Before All Else
I see a trend I don’t like one bit.
And sometimes in me.
It is the temptation to go to the Internet or other media for what only God can give.
To looks for an inspiring Tweet; a clever quote from a blogger or famous person, a TV show’s relevant message, or a snazzy Facebook status that will give your soul what it is sorely lacking that day.
I fear we are looking in the wrong place.
We must purpose to put God before all else, otherwise all else will nudge God clear out of our days.
When that occurs, we welcome nightfall having connected with cyber friends, taken in our favorite reality show or History Channel program. We’ve sent the emails, returned the calls, read the books and completed the tasks.
But we never once consulted with the Creator of the universe who sits waiting still. He wants to connect with us through His word (the Bible) or through His instant messaging system (prayer).
If this is sometimes you, can I make a few suggestions? These are what have helped me.
~ Before you go to bed each night, place your Bible on top of your laptop of keyboard as a visual reminder for the morning of what your priorities should be.
~ Put a sticky note on your mirror that says “Have you prayed about it?”
~ Set an alarm on your phone for once (or even more!) per day. It can serve as a reminder to read your Bible or to pray for someone you promised you would. My friend and assistant Kim does this. I crack up when her phone buzzes and the declares “Jesus is calling on your cellular device”.
~ My Good Morning Girls group. These three women sit waiting for me each day (and I for them) to hear, via a quick group email, that I have spent time reading, pondering and praying. Always loaded with grace for each other on the days we don’t get to our alone time with God until evening or not at all, they help move me toward consistency.
~ An empty chair. My home office houses an empty chair in front of my desk. Sometimes a child sits there when I am teaching one or helping the other with homework. Most times, I imagine Jesus lingering there.
~ A screen saver message or picture on your phone’s lock screen. Throw up a picture of the camp ground where you first encountered God. Or a verse or quote that will remind you not to overlook your time with God that day.
~ Give yourself grace. Don’t look for perfection, look for progress.
While media sources can be a fabulous tool to help grow your relationship with God, it should never be a substitute for it.
I had someone tell me she has coffee and a cup on her table in her AM bible time. The cup is for her friend, Jesus! I sometimes beat myself up for not being so “perfect” in my time with the Lord. I want to be so with it and sometimes, I just feel like a failure. Thanks for the encouragment.
I LOVE THIS!!
I could use a bit of a nudge to keep me on track. Thank you, Karen.
Karen, this post was for me! I’ve been trying to justify what I do on the computer, as it’s all about God, right? God used you sister, to give me my answer. Only Him; first! Thankyou. You have been one of the bloggers I enjoy so & respect very much! You were one of the first ones I ever read, last year when I got my computer & was introduced to this blogging world, which I have grown to love. Thankyou for obeying the Lord & address a needed area for many.
I have to say thank you…all of these tips will help me to spend more time in the word and with God as I should. God bless.
Great ideas and encouragement!
Thanks for these reminders. I started piling my Bible and journal on top of my laptop several months ago for my morning quiet time and it has done wonders!!
I loved this post so I tried to connect with your blog via RSS feed (to add you to my google reader) and both RSS links didn’t work.
Hmm….just tried them both & they are working fine.
Oh how I needed this today! I have had my life altered for about 4 months now. My usual routine of early mornings spent with God has been replaced with shuttling my oldest daughter to work. I have sensed a change in my attitude, I KNOW I need my time with Him back, Thanks for the reminders that I can meet with Him anytime.
I love this… I find that any day that begins with The Lord, His Word, my devotional & prayer results in a day where things just seem to be in more “order” and get done far more efficiently…when I stop to be with Him, first, and ask Him to direct my day – to help me say yes to the “best” and no to the only “good.” My desire is that HE lead my day and the only way this works is by starting it off with Him, first. Great ideas on reminders! Thank you!
This is such a great reminder to not put God on the backburner of our days! He truly is the only one who will sustain us and give us the strength and wisdom to face each new day!! So often we overlook spending time with Him. Thank you for the wonderful reminder! :)
What a wonderful message, it really touched my life. Sometimes having a job and being a college student consumes my time with God, but with these reminders I won’t have excuse and will help me maintain my mind on God. Thank you Karen!
Loved this post :) Thank you
So well put and so much needed. I need a kick in the backside to start doing this again… Thanks for the reminders-so true…
Thank you for these wonderful tips and reminders. I also like the fasting from the computer world to tend to our relationship with God, our family and even ourselves once in awhile. I really aprreciated your example in doing this for a month last summer.
From email: Great reminder, thank you for sharing!
That is certainly true, I’ve made a committment to start each day with prayer and Bible reading before I do anything else. I don’t always make it as I have little ones that sometimes need me and get up before they should, but my day is always better when I start it out with the LORD first! Thanks for the encouragement!
Give yourself GRACE
Think progress not perfection
These are fabulous suggestions, and a beautiful reminder of where to look first for what we need as we run into each day. I have left my Bible on my computer, and I think I will do that from now on. Thank you for this timely post reminding me to reach for God’s hand before I reach out into the world.
Thanks for the reminder and the good “helpful hints” – some of those I do, but I love the cell phone alarm! I can DO that! Love your blog!
Thank you! I really, really needed this today.
Karen, thanks for the nudge! Such a convicting, but not condemning reminder.
So, is it ok to retweet this? :)
Absolutely!! Thanks, Kelli!
Hi Karen, I have been trying to consistently spend time with my Father in His word first thing in the morning. If I don’t do it then, it’s nearly impossible for me to do it later. Not that my life is soooo full of important things to do…..well, somedays it is…….but if I don’t meet with Him first thing it is just too easy to get caught up in other things……or nothing. I have no close friends to study with…….our church does not have a woman’s Bible study so it’s just me and God. I’m good with that most of the time. My study Bible is always next to my chair. I have been leaving a Bible on the kitchen counter that I can stop and read a bit of during the day and I have a devotional Bible on the head of my bed. I am making progress…….a little bit at a time.
Thanks for your helpful thoughts.
Wow, Karen that was sooo good, and on time thank you for the reminder. :) I have had to take facebook fasts just to break the habit. Thank you for the tips <3