Monday, April 18, 2016

first response

Have you ever thought about what you do first in an emergency?  What is your first response?  Do you panic? Do you call for help? Do you freeze and wait to see what will happen? 
This first response not only applies to emergencies, but also to most situations. When something goes wrong, what do you do? Do you get mad, frustrated, cry, shrug it off, or try to fix it? 
How about when thing are great or exciting? What is your first response? Do you get excited and tell everyone the great news? Do you dance and have a little party?
There are many things throughout a day and in life that go wrong and go right. There are many opportunities for a first response.
My first response to something good is often a smile or an exclamation of "Yay!"  When a mishap occurs, I may get frustrated or maybe even cranky. I try to solve my own problems, worry over situations I cannot change, and sometimes make problems worse. I hold on to them and finally realize I forgot to trust God first. I realize I have made my life harder by not going to the very One who can help me.

Psalm 121 says I lift up my eyes to the hills— from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore.

When we need help we need to immediately look to God. He is our help. He is the one who protects us and provides for us.  We so often attempt to solve our own problems. We think we can handle this big thing. The whole time, God is just waiting and wanting to take care of the situation. We only have to call on Him. Our first response in trouble should be, calling on God for help. He is always ready and willing to help when we cry out to him. David wrote in Psalm 30:2 O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. He knew God answers when he would call on Him. He called on God many times and God took care of him.  When he forgot to keep his focus on God, is when David made big mistakes. He remembered who could help him and called on God.

The Word of God has some directives about what our first response should be.

Psalms 5:3 O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch.

Psalm 35:28 Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness and of your praise all day long.

Psalms 16:8 I keep the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

Psalms 61:8 So I will always sing praises to your name, as I pay my vows day after day.

1 Corinthians 1:4  I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus,

Ephesians 6:18 Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.
 In all these verses and many others I see the word 'always.' Always is all the time, every time. We should respond with praise and prayer.  His praise should ever be on our lips. Prayers should be at the ready. Our first response should be to pray rather than grumble. Our first response should be to praise God for His wonderful blessings rather than be amazed at our wonderful selves. We really could not accomplish much without Him.
Our first response needs to change. Our first response should be that of turning to God in prayer and praising Him. That will turn our focus off of ourselves and off of the circumstances and on to the One who can solve the problems and the One who is blessing us. This first response will certainly alleviate a lot of stresses and difficulties. It would also keep the presence of God ever noticeable. How much more would we be talking to Him and communing with Him if we chose to make Him our first response?  For me, I know my prayer and praise would be greatly increased. My stress would be greatly decreased and my life would become a lot easier.  Sure, the struggles would still arise, but I would be able to rest in knowing I cried out the Lord first and He is taking care of the situation. I would be able to trust Him and know that He is answering my need. I would be able to quit worrying and fretting over everything and just offer up praise to my God.
What will changing your first response do for you?

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