Garland Of Grace – 12.31.17

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My Upper Room; Thoughts on the Christian’s Daily Devotional Life

“In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice; in the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.” – Psalm 5:3

From 2008 to 2014, our family lived in a small community in western Tennessee called Jacks Creek. During that time frame, I served as pastor of Grace Baptist Church in neighboring Pinson, Tennessee. Our house had an area over the garage that was an elongated rectangular floored attic space with a drop down door. As strange as it may sound, it was my favorite place in the house. I guess it all started one summer when I had some electrical work done in the attic. The single sixty watt light bulb initially installed just wasn’t enough light, so I had two more lights added. Up until that point, I had not seen the potential of the space. It was large enough to be finished out into a room. All it would need would be a set of steps, plumbing, heating and air ducts, and a few walls thrown up. Sarah and I talked about it, but realized that we were a few years away financially from such a project. But then it dawned on me; why do I have to wait a few years to enjoy such a nice usable space? The next thing I knew, I had taken a corner in the attic made it into a makeshift room. I set up a desk, a swivel chair, a box fan for the summer, and a space heater for the winter. I even found an old remnant of carpet to use as a rug. Eventually I began using the area for my quiet times with the Lord. During that time of my ministry, it seemed as if my intimacy and fellowship with the Lord was deeply enriched. For me, it was refreshing to have my own place of solitude where I could get alone with God and drink from His streams of grace through prayer and Bible study. Each month, I would try to add something to make it more like a room. For instance, in the attic was my grandmother’s antique rocking chair. I dusted it off and began using it as a kneeling bench for prayer. I put a few pictures up of the family. I bought small thermometer and attached it to a wood beam to see how hot or cold it gets during the varying seasons. For the first few years, I sweated through the heat of the summertime, and bundled up in the winter. Eventually, the temperature was no longer a concern; for two men in my church graciously decided to sheet-rock the attic space and install duct work to provide heat and air, which they did all free of charge! I was humbled and overwhelmed by their kindness and generosity.  As I think back upon those years, it seems as if each meeting I had with God up in my upper room drew me into closer fellowship with Him.

In our passage above, David expressed the importance of beginning each day in prayer to the Lord. He stressed God’s listening ear to his petitions. His prayers were marked by belief, as He eagerly awaited the Lord’s response.  This became a daily pattern for David. And for years, my daily pattern involved a set of creaky attic steps.

It is vital for the Christian to spend quality time with the Lord. Sadly, there have been days I failed to do so. And each time I have neglected my alone time with the Lord, it has been evident to me (and in some instances evident to others).

As we begin another year, I encourage you to start each day in deep and intimate fellowship with the Lord. Determine to meet with God before you meet the day. You don’t have to hang out in your attic like I did. That was a fit for me, but only for a season. Since our move to Alabama, I now have my quiet time in my office at church. The place of meeting is not as important as the meeting itself. And as you meet with God, ask Him to awaken you both physically and spiritually. Ask Him to open the eyes of your heart and speak to you clearly though His Word and through prayer. If you do so, you will find each day to be more fulfilling than the day before.  Ponder these things today, and ask God to enrich your devotional time with Him throughout the year.

 – Pastor Eric

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