The Bible speaks to us of the value of each day, and points out the need for us to use each day wisely and profitably:
Each day is a gift from God; we need His wisdom to use it wisely. “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Ps 90:12).
Each day has its own particular joys and challenges. We are to set our minds and hands to today’s duties and avoid worrying about tomorrow’s. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matt 6:34).
We must use prayer and the Word of God each day in order to receive what we need for the day. “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matt 6:11); “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” (Josh 1:8; see also Psalm 119:11,105; 2 Timothy 3:16,17).
It is clear that our days are to be used responsibly and not squandered (Eph 5:16). God has made us “stewards” of our days – our time – and we are accountable to Him for how we use them. When we submit each day to God, He will help order and direct our steps. The essential meaning of submission is “right order” in design and relationship. It is not about domination. It actually refers to things being in proper arrangement so as to work properly. Our days will “fit together” much better when they are first submitted to God for His guidance. “But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in Your hand” (Ps 31:14,15).
God will not force His way into our daily business. We must invite His Lordship over our day, and ask in prayer for His wisdom and provision for all that concerns us. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, Who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (Jas 1:5).
We can take assurance in God’s promises that He will help us, guide us, and be with us through each day (Ps 32:8; 48:14; Matt 28:20). We can begin each day with joy, thankful for the gift of another day to serve the Lord and others.
A. SURRENDER YOUR DAY TO GOD
“Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass… Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him” (Ps 37:5,7).
The two words, “commit” and “rest,” are of great importance.
By “committing” the things of our life to God and “resting” in the sure knowledge that He will work all things together for our good (Rom 8:28), we bring divine order to each day.
The original Hebrew word for “commit” is galal. It means “to roll, roll down, roll away, remove”. So we are to “roll our ways” – our burdens, concerns and works – off of ourselves and into God’s care, trusting in Him (see also Proverbs 16:3). Just as a camel, burdened with a heavy load, will kneel down, tilt to one side and allow the load to roll off – so are we to kneel in prayer and “roll” our burdens into God’s care. Jesus affirmed this when He spoke, “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matt 11:30).
When we try to carry our own burdens, we will be weighed down, discouraged and worn out. But when we give them to the Lord each day, and trust that He will work out His good purposes, we can have His peace and rest throughout our day (Phil 4:6,7).
Come before the Lord in prayer each day and tell Him what you are concerned about. Describe your day to Him point by point – people, places, events, decisions, etc. Then rest in His great ability to answer your requests in His timing and His way.
Some of our days may not end up the way we expected. It is encouraging to remember that God is never caught off guard by the “unexpected” events that may come our way.
Our plans and purposes may fail, but never His. Nothing will ever be a total waste or loss if we give our life and day to the Lord every morning, and obey Him throughout the day.
You may have days when you miss your devotional time with God. You may be so eager to get busy doing work for the Lord that you don’t take the time to wait upon the Lord of the work.
When you prepare in prayer, you will have real spiritual strength for the day. To have ordered the day before God allows you to trust that He will wisely guide you through the unexpected problems that arise. It makes a great difference in the day – a very great difference!
It is never too late to pray, but offering your day to the Lord in the morning may spare you needless anxiety or problems. “Commit” your day to the Lord from the start – then “rest” in Him!
B. SHOW CHILDLIKE NEED
“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil” (Prov 3:6,7).
As a child needs a father, so we need God. We are totally dependent upon Him. We need Him very much every day.
To be “wise in your own eyes” means to be proud and arrogant; to feel overly confident in ourselves and our own abilities; to think that we can do things without God’s help. Our human nature wants independence. We may think we do not need to turn to God, except perhaps in times of crisis.
But this is not true. The truth is: We need the Lord’s help for every moment in every day. We have been made by Him – and we must be sustained by Him.
The success of our lives and ministries is dependent upon the power of God’s Spirit. We must always – and in all ways – rely upon Him. This is the simple childlike dependence which we must maintain.
Being childlike and dependent upon God does not mean we are to never grow up. God also desires for us to mature as sons and daughters – to grow up spiritually and partner with Him in accomplishing His purposes (Eph 4:11-16).
David was a good example of a man who was a mature leader and yet remained dependent upon the Lord. David was a bold warrior and dynamic leader. But he uttered many prayers of childlike dependence on God, such as: “Bow down Your ear, O Lord, hear me; for I am poor and needy” (Ps 86:1); “Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with his mother” (Ps 131:2).
