What excites you to get up each day?
We are creatures of habit; we establish routines to keep us on track with daily activities. If for any reason our routine is interrupted, we get thrown off course and things seem off kilter. We also maintain control when we have started our day on autopilot. Priority is a determined need that must be met precisely. Each waking morning, there are some needs that have to be met precisely; getting that workout, going for a run, taking a cup of coffee, praying and other things that are a priority. These things must be done at a set time in order for everything else to fall in place. Why are they so important? They are our first longing because we have grown very fond of them. They are a prerequisite to ensuring we start well. Desires are longings for what we have become extremely fond of.
O God, You are my God: Early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You, in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. 2 So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your Power and Your Glory. 3 Because Your Lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You. 4 Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your Name. 5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips (Psalm 63).
There’s nothing better than what we long for. What we desire can’t be met with a substitute. An insatiable hunger and thirst for God because He is Our God, will get us up early to seek Him. Time and priority are valuable commodities, but how we manage them speak volumes of the things we value in life. Like a dry and thirsty land, is a morning with no certainty of what the day will bring. We put aside all distractions and long for nothing else, but His Lovingkindness. If we consider for one moment everything else the world can offer us, to give us the momentum to get up and go, God’s Goodness, Favor, Grace and Strength should be pale in comparison. So we put on the garments of praise as we approach Him with great expectations; not so much because of what He will do, but because of Who He is. We grow fond of God, because of Who He is. We don’t grow fond of our loved ones because they do certain things for us that others don’t do, but because of who they are to us. Let your soul, in the beginning of the day, be satisfied with God’s Presence.
So we look for Him in His Sanctuary because of His Power and Glory. When we meet with His Majesty, we throw aside our skills, knowledge, achievements and things we so often trust. We look to God to impart on us His unmatched Abilities, so that we get off on a flying start. We make a determination not to be satisfied with anything less; just as marrow and fatness are the best portions, we yearn for only what God gives us, not what we can offer ourselves. This is what gets our heart pumping and our minds awakened; that we spend the rest of the day lifting His Name, because our name, our experience, and limited capabilities are small fry. We can jump start our day in His Presence so that we carry the day with His Abilities. It’s a routine that should never be interrupted. So we praise Him by being diligent in expressing Who He is. It’s not the caffeine, the work out, or the music that starts us on our best foot, it’s abiding in Him.
23 He said to them, “You will surely say this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in Your country.’ ” 24 Then He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country. 25 But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land; 26 but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian (Luke 4).”
There are many who are in dire need; but only those who acknowledge their only need is God’s Mercy will receive it. It matters little about your background or how long you are a Christian; what is paramount is your longing for God’s Goodness. The LORD Jesus rebuked the Israelites who didn’t believe in His Abilities, because they had believed that they would receive from God based on their lineage through Abraham. They didn’t accept The LORD’S ways of healing on the Sabbath, or His different approach to what they were accustomed to. They expected One Who followed their traditions and the usual way of doing things. Routine and order can get in the way of blessings. The widow and Naaman were not Jews, yet God sent prophets to meet their needs. They longed for their deliverance from their struggles, did exactly what the prophets asked them to do, and received their miracles. They didn’t have to understand the means or the instructions.
We seek out of need; while we want out of entitlement. These verses tell us that God had already started to reveal Himself to those who were not Israel, because His Goodness is for all who long for it. He looks to the humble who accepts they need Him, regardless of their name and place of privilege.
25 For a woman whose young daughter had an unclean spirit heard about Him, and she came and fell at His feet. 26 The woman was a Greek, a Syro-Phoenician by birth, and she kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27 But Jesus said to her, “Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” 28 And she answered and said to Him, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs under the table eat from the children’s crumbs.” 29 Then He said to her, “For this saying go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter (Mark 7).”
“Wow, He was so rude!” one would say of Christ. This poor woman abased herself even to accept being called a “dog”. “Why would The LORD be so callous to her plight?” one may ask. The woman was Greek, a Gentile who was acknowledged by Christ as not deserving of the Mercy that was meant for the children of Israel: As He said, “Let the children be filled first”. She was desperate and would not stop pleading with Him. The LORD knew of her dogged determination, before He even spoke to her. He wanted to push her up against a wall and see if she were any different from the children of Israel, in their unbelief.
If we see this verse as offensive, we miss the important lesson; the woman’s attitude and response. Out of her desire for her daughter to be healed, she saw no other hope. She was willing to take any crumbs of mercy she could receive, because that is all she needed. While using Christ’s description of her as a dog, because she was Gentile, she turned it into hope for “the dog”; who still got the crumbs that fell off the table. Also, she understood that a dog was not kept out of the presence of the master, because he was allowed in the room. If we long for God to help us, we must be willing to accept His Perception of us by agreeing with Him, yet still reminding Him that He is still Good and Loving to all who come into His Presence. The woman was not demoralized by who she was, but motivated Who He was. The LORD acknowledged who she became in His Presence—a woman of greater faith than the children of Israel, and He blessed her. We should yearn for who we can become in His Presence.
35 Then it happened, as He was coming near Jericho, that a certain blind man sat by the road begging. 36 And hearing a multitude passing by, he asked what it meant. 37 So they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. 38 And he cried out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
39 Then those who went before warned him that he should be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40 So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be brought to Him. And when he had come near, He asked him, 41 saying, “What do you want Me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, that I may receive my sight.” 42 Then Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” 43 And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God (Luke 18).
What do you want to get out of God’s Presence? Be specific and to the point. We don’t have to consult with others’ for their opinion on whether what we desire is the right thing—or the right time or place to receive it. We may sound repetitive; even may become a nuisance to others, because we truly want to see our needs met. It’s good to be persistent and go from strength to strength, in our boldness to receive. Faith will increase the hope of receiving. Let nothing stand in the way of our hope, but our lack of zeal.
5 Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, 6 saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.” 7 And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” 8 The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel (Matthew 8)!”
We come to God for many reasons, but mostly when we are at our wits end, with no other hope. Devastating situations will drive us to our knees. Like the Centurion, we can plead for God to speak into our situation with just a Word. He can be anywhere where we are not, and meet a need that is distant. We don’t have to wait to be where the situation is playing out, to call upon God to speak deliverance. If there’s an urgency, there’s no time to waste. The sooner we call, the better. He is able to get to the situation just by His Word. We have to believe that urgency requires power beyond our means.
If we long for all that God has for us at the start, middle and end of the day, we will be on our best form. There’s nothing that can truly compare with His Presence, where we are changed and made into vessels of purpose. He protects, empowers, sustains us, and manifests His Best through us. No matter our background, we have to be adamant to desire nothing less, than what He offers us each day. If we rise early to meet with Him, He will never leave us nor forsake us; because we have made Him our first love. Though the day may overwhelm us or end in disappointments, we desire for a new morning alone with Him.
4 One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord, all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple. 5 For in the time of trouble, He shall hide me in His pavilion. In the secret place of His tabernacle, He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock. 6 And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me. Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord (Psalm 27).