This is the halfway point of our 21 day journey together. We are laying a strong foundation upon which to build the rest of 2017. Forming the habit to “Pray First” and to read God’s Word daily will have a dramatic impact on our lives this year.
God doesn’t want our time with Him to become a religious ritual we do to check a box or receive a “gold star.” He wants our time with Him to being meaningful and focused on pursuing relationship with Him.
Some days, Andy and I don’t get much time together. Even though we’re both sleeping in the same bed, there are days we hardly have a chance to talk through more than the logistics of that day. But, if we go several days in a row like that, our relationship begins to suffer. We start to feel disconnected. We don’t know what is going on in each other’s hearts and minds. We have to prioritize finding time for conversation.
That’s what our time with God is all about. God (primarily) speaks to us through His Word, and we speak to God through prayer. It’s about the relationship. There will be days where our time is limited and we miss out on a rich conversation. But, if we string a bunch of days together like that, our relationship will suffer.
Andy has a phrase, “Shoot for 7, hit 5.” Basically, time alone with God is so important that we should shoot to do it every day of the week. The reality is, sometimes life gets in the way and that time doesn’t happen. But, just because you missed yesterday doesn’t mean you need to miss today. Get back on the horse and let the days you miss become the exception to the rule, instead of the other way around.
I’m so proud of you for hanging with us these 11 days so far. Let’s read God’s Word together:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be Your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” Matthew 4:4
You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek You;
I thirst for You, my whole being longs for You,
in a dry and parched land where there is no water.
I have seen You in the sanctuary and beheld Your power and Your glory.
Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You.
I will praise You as long as I live, and in Your name I will lift up my hands.
I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise You. Psalm 63:1-5
When Jesus was teaching His disciples to pray, He instructed them to ask their Heavenly Father for their daily bread. In the Bible, bread represents several things.
- Bread represents our daily, physical needs for survival.
- The “breaking of bread” can represent fellowship, community and friendship with other believers.
- Jesus took bread and broke it as a symbol of His body being broken for us.
- And, bread can also represent God’s Word, which sustains and satisfies our soul.
Jesus’ comment in Matthew 4 (above) emphasizes that approaching each day with the primary goal of meeting your physical needs is an empty way to live life. As humans made in God’s image, we were created for more than that. God created within every human heart a longing to know his or her Creator.
I love how desperate the Psalmist seems in his desire to know God…like without time with God, he just might not make it. Like he’s been hiking through the Sahara and ran out of water three days ago. “I thirst for you. My whole body longs for you.”
I wish I felt that way more consistently. I wish I lived with the reality that every longing and thirst in my life is most fully satisfied through relationship with my Heavenly Father.
We are some thirsty people, aren’t we? We thirst for approval, acceptance, love, significance, and on and on it goes. And, in addition to that, we are a (sometimes tragically) creative people in our pursuit of satisfying those thirsts. I wonder what you tend to turn to to satisfy your soul thirst…I know mine.
The Psalmist knew a truth that perhaps we need to be reminded of–God’s love is better than life, and in His presence we will be fully satisfied with the richest of foods. No dry, left over crumbs for God’s kids. He invites us to feast in His presence.
As we pray for our daily bread, may it be a reminder to us to pray not only for our physical needs to be met, but also that God would make our souls crave Him. He knows that bread alone will never satisfy us. We need His Word, we need Him, to satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts.
He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. Psalm 107:9
It’s your turn.
Have you ever experienced God’s Word fulfilling a deep soul thirst in your life? Has there ever been a Bible verse or passage that has sustained you during a difficult season? Share your story in the comments.