How Waking Up at 5 AM Every Morning Helped Me Fight For My Purity
I attended a conference one year where a speaker challenged everyone to wake up at 5am every morning. I was like, “HA! Oh sure. Try getting me to do that! Maybe I’ll try to wake up twenty minutes earlier. Not two hours earlier. LOL.”
What time did I wake up this morning? 5am. What about yesterday? The day before? The week before? The year before? My routine is to wake up at 5am on weekday mornings at the least, though often I will do at least 6am on Saturdays and Sundays, depending upon how late I was up the night before.
I initiated this pattern because I needed to get more accomplished. However, when I did, I had no idea of the benefits I would reap. In fact, my fight for purity took a whole different turn when I started waking up at 5am. I was winning the battles in my mind far more easily. I was seeking the Lord more. I saw more clearly how His way is better than my way. In fact, the days and weeks where I gave in to my desire to get more sleep, the more ground I lost my battle for purity of mind.
How in the world could waking up at 5am help me fight for purity?
1. I start the day off with self-discipline
The alarm clock blares, and I have two choices: 1) follow my flesh and go back to sleep, or 2) crucify my flesh and get out of bed. This suddenly isn’t a simple question of how early I wake up. This question is now a question of whether I will indulge my flesh.
Quick disclaimer: I’m not saying that you are in sin every time you sleep in. We need rest and during some seasons of life, getting up that early just may not be possible. I’m also not saying that you must wake up at 5am. You know your schedule and your body and you need to make your own decision with regard to your sleep patterns. Neither am I saying that if you wake up early, your struggle with impure thoughts or actions will be over. I’m using specifics in my life in hopes that you will glean patterns and principles to apply to your own life in accordance with God’s Word. For me, if I’ve gotten eight hours of sleep and my alarm clock is going off, I would be indulging my flesh to hit the snooze button.
When you start your day off with self-discipline in this area it makes many other areas a lot easier to conquer. If I get out of bed at 5am, I am more likely to win against my flesh and go running. If I go running, I find that often it increases my ability to control my thought life. You see, I am training my body to fight indulgence and pursue discipline instead. Waking up early is fighting indulgence in my life in the area of sleep. This one decision to wake up early every weekday morning has made me realize that patterns of discipline lead to holiness whereas patterns of indulgence lead to sin.
If you are struggling in your fight for purity, ask yourself if there are any other ways that you are indulging your flesh. Is your room messy? What are your eating habits like? What are your sleeping habits? How is your schoolwork? Are you reading your Bible every day? See if there are some things you can start working on to discipline yourself and fight those patterns.
2. I get to spend unrushed time with my Saviour.
What’s usually the first thing that goes out the window when we wake up late? Time spent with God! Why? Because that’s flexible, as we tell ourselves. I can have my quiet time later, BUT I NEED MY MAKEUP!!!
I love showing God that I am seeking for Him to be first priority in my life and one way that I do that is by spending time with Him early in the morning. My typical time with God is between 5am and 6am. I have some tricks to fighting the urge to get back under the covers during the first hour that you can read here. God loves me, died for me, sustains me, holds me in His hand. The very least I can do is say, “You’re first in my day.”
A rushed Bible reading isn’t going to get you very far. Trust me, because I’ve been guilty of that very often. God promises in multiple passages (Jeremiah 29:13, Matthew 7:7) that He will reward those who seek Him. Put aside time every day to seek Him. First thing in your day is a great choice.
3. I gain a productive momentum by doing things I love.
This is kind of a funny bonus. I’m sure there are many of you who are not like me in this way, but I’m also sure that there are some who are. I struggle with giving up my time joyfully. I wish this wasn’t such a struggle in my life. However, this is one way that I fight this tendency and usually leaves me extremely joyful and thankful. When I’m joyful and thankful, it makes taking every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) much easier.
After breakfast and quiet time, which is usually around 6am, I start working on things that I love doing. Writing, reading, working on my blog, etc. During the school year I may work on homework during this time. Or if my room is especially messy, I may do that as well. Whatever it is, I get from 6am to 7 or 7:30am to get stuff done. By 8am, I am ready to go do the things I need to do for school, work, or helping my parents.
Having this time to be able to work on my to-do list makes me excited for the day ahead. It relieves stress because I’ve already gotten a chunk of work done by 8am. Usually it is something that I enjoy, so the day starts off happily and cheerfully. It gives me momentum for the day. It also helps me surrender my time to God more easily. When I manage my time well, stress decreases and contentment increases. When I am joyfully content and I’ve made a lot of progress in the day, it makes saying no to impure thoughts so much easier.
This is how waking up at 5am every morning helps me fight for purity. Again, I’m not prescribing this exact regiment for everyone. What I want you to understand from this article is this: Starting the day off by disciplining your body physically often gives you momentum to discipline your body mentally. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 9:27, talks about how he disciplines his body and makes it his slave. We are not to become slaves of our indulgence. Romans 6 says we are no longer slaves to sin, but slaves to righteousness!
I’m curious to know your thoughts.
-Have you found this principle to be true in your life?
-What ways can you practically start disciplining yourself?
-Can you think of some Bible verses that talk about purity of mind?