Have you ever started your morning with just an okay cup of coffee? You know exactly what I am talking about. Maybe some coffee grinds fell through the filter or the coffee was not quite strong enough or maybe a little too strong. Whatever the case, it sets off your whole morning. You have not gotten the same satisfaction from your morning joe as you usually do, and it tends to throw off your daily routine. The same thing happens when we don't start our mornings off with a little God time. When we begin our day in God's word and in prayer, are bodies are more at peace, our minds are less stressed and we have more strength to get through the day. But, when we don't start out this way, we are tired, no matter how much sleep we got the night before. We might be a little irritable and our fuse tends to be a little shorter with the people we come in contact with. God knows what are bodies and minds need to be able to push through each day. He has created our bodies with the need to refresh and recharge in the things of him. When we read our bible, or a daily devotion. We are filling our spirits with inspired words straight from the heart of God that are used to uplift us and give us a renewal of our mind. Then, when we add prayer to our morning, God is willing and able to speak directly to our hearts the things he wants us to hear. Maybe you have tried to start each day with bible time, but you don't know where to begin or how long you need to do it. Here is a good start. Begin by picking a book from the bible and reading a chapter a day, the book of John and Proverbs are good places to start, but start wherever you feel comfortable. Every morning, as you read the chapter take notes of verses that popped out for you. Get a journal and write down the verses that really hit you or something important that struck you as you read. Once you are done doing that, take it to prayer. Begin by thanking God for a new day, no matter the challenges ahead, then bring your request and desires before him. He will give you new revelations of the verses that impacted you the most and even ones you might of just skimmed over. Like I said before, He knows what your soul needs to hear and he will illuminate those things as you take it to prayer. As you start out, I am not telling you to spend 30 minutes in bible reading, then another 30 mins in prayer. Start small. 5 to 10 minutes at first and as it gets more comfortable and you have gotten used to it, extend your time with Him. Too much time with the Lord is not a bad thing. In fact, the more time you can spend each day with the Father, the more at rest your soul will be.
I learned a few things while working at a grocery store. Cheese will fly of the shelf no matter the sale. Eggs and milk always need to be in stock, People never seem to pay attention unless they have need of you. You could say hello to them 40 times and they completely ignore you, but as soon as they see there are no gallons of chocolate milk on the shelf, suddenly they follow you until you fix their dilemma. Sometimes, we tend to do this to God. He might be calling out to us, trying desperately to get our attention, yet we only will pray if something is going wrong and we need him to fix it. If everything is going well, we tend to not even notice God. We go on with our life as if nothing is wrong and sometimes forget the things he has done. Eventually, you come to an empty shelf without the butter that is on sale, and you begin to panic. God, heal me of this cold. God I need help. God where are you? Here's the thing. God is right behind you, trying to get your attention. All you need to do is get out of your own little world and see that he is ready to help you with anything you might need. God desires to give us good things, and he wants to hear from us like a father asking his kids about their day. When there is bad news, he will be there to comfort and help get you through. And when you come to him with good news, he gets excited with you. So when you pray. tell God the good, the bad and the ugly. Thank him for all his blessings, pray for the hurting, and always rest assured that he will always be right with you wherever you are.
"Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”But he answered, “It is written,“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the templeand said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up,lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him."- Matthew 4:1-11
I love this passage of scripture. Here, we see a side of Jesus that shows us he is indeed fully human on top of being fully God. It says that Jesus was in the desert for 40 days, fasting and praying, and at the end of the time period, he was hungry. It was here that Satan decides to make his move. It is important to note that Satan did not strike when Jesus first entered the desert, but as he was preparing to come out of it. As long as we are in the desert, Satan has no problem with us staying there. It is only when we are getting ready to get back into God's paradise that he gets scared. So, Satan comes up to Jesus and tries to tempt his human side. "You're hungry, make food and quench your hunger. There is nothing wrong with a little bread right? Of course not. God wouldn't mind if you use your spiritual gifts to satisfy yourself. You haven't eaten for 40 days and you deserve this." Luckily for us, Jesus was prepared for this despite his grumbling stomach. "It is written,'Man shall not live by bread alone'" Twice more, Satan tries to tempt him, and again Jesus refutes him with scripture. Finally, Jesus sends him away and Jesus left to begin his ministry. I find it cool that the chapter immediately following this story is the Sermon on the mount, one of the most popular passages to preach in church. Satan knew something was about to begin as soon as Jesus was born, and he knew he would be defeated if he did nothing to stop Jesus from starting his ministry. Fortunately for us, Jesus has already defeated Satan and nothing he can do will stop us, but we have to do our part. Jesus was able to stand against the devil's attacks because he not only read the scriptures, he knew personally the one who inspired men to write it. He had the word hidden in his heart ready to pull it out when the moment arose. Each of us have our own "sermon on the mount" inside of us that is waiting for the right time to come out. Before that happens, Satan is going to throw everything in his arsenal to try and take you down. Stand firm and trust in the Lord with everything. Rely on his truth and he will help you refute Satan's lies.