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Our Spiritual Act of Worship By: Leslie Ludy The word discipline has almost become taboo in todays

modern Christian world. It conjures up images of dour legalism and miserable lists of rules and regulation. Yet godly discipline is nothing of the sort. It is an act of worship; a crucifying of our own selfish, fleshly agenda, that we might surrender to Christs pure and perfect agenda. Discipline does not bring misery and restriction into our lives. Rather, it brings glorious freedom. When our flesh is under subjection to the Spirit of God, we are free to live as He calls us to live. We are able to give our time, our energy, and our lives fully to the things of His kingdom. Discipline is an amazing gift; an invaluable tool to usher us to the presence of the King of all kings. We cannot give our hearts to God and keep our daily habits under our own control. When we shy away from godly discipline, we quickly allow selfish patterns of laziness to rule our daily decisions; and we will find that our Christian life is made up of good intentions rather than a life lived in the presence of our King. Personally, I do not want to look back at my life and see countless mornings of pressing the snooze button when I could have been in the throne room of the Most High God. What heartbreaking regret. Scripture puts a high value on waking up early, even before dawn, and giving the first-fruits of our day to God in prayer, worship, and seeking His face: O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You (Psalm 63:1). Awake, my glory! Awake, lute and harp! I will awaken the dawn (Psalm 57:8). [The virtuous woman] also rises while it is yet night (Prov. 31:15). Jesus Himself set for us a clear example of rising early to seek the Fathers face: Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed (Mark 1:35). There is something so refreshing, so right about rising early to seek God in prayer. Though prayer is powerful no matter when we do it, there is something extra powerful about early-morning prayer. It is the ultimate way to crucify self from the very beginning of our day; to silence our selfish, lazy, controlling flesh and yield to the Spirit of God; to declare with our lives, not just our lips, that Jesus truly is our most important priority. It gives the Spirit of God, rather than our fleshly whims, the first say. John Bunyan said, He who runs from God in the morning will scarcely find Him the rest of the day. I have found this to be absolutely true in my own life. Whenever I allow myself to oversleep and miss my time in Gods presence, the entire day feels off. But when I discipline my flesh and make my early morning prayer a non-negotiable, I walk in the sweet presence of my King for the rest of my day. Jesus said, Seek first the Kingdom of God, (see Matt. 6:33), and when I apply this command to my prayer life by seeking Him as my first act of the day, every other area of my life comes into proper alignment.