“My voice shall You hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto You and look up. . .You have put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased.  I will both lay me down in peace and sleep—for You, Lord, only make me dwell in safety.”

Psalm 5:3; 4:7-8

When He’s our first thought in the morning and last thought at night, we, too, like the saints of old will know His “Peace that passes all understanding” (Phil. 4:7).

What wakes you up in the morning, Pilgrim?  An alarm clock?  Your clock-radio going off, quietly playing some music or blaring the morning headlines?  Likewise, what’s your nightly ritual before laying your head down on your pillow at the end of a long day?  Watching the evening news or latest talk show?  Reading the newspaper?  Talking with a loved one?

Or, do you try to follow David’s lead in today’s Manna where the Lord is the first One with whom you converse in the morning and the last One on whom you focus as you drift off to Dreamland?

Too often our minds are filled with the things of the world when we first awaken in the morning.  Should we be surprised, then, that we grow anxious even before we get out of bed?  And, if we spend our final waking minutes mulling over the world’s miseries. . .the rise-and-fall of the stock market. . .what someone said or did to us that day, etc. . .is it any wonder that we find sleep eluding us like a thief in the night?

No, it’s no wonder.

That’s why it’s important for us to “capture our thoughts and bring them unto the obedience of Christ” (II Cor. 10:5).  Otherwise, the devil, our #1 archenemy in spiritual warfare, will send his demonic forces to hoot and howl in our mind as they engage in their mission of “stealing, killing and destroying” (Jn. 10:10a).

Although David probably didn’t look at things the way Paul did concerning this battle, it’s clear he knew “the Lord saves not with sword and spear—for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give the victory” (I Sam. 17:47).  And, it’s our remembering this when those things/persons that “trouble us increase in number” (Ps. 3:1) that enables us to say “But, You, O Lord, are a Shield for me; my glory and the lifter up of my head” (3:2).  And, it’s His Presence with us that enables us to know He will hear us when we cry out to Him in the morning and evening.

Dear Pilgrim, the Heavenly Father knows what you’re going through right now.  If He knows when a single, motley-looking, mite-ridden sparrow falls to the ground and dies (Mt. 10:29), He surely knows your heartaches and has promised to help you through them (vv.30-31; Mt. 6:26-30).

Why not stop right now, “look up and direct your prayer toward God’s Throne of Mercy and Grace” (Heb. 4:16)?  Never forget that you are special to the Father and He will guide your steps today (Ps. 4:3; Prov. 3:5-6).  Then, lie down today and “sleep in peace”—knowing the Lord will watch over and sustain you.  He’s faithful.  And, He loves you very, very much.

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated September 25, 2010

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