Count ‘em if you can–the many ways the Bible presents the point that we are to place God at the head of our lives. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness … ” Matthew 6:33 begins. “Trust in the Lord with all thy heart and lean not on your own understanding…” says Proverbs 3:5. And Matthew 22:37 states: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”
From these verses, and many others, the message is quite clear. Put God first. There’s no question about it. So it would seem then that when my eyes pop open every morning, I would automatically put my thoughts on God. But, can I honestly say that I always do that? Oh, I mean well, and nowadays I do a much better job of remembering to keep God first than I ever did. But there are times when I start right into my day without stopping to acknowledge the God who indeed woke me up that morning. I’m just being honest. It happens.
There are days when I wake up and the first thing on my mind is yesterday’s news, today’s meetings, or tomorrow’s deadlines. There are times when I wallow in how much I don’t want to get out of bed, and yet, on a more positive note, times when I jump out of bed excited and energized for a new day. But in each of these situations, my thoughts are first captivated by the matter at hand, even before I allow my mind to be captivated by God’s presence.
Lately, my challenge has been this computer. It has been my lifeline now that I live alone. As soon as I awake, I anxiously visit my inbox hoping for messages from my family and friends. I also surf the net for devotional messages or spiritual tidbits that from others that help me understand more about the Christian journey. Now, at first thought, that hardly seems to be a problem since I am seeking positive, godly interactions and experiences rather than dabbling in something less worthwhile. Yet, I often wonder if spending so much time researching Him on the computer may actually keep me from getting to know Him on a more personal level. I am not saying there is anything wrong with reading what others have to say about God, but just that I want to start out the day meeting with Him “up close and personal” for myself. And even more so, before cracking open my Bible to get into His Word, shouldn’t I be taking the time to personally greet the One who wrote it—the Author Himself!
Think of it this way. If you have children in your household, how would you feel if they got up, thought about everything else in their lives except you, and then got up, got dressed and rushed out the door without so much as a good morning? It wouldn’t make you feel very loved, and in fact it might make you feel downright ignored. Not a good feeling to say the least, especially since you love them and care for them with your whole heart.
Now translate that concept to your Father God. Imagine how He feels when He is not placed first. He doesn’t want anything or anyone before Him. Just check out the warnings in the opening verses of the Ten Commandments. (Exodus 20:1-7) No other gods! No idols!
Now could I really be placing idols before God when I allow my mind to wander to other cares and concerns? I didn’t think so, but I do know very well that an idol is not just some pagan statue standing before you to which you are asked to bow. An idol is anything you put before God. So an idol can be a relationship, money, career or fame. An idol can even be a fear, an illness, or a disappointment, if you allow that hindrance to become bigger and more powerful in your life than God. If you delight in anything more, whether it be your valleys or your victories, than you do in God, you could be setting up a scenario of idol worship without even recognizing it, so beware.
Yes, God wants to be first in your life and He deserves that honor. He desires to bless you and keep you throughout the day. When you start the day by greeting Him, you ensure that He knows that you know how important He is to you.
Surely, beginning the day in this way could only give you a head start for whatever is in store. Not only will you have the benefit of His omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence before your feet hit the floor, but you will have with you a treasured Friend. With such a companion, you can be assured that no matter what you may face, God is walking with you through it.
So, place God in His proper place as you awaken each day. Serve Him with gladness and come into His presence with singing as it says in Psalm 100:2. Appreciate Him for who He is. Ask Him what He would have you do for that day and take time to stop, listen and seek His Word for what He might have to say. Choose to meet Him and greet Him before you jump in the shower, put on your clothes or grab your coffee. Try Him first because when you do, the rest of your day will fall into place. Go ahead, wake up each morning and, no matter the distraction, declare with delight, “Today, I am getting up with God!” What a way to start your day!
What is your habit for starting the day?