I was able to spend some time with God this morning, dwelling in His presence, thinking of who God is and what He has done in my life. As I was reading a couple of devotions this morning, my thoughts focused more clearly on God and less on myself. I contemplated the words of Scripture that the devotions provided, chewing on them like a cow chews on cud or a horse feeds on oats, seifening the nutrients from my spiritual morning bread. While feeding on God’s Word, I prayed and fasted, seeking God’s wisdom in my life, relieving myself of the burdens I carried into our conversation, and working to deny my stomach the physical food it desired. I drank some water to quieten the rumble roaring audibly from my inner pit.
Psalm 1 tells us that the man who delights in the law of Lord is happy, blessed like a tree planted near streams of water and prospering in all that he does. The source of our happiness, our blessing, is God. When I start my day right by spending time with my maker— my Lord, my creator—then I can rest assured that what I do today will bear fruit because I am tapping into the source from which all goodness flows.
Practicing spiritual disciplines like quiet time, prayer, meditation, bible study, scripture memorization, fasting, and journaling help build up our our endurance and perseverance by girding up our faith and by intimately connecting us to the source of our strength—God, the maker of all things.
Like when we regularly exercise our muscles, we reap greater benefits when we practice these spiritual disciplines routinely instead of sparingly. No pain, no gain. No effort, no growth. That is ultimately the point of practicing these disciplines—to grow closer to God.
By practicing these disciplines, we harvest spiritual intimacy with the One who created everything. He is not the nature-god, but the God of Nature, the Inventor of Creation, the Sustainer of Life and all things Living, who is readily available to us on a deeply personal level.
Yes, spending time with the Lord first thing in the morning ensures that I am starting my day right. For that I am grateful.
May you be blessed and may you be a blessing.
1 Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.