Where Do Your Thoughts Go?

No matter who you are, where you come from, or what you do, we all have this in common: we have no idea what’s going to happen today.

We have plans, little blips on our calendar, sure. But none of us really know what’s on the way. Proverbs says,

A man’s heart plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.
Proverbs 16:9

The book of James talks about this theme too.

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow
We shall go to such and such a city, spend a year there,
Buy and sell, and make a profit.”
Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow…
…Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall
Live and do this or that.”
James 4:13-15

So how do we prepare for a life and world we can’t predict? How do we position ourselves to respond to Jesus in every circumstance?

The research is in (and, as usual, it only confirms what the Bible has been saying for thousands of years). What you do first thing in the morning sets you up for the rest of your day. There are so many things fighting for our attention the moment we wake up. If you own a smartphone, you know exactly what I’m talking about. More and more research is finding that whatever we focus on first changes our direction for the day.

So what do you do first? What thoughts come to mind? Are you on social media? Scanning the news cycle? Those things aren’t neutral. They affect your brain and your body, and they affect your outlook on the rest of the day.

Imagine if the first thing on our mind was Jesus.

I think of that great English preacher, Charles Spurgeon, who said, “I determine never to look into the eyes of another person until I first look into the eyes of Jesus.”

The Scripture says a lot about giving God “the first fruits” of our lives. In the agrarian society of the Biblical audience, that meant that when you brought in the wheat harvest, the first and the best of what you had belonged to the Lord. What if we made that a daily practice? What if the first and most important thoughts of our day were poured out as an offering to him?

How do we do that? It’s pretty simple. Tomorrow morning, when you wake up, meet with Jesus. Get up, get your cup of coffee, sit in your favorite spot in your house, and invite Jesus in. Pray. Talk to him about this unknown day ahead. Read his word. Thank him. Worship him.

We can’t control what is going to happen today. That unexpected discomfort, that work situation, that family drama, whatever it is that we don’t see coming, God’s got that. All we can control is our presence and attention in the present moment.

Friends, let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2) and our every breath. Let us become so heavenly minded that we might be of some earthly good.

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