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When You Wake and When You Sleep

Monday, August 14, 2017 @ 12:22 PM
When You Wake and When You Sleep Joy Lucius Writer, AFA Journal MORE

Be honest. The alarm went off this morning and your first thought of the day was … what? Work, what to wear, your kids, your spouse, breakfast, or what? Be honest. What was your first coherent thought, your first concern this morning? 

I know, I know. I hear you saying, “That’s not fair. Give me a break.” And maybe you are right. After all, it is way too early in the morning to do some kind of holiness test. The first moment of the day is just not the time or the place for a spiritual inventory. Or is it? 

The Bible tells us that out of the abundance (or overflow, or extra stuff) of our heart, the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34). Whatever is in there, in our hearts, will be what ultimately comes out of our mouths, even early on a workday morning. 

So, here’s my point—God should be our first thought every morning. After all, we were His first thought. Even before the foundation of the earth, before the world began, He was thinking of us and already making a way for us to be with Him, to be of Him, to love Him, and to live with Him forever. 

Whatever your first thought really was, let it go. It is not worthy of worry, time, or energy. And it is especially not worthy of our praise and worship. He alone is worthy! Every other thing pales in comparison to His beauty and majesty. Nothing compares. 

And nothing can compete with His Word. It is truth; it is life, and it is preeminent and supreme. If He said it, He meant it. So, why, why, why waste our moments in worry? And how utterly ridiculous and fruitless it is to start our day with worry. 

Matthew 6 is the perfect antidote for worry. Within its verses, God gently but firmly reminds us that if He can care for the birds of the air, then, of course, He will do the same for us. He instructs us to not worry or fret over every little thing, for He knows our every need and has it handled—before we even realize the problem. 

Instead of focusing on our problems, Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (KJV). 

I get it though, and I hear you. At times, that’s easier said than done, isn’t it? Sometimes it’s not just thinking about what to wear, what to cook for dinner, or how to stretch a dollar. Sometimes it’s past worry and closer to despair; sometimes, it is life or death. What then? 

Then, it takes a conscious effort to obey these words of God:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7, ESV). 

Did you get that? “Prayer and supplication with thanksgiving” means talking to God, laying it all on the line, humbly begging, pleading, and declaring all the promises of God from His Word that address our heartache and hurt. But the key is to do all of this with thanksgiving. 

Giving thanks in the midst of trouble? That is crazy. No, it is crazy if we do not thank Him. After all, He is the only one who has our answers and our provisions already at hand. He alone knows the beginning from the end. And never forget, He is the one who loves us most. Now the knowledge of that truth brings peace, total peace to any situation. 

So, of course, we thank God. For if we truly know Him, then even in the darkest times, we have no doubt that He is working all things for our good. He cannot fail; therefore, we cannot fail. So, simply thank God that when the trouble is over, the victory will be yours. Thank Him in advance for His answers. They are perfect, for He is perfect. 

Think about the magnitude of that for a moment—He is perfect. He cannot fail. Never has and never will. In fact, He said, “It is finished.” And He meant it. He already won the war, so this little battle, this skirmish, is nothing in light of His eternal victory.

In all honesty, isn’t it kind of silly for us to worry and fret?

So, instead of worrying, tonight, let your last conscious thought be of Jesus. Go to sleep thanking Him, praising Him, and worshipping Him. Tell Him over and over of how much you love Him. And as you rest (or try to rest) list everything good in your life, every blessing He has given you. Count your blessings instead of sheep. 

In fact, let go, and let God count the sheep. He is much better at that chore than we will ever be. Yes, let your last waking thought be of Jesus. 

Then ask Him to let your first thought be of Him—if you are given the gift of one more morning, one more day. When you consciously do that, when you ask for your first waking thought to be centered on Christ, you will be amazed at what instantly enters your mind in the morning. 

And more importantly, with your mind fixed on God, you will be amazed at what you do not think about and what you do not worry and fret over. So, begin and end each day with the Maker of each day. Put God first and last!

 

 

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