My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make melody. Awake, my soul! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn. I will give thanks to You, O LORD, among the peoples, and I will sing praises to You among the nations. For Your steadfast love is higher than the heavens and Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, and let Your glory be over all the earth. (Psalm 108:1-5)
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Noise. Noise. Noise. Noise. Noise. Noise.
Have you ever stopped and thought about just how noisy our world is?
In any given moment, hundreds of sounds fill our senses: the humming of a nearby air-conditioner, the laughing (or crying) of a small child, the clanking of dishes, the buzzing of the outside traffic, the clicking of a clock, music softly (or loudly) playing around you, your phone continually dinging or vibrating from messages, people chatting all around, and so...much...more.
Our world is LOUD. And loud things are often the best kinds of attention grabbers.
Though some loud noises get our attention in an important way (a fire alarm, door bell, alarm clock, oven timer, etc.) most of our daily "loud" is insignificant and trivial, distracting us from being truly attentive and steadfast.
I believe that this is why the Psalmist wrote today's Psalm. It reads: "My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast..."
This word, though uncommon in our daily language, simply means fixed upon or prepared. Literally, the author is saying that his heart is ready, determined, and capable...with a whole-hearted intent and eagerness to experience the Lord.
Though surrounded by many louds in his world, he brings himself to a place of readiness. All of his wondering and straggling thoughts are gathered in, kept close, and maintained. He chooses in this moment to not focus on the surrounding louds, but instead he fixes his heart on the Lord.
He has - as we call it today - a "quiet time" with the LORD; a time where he sits and refocuses, gives thanks, and praises God.
And please notice what time of day he chooses when seeking to be alert and focused: "Awake, my soul! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn. I will give thanks to You, O LORD..."
He decides to focus his heart at dawn; at twilight (aka: in THE MORNING). If you think about it, the quietest time in our world is early in the morning. Hardly anyone is awake, not many are on the road, even less are at work, and most of our houses are actually still.
This is why the psalmist chose to have his heart fixed on the Lord during the morning. He knew that the morning was the best place to fight out the daily louds. And he knew that his stillness in the morning would give him the readiness needed to continually fight them.
You see, when our mornings are not His, our days tend to not be His either.
In my own life, I find that I am the most susceptible towards saying yes to sin, the most impatient with my giving of grace, and the most distracted by the world's louds on the days when I did not spend time with the Lord in silence.
And the same is true for all of us. We act the most unlike ourselves when we deny times of silence and preparation.
Am I saying that the morning is the only time to do this? No. But I am saying that we see consistent evidence in scripture that there is power in giving up our mornings to prepare us for our days.
With that said, I challenge you to practice this discipline this week. Even if you woke up late today, I encourage you to "awake at dawn" and fix your heart on the Lord for the following days.
I promise that you will notice a difference in your ability to stay alert. We would love to know, are you a morning person? When is the best time for you to spend alone with God? Feel free to answer in today's Instagram post (Instagram.com/DeclareGlory).
Greg, Declare Glory