Weather permitting, my best mornings begin like this:
My coffee and I walk out to the deck. I turn on the stone fountain and let caffeine percolate in my brain. I place my Bible, journal, and coffee mug on the table, then raise the umbrella.
Seated in my outdoor sanctuary, I pray and study God’s Word—unless distracting thoughts and unwise choices obstruct my view.
Did you notice I said, “my best mornings?” True confession: They don’t all start that way. Even when the weather and my decisions allow deck time, stray thoughts surface. What time is that appointment? What should I cook for dinner? The shrubbery needs trimming.
To minimize distractions, I pull my chair closer to the table, start a conversation with God, and read Scripture. Time spent with my heavenly Father opens my spiritual eyes to see Him at work and my ears to hear His instruction throughout each day.
When I look upward from my Bible and journal, I see only the brown and white floral pattern of the umbrella’s lining and a sliver of the sky. The umbrella blocks further view, so I either close it, or walk in the yard for a few minutes to enjoy a panoramic view of God’s creation.
This morning, after removing the visual hindrance, I gazed at a vibrant blue sky filled with jumbo-sized cotton ball clouds. If I’d remained hidden in the umbrella’s shadow, I would have missed signs of God’s glory and majesty.
Our thought patterns can obscure our view of God like the deck umbrella limits my view of the sky. The enemy of our souls is a master deceiver. He devises a mental umbrella and weaves onto its lining a design of distractions, fear, worry, and doubt that can block our view of God’s peace, love, and hope.
My morning view of God can be hindered by late bedtimes, cell phone dings, and misplaced priorities.
People who find an evening time with God more suitable for their lives may discover fatigue, frustration, or the lure of technology sways them to postpone or even miss evening visits with God.
Whatever our situation or stage in life, our thoughts and choices can thwart the full biblical view of God we need to learn more about His character, to enjoy fellowship with Him, and to discern how He guides our steps.
Whatever our situation or stage in life, our thoughts and choices can thwart the full biblical view of God we need to learn more about His character, to enjoy fellowship with Him, and to discern how He guides our steps. Click To Tweet
Three Ways to Close the Umbrellas that Block Our View of God
1.Trust God and His Word, not our own thoughts.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV
Our preconceived interpretation of truth can skew our comprehension of actual truth. (Truth is what God says about an issue.)
As a teenage driver, I once transported my friends for a downtown shopping spree. I ignored the speed limit sign on a bridge that read “15 mph” because I believed my speed of 45 mph speed was safe. Imagine my surprise when all four tires left the pavement after hitting a hump in the pavement. Five girls screamed as the Chevy station wagon became airborne and thudded down on the opposite side of the bridge.
My decision to trust my own opinion instead of the speed limit sign could have ended in disaster. When we cling to our own stubborn beliefs about the Bible instead of adopting a teachable spirit, we can restrict God’s work in our hearts and land in disobedience.
God illuminates the signs we need to heed on the road ahead. Our responsibility is to close the umbrella of stubborn pride and insistence on our own beliefs and accept God’s teaching.
Some people embrace the verses that prove God is love but ignore the passages that teach He is also a just judge. Some teach that “good people” will go to heaven, while God’s Word teaches us Jesus is the only way to eternal salvation.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.John 14:6 ESV
2. Set a high priority on prayer and Bible study by choosing a consistent daily time.
Close the umbrella of procrastination and beliefs that other activities are more important than spending time with God. Erase the thought that someday you’ll study the Bible when you aren’t so busy. As a friend once said, “There’s no day of the week called Someday.”
Determine to go to bed earlier, forego a television show, or limit social media engagement to allow time for prayer and study. You might track the way you spend time for a week to reveal pockets of times you hadn’t considered.
Listen to podcasts or praise music while you complete other tasks, and set aside another daily time to read the Bible.
If we devote ourselves to reading and studying the Bible, we’ll be rewarded with marvelous Truths few ever witness because most aren’t willing to gaze long and deep into the Scriptures.Jean Wilund, “It Takes a Whole Bible to Make a Whole Christian” post and video, March 10, 2021, www.jeanwilund.com
For Jean’s complete post and video: https://jeanwilund.com/it-takes-the-whole-bible-to-make-a-whole-christian/
3. Pray for guidance as you study God’s Word daily.
Close the umbrella of self-dependence when studying God’s Word. The Holy Spirit teaches us and applies scriptural truths to our hearts (John 15:26, 1 John 2:27).
Pray with the psalmist:
Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law.Psalm 119:18 ESV
The psalmist doesn’t depend on his own ability to see with spiritual eyes. Rather, he asks God to open his eyes. Only the Holy Spirit can provide an accurate lens for seeing truth.
Our heavenly Father will show us wondrous things from His Word we may not have considered before. Instead of rereading the same familiar passages and books, why not read from different sections or study books of the Bible you haven’t read before.
Lori Hatcher’s devotional, Refresh Your Faith: Uncommon Devotions from Every Book of the Bible, offers memorable stories and wise perspectives on passages you may not have considered before. Here’s the link: