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Morning Marching Orders

Cause me to hear Thy lovingkindness in the morning, for in Thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk for I lift up my soul unto Thee.

In today's modern, rushing world, many of us have all we can do to get out of bed in the morning and get to work on time. Often our schedule appears to preclude the possibility of morning devotions. Yet under the old dispensation of the law it was the duty of the priestly tribe of the Levites to rise at dawn and give thanks and praise the Lord (1 Chronicles 23:30). We are not under the dispensation of the law, but as New Testament priests (1 Peter 2:5,9) we too should begin the day with God. If we do, we will have a keen sense of His presence with us throughout the busy hours that follow.

This great truth was obviously known by David. One of the most enjoyable verses to come from his pen is Psalm 143:8, "Cause me to hear Thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in Thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto Thee." In this morning prayer David made two requests: to hear the lovingkindness of God in the morning, and to know the way in which he should walk throughout the day. These two requests bear a definite relationship.

David wanted the lovingkindness of God to engage his thoughts and affections early in the morning. If other thoughts get into our hearts in the morning, we may not be able to burn them away throughout the day. Prayer and praise, reading and meditation will influence our minds for hours throughout the day. Lovingkindness is a favorite theme of David. Simply, lovingkindness is love that shows kindness. By deeds and words it is God living through us to a hurting world. That's the kind of life David wanted to live. The Lord's lovingkindness is our all-sufficient source of joy. Such joy can be sought elsewhere but found only here. It is the divine joy that sweetens every bitter experience of life and makes even those that are sweet, sweeter still. It binds every wound and is the balm for every hurt. It is little wonder that David sought such an experience early in the morning. With that kind of start, what must the rest of the day be like?

The old expression is here very applicable, "Well begun; half done." David began his day well by seeking the Lord and His lovingkindness. Half the battle of a successful day was already won. He continued to ask the Lord to show him the way he should walk throughout the day. Frequently the path we determine to be logical for our daily walk is not the path designed by God. We must keep the same close touch with Him hour after hour that we began with Him in the morning.

Speaking of his mountain-climbing experience, nineteenth century preacher George Barrell Cheever commented on this verse: "The whole valley is surrounded by ranges of regal crags, but the mountain, apparently absolutely inaccessible, is the last point which you would turn for an outlet. A side gorge that sweeps up to the glaciers and snowy pyramids flashing upon you in the opposite direction is the route that you suppose your guide is going to take. So convinced was I that the path must go in that direction that I took a shortcut, which I conceived would bring me again into the mule path at a point under the glaciers; but after scaling precipices and getting lost in a wood of firs in the valley, I was glad to rejoin my friend with the guide and to clamber on in pure ignorance and wonder."

We are tempted to walk our own way when we have no other resource. But as Christians we have a higher resource than our mind. We have the resource of the lovingkindness of God, which can be ours every morning if we but seek it. We should never attempt to walk alone throughout the day and to chart our own course when we have the ability to tap the resources of heaven in the morning and receive our marching orders for the day, marching orders that are always designed to lead to victory. How foolish it is to neglect to seek the Lord in the morning and have to walk without Him the rest of the day.

MORNING HYMN Thou my everlasting portion, More than friend or life to me; All along my pilgrim journey, Saviour, let me walk with Thee.

Devotional is used with permission from the author. It may be used solely for personal, noncommercial, and informational purposes. Republication or redistribution of this devotional is prohibited.

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