It’s been close to 2 months since I have entered anything into this journal. That is both embarrasing and inexcusable. I have maintained something of a quiet time with the Lord about 4 days per week on the average, but unless I discipline myself to journal, I usually struggle to concentrate, and I often miss great truths from God’s Word. Reading alone rarely has the impact on me that good, old fashioned journaling makes.
Last week while I was jogging, the Lord spoke very clearly to me and reminded me of a vow He led me to make when I was just 15 years old. He specifically told me then I was to rise early 5 days of every week for the rest of my life and invest time with Him. I was faithful to that vow in high school and throughout my college years. I have had seasons of faithfulness since then. However, during the past 2 months, I have become lazy and done my QT whenever it has been convenient — often putting it off until up in the morning or the afternoon, when I find myself distracted by the many responsibilities and activities of my day.
God, the Holy Spirit, told me last week I was to return to that teenage commitment to rise early, before my family is stirring and before my mind is racing with my typical things to do list. Thus, beginning this morning, I will again journal and give the “first fruits” of my day to my Lord.
This morning, I allowed my Bible to fall open to Psalm 71, which is one of my favorite psalms. In verse 5, David said, “For you have been my hope, O Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth.” Mine too! “From birth I have relied on you.” Me too! “I will ever praise you.” Same here! A few verses later, David resolves, “But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.” (v. 14) That reminds me of a song I used to sing: “The longer I serve Him, the sweeter he grows.” David goes on to say, “Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.” (v. 17-18)
David had determined to praise his God for the rest of his life. And so have I. Lately I have been hit with discouragement and strange thoughts of quitting on God. Such thoughts could only come from the devil and his demons. I will not quit on God, and I will ever praise Him. Carving out time for my most precious Savior must be my first priority — before checking my email, before reading the daily news, before investing time with my family, and before starting my work day. If I am to effectively lead others, I must first lead myself.
Lord, by Your grace and power, I will fulfill my vow and continue to praise You “more and more”…