How many of you have heard the expression, “I am not a morning person!”? For many people, that expression is all too accurate. In fact, we have all sorts of expressions that point to how we get up in the morning. “Boy, he must have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed this morning!”, or “What’s wrong with her? She’s as grouchy as an old bear.” Sound familiar?
Even if these expressions do not apply to you, and you are one of those irritating people that get up cheerful and talkative in the morning, you probably still get going by a set routine that does not vary very much from day to day. Too often, we get up and face the day like we would face some unpleasant task that has to be done. This may sound humorous, and it may be accurate, but how does this compare to what a Christian should do?
In Psalm 5, we find an answer to this in the words of David. For David, the morning was a time to reflect on what had been happening, and what he would face that day. The first three verses are significant in that David showed several important characteristics of his life. First, he began each day in prayer. “Give ear to my words, O LORD, Consider my meditation. Give heed to the voice of my cry, My King and my God, For to You I will pray. My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD; In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up.”
How many of us begin our daily routines with prayer? We have time to eat breakfast (maybe), or read the newspaper, but do we have time to pray to our Heavenly Father and ask. for help with the day? Why is each day a burden? What did Jesus say? “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matt 11:29-30)
Another characteristic of David is that his prayers were not always cheerful. He wrote, “Give heed to the voice of my cry” The responsibility of ruling a nation must have been immense, and David knew that his success was tied directly to his dependence upon God. Likewise, we must present our petitions to the Lord in prayer whether we feel like praying or not. It is during the times that we do not feel like praying that we especially need to pray.
Finally, David prayed with patience. “I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” David had learned the priceless lesson that we must wait on the Lord. The Lord knows what is good for us, and when it is good for us. Too often, we look for the quick solution – we almost DEMAND instant satisfaction. But the Lord’s wisdom is infinitely deep and rich. We must learn to “wait in expectation”.
As David thought about the day that was facing him, he knew that he would be facing two categories of people: those that loved the Lord, and those that did not love the Lord. Throughout the centuries, men and women, who follow the Lord, have been repelled by the worldliness and sin that exists in the world.
Some try to deal with the problem by hiding in a sanctuary – a monastery. Others only associate with “our kind” of people and look down on other “less spiritual” people. Well, David did not have that luxury. As a ruler, he had to confront evil and worldliness daily. So, David prayed for the Lord to guide his paths, “make Your way straight before my face.” (vs. 8) He knew that the Lord would protect those who love Him. The last two verses are almost a song of praise because of David’s confidence in the Lord’s help.
Today, we are more than just a ruler of physical Israel. We are children of God and His ambassadors to this world. Yes, for a Christian, the destructive effects of sin that we see in people is like a knife in our hearts, but we cannot turn from the world just because it is unpleasant! As Paul wrote, “God forbid!” Instead, we have a mission, a responsibility, to take the good news – the Gospel – to the world. The people who are so deeply sunk into sin – THEY especially need to hear about Jesus Christ.
Each morning, as we get out of bed and go through our routines, we must approach the day as an opportunity to spread some good around us. Do you have to preach a sermon each time you see someone? No. But, we can preach a sermon in our lives. We can show that we love Jesus Christ. Sooner or later, someone will become interested and ask us about why we are a Christian, or what we believe. THEN we can plant a seed, or bring a soul to Christ.
It will happen my friends, IF we live our lives for Christ; and the FIRST STEP is to begin with prayer. At night, we can pray for help and peace; in the morning, we can pray for guidance and .strength. We can also praise God; because, like David, we KNOW that the Lord is our shield as we face life each day.
– Jim Shelburn