1Has He purified you with the fire from above?When I first opened my eyes this morning (if you consider 4:30AM morning, that is), my first thought was: “I so do not want to be awake right now.” I’d had a long day yesterday, and I knew I needed sleep. So, I closed my eyes for a minute and then opened them again an hour later. This time, I had a different thought.
2Is He first in your thoughts, does He have all your love?
3Is His service your choice, and your sacrifice sweet?
4Is your doing His will both your drink and your meat?
5Do you run at His calling with glad eager feet?
(Streams in the Desert, L. B. Cowman, August 7)
“Sounds like Andrew is poking around. Better get moving.” So I did.
This was hardly atypical for me. The first thoughts I have each morning are often, for lack of a better term, mundane. I may think about my need to use the restroom, how thirsty I am, how badly I’d like to go back to sleep, or maybe how pleased I am to be the first one awake.
Or how about my first thoughts when I come upon a crisis? Or when I get good news? Or when I finally get a moment to myself? Or when the phone rings? Again, my thoughts often start out focusing on the mundane, the practical.
Yet, I am a resident of the Kingdom of Heaven. Heaven is my home: not my tiny Michigan town, or my lovely two-story with the finished basement. The only part of me that should be fully in this world is my body. My mind, my emotions, my soul, my thoughts should all be focused primarily above. GOD should be the first thing I think of in every instance, and His unseen kingdom (not my own pleasure, benefit, or will) should be my primary focus.
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2Corinthians 4:18 NIVSo, when a difficult trial slaps me in the face, my first thought needs to be prayer instead of panic. When I get good news, I need to praise God first – not the circumstance. When I’m alone in my house with some time for “myself,” I need to seek Him first, instead of my own selfish priorities. And the next time I wake up at some ridiculous hour, instead of whining and grumbling, I will pray—and perhaps pray myself back to sleep. But even if I don’t, I will know it is His will that I stay awake, because I am seeking Him first.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33 NIVOnce I put God first, He’ll take care of the rest. And there’s nobody more trustworthy to take care of “the rest,” is there?
Heavenly Father, I know that, more often than not, You are not first in my thoughts: that I put my own worldly needs and desires ahead of Your Kingdom. Help me, Lord, to keep you #1 in all I think, do, and say. Teach me the blessing of making You top priority, and help me to make your supremity a reality in every aspect of my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen