First

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1:35

I don’t know about you, but I’m easily distracted. I walk downstairs to start the laundry and notice a dirty glass and saucer in the family room. I put down the laundry basket, pick up said glass and saucer, and take them upstairs to the kitchen, where I wipe the counter while making myself a cup of tea. While the tea is brewing, I remember a card I need to get out to the mailbox before the mailman comes. I grab the card, look for stamps, and then realize I never started the laundry. Or drank my tea. And so it goes …

Okay, so I’m not always quite that bad, but … almost! Isn’t it easy for us to be distracted? Our days are filled with countless tasks and duties—and then fill up with unexpected interruptions. If we don’t settle in our minds the priorities for the day, we can fritter it away doing bits and pieces without accomplishing our real priorities at all.

God is quite clear that He is to be our priority. “You shall have no other gods before me,” He states in Exodus 20:3. Jesus declares, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). These verses—and many more—make it clear that God is to be … first. Jesus modeled this when he prayed “very early in the morning.”

I’d like to suggest that early in the morning is the best time to meet with God. Here are my top five reasons why:

  1. We can’t always predict (actually, we can rarely predict!) what a day will look like. Our best-laid plans are often overturned by the unexpected. To be absolutely certain that the first priority—spending time with God—actually happens, let’s meet with Him first before the day gets underway.
  2. Waiting until the end of the day for a quiet time with God often means that our brains are simply too tired to focus. Yes, we are often tired in the morning, too, but morning is the time for waking up, and what better way to do that waking up than with a favorite cup of tea and the Word of God?
  3. How do we show our love for God? One way is by spending time with Him at the very beginning of the day. It’s a concrete way of saying, “You are more important than anyone or anything else in my life, so I choose to meet with You first.”
  4. I don’t know about you, but my days just go better when I don’t tumble into them bouncing from one activity to the next, but instead begin with stillness, seeking God’s wisdom for the true priorities for my day.
  5. When we start the day with our minds fixed on the God who loves us, we start by feeling loved and filled and happy to be His. Emotionally, this prepares us to love those who come our way throughout the day.

Is it hard to get out of bed 15-20 minutes earlier in the morning? Yes, it is. Is it worth it? Yes, it is! The One who loves us best deserves to be … first. I’d love to hear from you, if you try this. I believe it will be life-changing and habit-forming in the best of ways, if you do.

Heavenly Father, forgive me when I allow myself to be distracted by lesser things and don’t pursue You first. Help me to know the best way to declare that You are my priority in the way I choose to live my life. I love You, Lord. Help me to love You more and more. Help me to give You first place in my heart and in my life. In Jesus’ Mighty Name, Amen.

You are loved,
Sharon

 

 

Sweet Selah Ministries

Vision
To encourage a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth that stillness and knowing God matter most—
and will be reflected in more effective work and service

Mission 
To offer resources and retreats that help women pause (Selah)
and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)

3 Responses to “First”

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  1. Margaret Fowler says:

    I had to smile at your story of distraction, - sounds like me! This morning I remembered your blog which I read yesterday, and went to my Bible reading early. Psalms 3 and 4 have some wonderful verses, and several mentions of the word Selah. Pause and refresh. Thank you.

    • Sharon Gamble says:

      I love that word, "refresh." Yes, that's what happens when we stop. ( ... and I am glad I am not alone in that distraction thing!! )

  2. Perri Houze says:

    No you are not alone in that distraction thing. I often find my cup of coffee in the micro at dinner when I am once again in the kitchen. Oh, that's where my coffee went! Thankfully that means I'm not dependent on coffee...now where is my Bible? lol

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