One of my few daily commitments is alone time with God. I cherish it greatly. In fact, it’s the most important part of my day. It sets the tone for everything I’m struggling with or contemplating.
But distractions attempt to get the best of me—specifically, my iPhone. You see, my iPhone is my alarm clock. However, it’s also the hub of my text messages, social media notifications, and every other distraction known to man!
Therefore, as I reach over to shut-off my alarm, I often find myself distracted. Maybe it’s an unread text message. Maybe it’s a missed call. Maybe it’s a Facebook message. Nonetheless, I’m tempted to begin my day with my cellphone instead of my Bible.
I’ve said this before, but consistent Bible reading has changed my life drastically. For the past five years or so, I’ve dedicated morning quiet time to God. Almost every day, I’ve read the Bible and let God move in my heart and life. Nothing I’ve ever done has been more productive than this particular activity.
It only makes sense, then, that morning distractions attempt to steal my attention. Who or what owns your day’s first thoughts?
Today, I’m writing about a relationship—the relationship between you and Jesus. In our distracting world, it’s easy to compromise just how important this relationship really is.
When we surrender our first thoughts to someone or something else, we reveal that the first longing of our hearts doesn’t belong to God. Instead, we long for satisfaction in other forms. Consequently, we struggle to have a stronger relationship with Jesus. After all, the most important part of our lives is likely our first thoughts in the morning and last thoughts at night.
It’s so easy to think about fleshly things. It’s so easy to fall prey to distractions—whether they come from a cellphone or a news station. All the while, we compromise time with our Creator. I mean, He’s the reason we get out of bed in the first place!
I’ve heard it said, “He [or she] completes me.” That’s impossible. I know you want to respond to that text message before reading your Bible. But can I tell you something? No person can ever take the place in your heart created by and for God himself.
I’ve heard it said, “Drugs make you feel good.” Can I tell you something? That’s false. No substance can ever take the place in your heart created by and for God himself.
I know it’s tempting to check social media before reading your Bible. But can I tell you something? Nothing you read or see can ever take the place in your heart created by and for God himself.
“Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts” (1 John 5:21 NLT).
Until you realize the irreplaceable relationship you have with Jesus, you’ll constantly find yourself empty. There’s no way an unbeliever can live with complete peace in his or her soul. The Christ-shaped void remains.
“…He [God] has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end” (Ecc. 3:11 NLT).
My prayer is for each and every one of you to give God your attention first thing in the morning. You may think I’m crazy. You may wonder why it’s so important to make Jesus the first part of your day. But I’m telling you from experience that you’ll never be the same.
Let me conclude by sharing an interesting story with you. In the book of Exodus, God sends manna (bread) down to the hungry Israelites. Interestingly, they’re instructed to receive this bread in the mornings.
“Then Moses added, ‘The LORD will give you meat to eat in the evening and bread to satisfy you in the morning…’” (Ex. 16:8 NLT).
Jesus later says, “‘Yes, I am the bread of life! Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness, but they all died. Anyone who eats the bread from heaven, however, will never die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven….’” (John 6:48-51 NLT).
You see what I see? Jesus is the real “bread of heaven.” And what better time to receive the fullness of His presence than first thing in the morning?
Isaiah Pauley is a senior at Wahama High School. He can be followed at www.isaiahpauley.com, or on Facebook at Isaiah Pauley Page.
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