Ministry Resources

Early or Late

Author: Sylvia Stewart

King David, in a Judean desert, cried out, “Oh God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee; my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is” (Psalm 63:1, KJV).

The NIV translates “early” as “earnestly.” Are we earnest about our relationship with God? David’s thirst for God mirrored his thirst for water in the desert. His body yearned for God as his desert-pent body longed for an oasis.

Life rarely lets us do what we think is important; rather, we do what is urgent. We should spend time with God, but it doesn’t happen very often. “Better late than never,” we say to excuse our tardiness or our negligence. Of course, it’s a busy world. Time with God won’t just happen–we must make it happen. If we want to spend time with God badly enough, we’ll make time.

Early in Life

Many young people put off making decisions about their spiritual lives. They want to enjoy life and have a bit of fun while they are still young. They think there will be plenty of time to be spiritual in later years. However, fun is transient. Enjoying life ends when a hangover begins. When an illegitimate pregnancy makes itself known, then the panic strikes. Jesus instructed His disciples: “‘Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness'” (Matthew 6:33) [1].

King David wrote, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart” (Psalm 119:9–10). Seeking God early in life is very important.

Early Each Day

King David, in his earnest thirst for God, wrote, “I cry to you for help, O Lord; in the morning my prayer comes before you” (Psalm 88:13). “I rise before dawn,” he said, “and cry for help” (Psalm 119:147). Again, he called out to God, “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love” (Psalm 143:8).

The Proverbs 31 model woman “gets up while it is still dark” (v. 15). Most women can relate to that. Meeting with God in the morning will guide her whole day–and ours. It will energize our spirits to remember that God loves us.

Early in Any Venture

When we tackle a new project or job, we may wonder if we will succeed. We go to a new school or university, take a new job, marry our sweetheart, or begin a home project, hoping for success. We can rest when our plans are committed to God, knowing He will guide us, whether we succeed or fail to reach our goals.

Moses prayed, “May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us–yes, establish the work of our hands” (Psalm 90:17).

When we reach our senior years, we may tell ourselves, “Well, it’s too late for me to have early contacts with God. My hair is grey.” Or, “I’ve wasted my life.” Or, “My day is already spent.”

It is never too late to begin. Spending time with the Lord will comfort, guide, and empower our lives. George Eliot counseled her readers, “It’s never too late to become the person you might have been” [2]. It is good to spend time with the Lord, to ask for His counsel and blessing–early or late.


1. Unless indicated otherwise, all Scripture verses are from the New International Version.

2. George Eliot; quoted in Marybeth Whalen, For the Write Reason (Enumclaw, Wash.: UpRight Books, 2005).

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