Each morning is a powerful gift and holds unlimited opportunity for each one of us. A new day dawning. A fresh start. A chance to wipe the slate clean. A day that God and you co-author. The early bird gets the worm. Are you a morning person or are you a night owl? How well do you take advantage of this second chance? How often do you wake up on the wrong side of the bed?
I love to stay up late. I hate getting “cheated” by missing out on something or losing my relaxation time. But the latest my body allows me to sleep in is 7AM. My fresh start is a bit fuzzy ‘til I shake out the cobwebs, but after shaving and showering I’m fully awake, ready to spend time with the Lord and get a clear view of what He has planned for me that day.
Even those with the deepest faith occasionally awaken in a foggy, frazzled state of mind in the morning. And on the most demanding and trying days, they may even wake in a state of unbelief. You see, our natural state is to get caught up in the minutiae of life and the preceding couple days and lose sight of God’s much bigger picture and plan. Beginning your day with these tangled thoughts and a mind-set of subtle distortion will lead to a day of stress and poor decisions.
The foundation of good decision-making is being able to see the situation clearly … to have eyes that see the truth. That is why the truth will set you free. The trophy is your soul and Satan and God are fighting it out on the battlefield, which is your mind. Satan, the Great Deceiver, has only one weapon – deception. He is always trying to distort your lenses so you can’t see God’s truth.
Your challenge and responsibility each morning is to untangle your thoughts so that your mind is aligned with the truth in God’s Word. You might think you don’t have time … that’s what I used to think. But after wasting so much of my day with tangled thinking, I realized I must spend time with God untangling my thoughts and priorities.
Today, if you started off with Stepping Stones or a similar discipline, good for you. If not, then tomorrow, don’t reach for coffee (the Christian drug of choice), food, or the morning paper to get you going. Cast your eyes clearly on the grace that will be brought to you by the revelation of Jesus Christ. Put on the full armor so confidence, peace, joy, good decisions, and excitement to excel will replace inadequacy, fear, stress, poor decisions, and fear of failure. Focus your thoughts on Your God, Immanuel – God with you. Set aside time each morning for this vital task. Prepare for battle by putting on the Armor of God. Clear your lenses and head (See Spiritual Basics link on the left).
Dear Father, I know that you want me to live this day cheerfully as one of Your followers. But I often wake wondering if I can make it through this day … whether I will be able to cope. I realize that this fear is a form of unbelief. Help me with my unbelief today, my Lord. I know that when I begin my day with a muddled mind, I ask myself the wrong question, “Will I be able to cope with the troubles I face today?” With You alongside me, guiding me, strengthening me, encouraging me … I can conquer anything that comes my way … even the troubles I avoid. So today Father, as I work to untangle my thoughts … thanks for providing Your armor, Your Holy Spirit, and Your son Jesus, to save me in this battle. I will focus my thoughts on who You are: Immanuel – God with me. I pray this in the name of my savior Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – Amen!
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,
1 Peter 1:13-15
“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.”
I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.