David was a man of achievement, leadership skill, and accomplishment. Yet he readily acknowledged his need for God’s help and his full dependence upon the Lord. He understood the principle that God was his source for everything he needed – and that as one of God’s children, he could ask boldly for, and trust in, God’s help.
Let us remember the words of Jesus in this regard: “I am the Vine, you are the branches… without Me you can do nothing… If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you… you [will] bear much fruit…” (read John 15:1-8).
C. ASK FOR SPECIFIC GUIDANCE
“Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day” (Ps 25:4,5). “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left” (Isa 30:21).
These words of Scripture help to teach us that: 1) We can ask God for specific direction; and 2) We can expect Him to give us instruction at crucial points if we remain open to Him and His leading – “on you I wait all the day”.
God does not want us to become mystical or superstitious in our daily duties. We do not need God to tell us every day what He has already told us in the Scriptures.
For example, we do not need Him to tell us whether or not we should go to work; the Scriptures already tell us that this is expected of us (2 Thess 3:10). Neither do we need God to tell us that we should love our wives or teach our children about Him – again, these are things God has already told us (Eph 5:25; Deut 6:7).
But the Lord will guide and direct our general paths in life, and help us when we need to make important decisions. He will help us to avoid serious mistakes or error as we obey and depend upon Him (Rom 8:14).
The Bible teaches us how to specifically receive God’s direction in our lives: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil” (Prov 3:5-7).
- Trust in the Lord. This makes clear that we must first give our lives fully to God through Christ, and place our trust for salvation and life in the Lord alone.
- Lean not on your own understanding. We must recognize that man’s natural thoughts and ways are not the same as God’s (Isa 55:8,9). So we must depend upon God and His Word for the wisdom and direction we need to live each day.
- In all your ways acknowledge Him. Place your day before the Lord in prayer, and set your heart to obey His Word. “Acknowledging Him” means putting Him first in everything – doing His will and obeying His Word to the best of your ability, being swift to ask for forgiveness when you sin or fail.
- Do not be wise in your own eyes. No matter how long you have walked with God or been in ministry, do not be fooled into believing that you know the answer to all of today’s questions and problems. It is presumptuous to not pray, assuming you do not need God’s help. Invite God’s help into every part of your day.
- He shall direct your paths. This is God’s promise, and He will keep it! God is saying, “If you will acknowledge Me in all things, I will assist and guide you each day. You will know what to do; you will have what you need.”
But remember: We must take time each day to pray, to humbly ask the Lord for specific guidance; then trust in Him to faithfully direct us in all the details that will come our way.
D. OBEY INSTRUCTIONS
Jesus clearly tells us that our heavenly Father will supply our needs:
“Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them… Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field… will He not much more clothe you? …For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things” (read Matthew 6:25-33).
We are not to worry about what we will eat or wear. Just as our heavenly Father cares and provides for the birds and the flowers, even more does He care and provide for us.
But do we just sit and passively wait for His provision? Or is there something we are required to do in order to enjoy His supply? The Bible answers these questions for us. God fulfills His promises when we do what He requires.
The Bible says, “Ask, and it will be given to you…”; “Therefore, pray…”; “Give us this day our daily bread [food]…” (Luke 11:9; Matt 6:9,11).
This is the simple thing God requires: “Ask and you will receive.” Do not waste time on worry; instead, take time to ask!
Is God saying that if we do not pray we will not receive? Yes, He is! “Ye have not, because ye ask not” (Jas 4:2 kjv).
HIS WILL – OUR DAILY BREAD
Jesus said, “…My food is to do the will of Him Who sent Me, and to finish His work” (John 4:34).
What does this mean? Just as the hunger of the body can be met only by eating a meal, the hunger of the heart and soul can be met only by doing the will of God. We can do God’s will only when we know His will.
Our Father has a plan and purpose for our lives which we discover as we pray, and as we study His Word. Knowing His will is part of the “daily bread” for which we pray.
The key to knowing God’s will is to ask for it – and ask for it every day. Then trust Him to lead you in it.
That is one way that God will work everything together for His good purpose in Christ Jesus. His primary will for each of us is to make us more like His Son. So nothing will be lost; nothing will be wasted (Rom 8:28,29).
You may not always realize what part of God’s good purpose was fulfilled in a given day. It may have seemed like just an ordinary day. But give God time to bring forth His harvest. It may take a week, or a year – or even half a lifetime. However, there will come a day when we realize, “Jesus led me all the way; He was with me and sustained me. He has worked all things for good!”
Give each day – and your life – to God. Order each day before Him. Joyfully ask God for the daily bread of His will for you – and be at peace!