I’m so excited to share this post in our series about morning Scripture by my friend Katherine Pittman. She’s here to show us how to start your day with God. I know you’ll be blessed.
While it is still dark, the alarm sounds in my bedroom. My weary body would love to linger just a moment longer under the warmth of my covers. And if left to myself, I would just hit “snooze” and fall back asleep. But the Lord knows how to draw us, even when our minds are still a little foggy. And with the Lord gently calling, I have two choices. I can roll over and fall back asleep. Or I can call out, “God, help me!” In my experience, almost every time I have physically called for help, the Lord has come, and given everything needed to rise from the bed.
Why does God send help time after time? Because he delights to meet with us in the quiet of the morning. “I love those that love me, and they that seek me early shall find me …” Proverbs says. A study on the word “early” will yield dozens of many examples. But in Exodus 16, we find a clear picture of God’s desire for us to rise early, in the story of the manna.
“He gave you manna.” Moses told the Israelites, “that he might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but…by every [word] that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord”
Later, Jesus explains that manna is the word of God, and more specifically, that He, Jesus, is the true bread from heaven. He gave them himself as they rose early each morning. And he gave them himself, as they returned to eat the manna throughout the day. I have kept many different morning routines through the years, but using this scriptural principal of manna, here is a simple morning routine.
How to Start Your Day with God
1) Rise up well:
“That gathered it morning by morning, but when the sun grew hot, it would melt”
They gathered …. While the dew was still on the ground …. If you’re going to gather the manna and learn how to start your day with God, you must rise early. Friends, if we’re really going to succeed here, we must set our heart towards him the night before. Preset the coffee pot. Place your Bible things in their spot. Then, as you begin your morning routine the next morning, try to keep your heart still. Avoid big conversations. Let your phone stay on the charger. Sometimes, I need to take the dog outside. Usually, I grab a cup of coffee. Interruptions may come, but as much as possible, set your heart to find your spot without getting distracted.
2) Remember the Lord:
Of course, just as I begin to lift my eyes to the Lord, often my mind begins wandering. During these first moments, I’ve found it helpful to pray out loud. This breaks the heaviness, focuses my heart, and keeps my mind awake. I also keep a notebook nearby to write down any distracting thoughts, so I can return to them later.
Just as the morning consecration offerings were going on as the manna was being gathered, my first prayers are an offering to Him. I’m remembering him and presenting myself to him afresh. I’m thanking him for new morning mercies. If I remember a sin, I quickly confess it. Don’t be tempted to skip this time of worship and remembrance. Our desire should always be to experience Christ deep within, not to check off a box in our heart.
3.) Read the Word:
Once you have touched the presence of the Lord, keep learning how to start your day with God and open the word. According to Exodus 16, as the Israelites went out, they gathered “as much as they were able” Some days, we can linger over the word. Others, we only have a few moments before the interruptions come. On those days, read just a few verses, and especially focus on one verse. I used to think I had to “feel” some connection to the verse, (and what if you don’t feel anything through this time?). But I’ve come to appreciate that every word of God is there for a reason. Even the most random verse can bring life as we hold it before the One who wrote it.
4.) Record the Word:
After the Israelites gathered, they brought the manna back to their tents. Even though the bread was gathered early, it was meant to be eaten throughout the day. For me, after I’ve read the word, I prayerfully write it out on a small index card and keep it with me, in my pocket, so I can revisit it later. If time permits, I continue in prayer, always with the hope to return for a longer prayer time in the afternoon.
5.) Revisit the word:
Some mornings, manna must be gathered quickly. But as we keep it with us, that verse in our pocket reminds us to return to him. Now, as you’re on the toilet, or in line at the grocery store, or tempted to reach for your phone, you’re “hungering” for something. But instead, you reach for your scripture card, the true manna that satisfies. And as you revisit the earlier-gathered verse, his life is strengthened within, and you’re kept from sinning or wasting time. You may even have the verse memorized by the end of the day.
I love the Lord’s encouragement, “Gather…as much as he can eat.” But in his gracious arrangement, “he who gathered little had no lack.” And “whoever gathered much had no excess.” Some days we may have a glorious time in the word – if so, hallelujah! Enjoy the presence of the Lord and linger over his word. Every moment will return to bless you. But on days when you have only a moment, remember the Lord, record your verse, and be on your way. The gathering of manna is just that, the gathering. As you revisit your “tent” throughout the day, his word will be there, strengthening, nourishing, giving all that is needed to make it until tomorrow.
Yes, manna must be gathered fresh each morning. “He fed you manna…that he might humble you…otherwise you may say in your heart, “my power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.”” Day after day, the manna reminds us that we need Him. We gather it early, before the day begins, because we aren’t meant to live these days apart from him. Our situations may not change. The cares of life may still be present. But in starting with Him, and learning how to start your day with God, we receive His life to overcome through the weary wilderness. May the Lord awaken our hearts to meet with him at the dawn of each day.
Katherine Pittman is wife to Geoffrey, and homeschooling mom of 3. She has served alongside her husband in youth and college ministry for close to 20 years. Together, they host weekly college and youth Bible studies from home, and share the burden to see another generation fall in love with the Lord. You can connect with Katherine on Instagram or Facebook, or find more on her blog, www.chroniclesofmomia.com.
 Proverbs 8:17
 See Deuteronomy 8, translated “word” when Jesus quotes this verse in Matthew 4.
 See John 6
 Exodus 16:21
 Numbers 28:3-4
 Exodus 16:18, 2 Corinthians 8:15
 Exodus 16:16
 Exodus 16:16-18
 Deuteronomy 8:16,17