What was the first voice you heard when you woke up this morning? Was it ESPN or the morning news? Was it the program you DVR’d from last night? Maybe your favorite Pandora station? Did you scroll through your social media feed, email, or text messages? Or browse the web catching up on all you missed while sleeping?
The Gospel of Mark reports about Jesus, “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed” (Mark 1:35, ESV). Spending time with his Father was a priority for Jesus. He withdrew from others to spend time in prayer.
Recently, I have been setting an alarm so I can get up before my family. My goal is to spend time in God’s Word and prayer before my wife and children get up. I don’t turn the tv on or scroll through Facebook or emails or texts. I know my day will be filled with plenty of these voices and many others. I want to hear from God first.
I begin my day with God. His voice is the first I hear as I read the Bible. He also is the first one I communicate with as I pray. I have found that it’s the best way for me to start my day. Hearing from God first and talking with him first gets me headed in the right direction. It helps prepare me to live for Jesus. Reading Scripture encourages and challenges me. My relationship with God is strengthened as I worship him, confess my sins, and pray for myself, my family, my church, non-believers, and other things that come to mind.
While I am trying to get up before my family most days, I have my struggles. I like to stay up late sometimes and I like to sleep. This doesn’t make it easy to get up early. But for the sake of my spiritual health, I know that it is important to make it a priority to set aside time to spend with God first thing in the morning.
So how will you start your day tomorrow? You’ll decide what to eat, what to wear, what to do, and many other things. But whose voice will you decide to hear first? Who will be the first one to hear from you—your social media “friends” or the God who made you and loves you?