was like
white coriander seed, and the taste of it was like
wafers made with honey.”
John
19:39-42: “So he came and took the body of
Jesus. And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came,
bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. Then they
took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the
custom of the Jews is to bury.”
Catch
those key words: myrrh, spices…aloes.
 Song of Solomon is a symbolic description of
the lover of our souls–our beloved, our savior, our king. In chapter 5:13 the
spouse, the bride, says, “His cheeks are like
a bed of spices, Banks of scented herbs. His lips are lilies,
Dripping liquid myrrh.”
In
chapter 3:6 of the same book, she sees her Beloved. Look where He is coming
from. And what He is like.
 “Who is this
coming out of the wilderness, Like pillars of smoke, Perfumed
with myrrh and frankincense, With all the merchant’s fragrant
powders?”
Notice
He has been in the wilderness–a place of thorns. And He reminds her of pillars
of smoke, the very way He led His beloveds those forty years. And see how He is
perfumed? With what? Myrrh.
We
are talking about Jesus! We are taking about the Word! Spiritual food.
“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” Psalm 34:8
“How
sweet are Your words to my taste, Sweeter than honey to my mouth!”
 Psalm 119:103
“The
judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be
desired are they than gold;
Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover
by them Your servant is warned,
And in keeping them there is great reward.” Psalm
19:9-11
He
is the Bread of Heaven. He is the Word. He is sweet to taste. Oh He loves it
when we fall into His word and lap Him up. When we’re so full of Him. So much
so, He says in Song of  Solomon 4:11 to
His bride, “Your lips, O my spouse,
Drip as the honeycomb; Honey and milk are under your tongue.”
Don’t
you want to drip His sweetness when you open your mouth? Don’t you want others
to know what you’ve been eating? Don’t you want to ooze with the sweet taste of
Jesus. Just wallow in His goodness.
You’re
not just reading your Bible. Your immersing yourself in Jesus Himself. And when
you’ve spent time with Him–the sweet Bread of Heaven, expect to drip with
goodness. Pour it out all over those around who are hungry.
I
hope you stuck out the lengthy teaching today. And I pray that He moves you to
sacrifice some time (preferably in the still of morning before the heat comes)
and love on the Word.

See
ya’ll next Wednesday! Also, are there any topics you’d like me cover over the summer? I’m open for study/devotional ideas! If you want to message me privately, my email address is on the CONNECT page at the top right corner of the site. 
What is your favorite sweet treat? And what do you think holds you back from diving into God’s Word?

14 thoughts on “The #1 Reason to Wake Up Early

  1. Thanks for my morning study, Jess. Anytime you want to go over word count with holy anointing like this, let me know! I'll be here on Wednesdats to join you!!

     
     
    1. Well, now that I have permission, it's on! 🙂 Thanks, Susan!

       
       
  2. Wow, Jessica. You came back with a vengeance after your blog break. This is awesome.

     
     
    1. I'm sure people are going to think, "Oh so since she's posting only one day through summer she's going to make it long enough for 3 days!" LOL Thanks, Julie!

       
       
  3. LOVE!! Your love for Jesus always, always challenges me.

     
     
    1. Thank you, Linds. Love you!

       
       
  4. So good this morning! I love God's eye for detail. It reassures us that He has a plan, and nothing takes Him by surprise.

    Favorite sweet treat: Chocolate, of course!

     
     
    1. I'm a detail person so when I see it in God it makes me jump and down! 🙂

       
       
  5. I can't tell you how much I LOVE and needed this post, Girlfriend! You nailed it with: "But God does not lead us into new places of promise to watch us wither and die. He has every intention of filling us to the full." I'm printing this one out for continual reference. Man, I love how much you love Jesus.

     
     
  6. Perfect!! I just started a new schedule today and the first thing I did after getting dressed and putting the coffee on was dive into the Word. It's my routine–a routine I won't part with!

    I love how you mentioned manna melting. So true. We need our manna first thing, before all the other stuff crowds it out and leaves us panting.

     
     
  7. Loved this, and needed the reminder to get up early for time with God. Because in my crazy life with a three year old, if its not early, its not happening. Bless you, Jess!

     
     
  8. I love the early mornings before anyone else is up. Like you, I grab a cup of coffee and sit with my Bible and journal. It is a sweet time, for sure. There are days when I feel too tired or too busy to take the time to spend in the Word, but truly, those are the days I need it the most.

    Great lesson.

     
     
  9. Oh that was sweet and I feel full now! Loved this lesson!
    Early morning–or sometimes REALLY early if I can't sleep–with the Lord is the best. I feel like I can really be still and listen.

     
     
  10. This is the perfect blog for anyone who hopes to understand this topic.
    You understand a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I really will need to…HaHa).

    You definitely put a fresh spin on a topic which has
    been discussed for decades. Excellent stuff, just wonderful!

     
     

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