The story is told of Joe Miller, a guy who dearly loved to fish.  He had waited all week long for Saturday morning to arrive
so he could drive to his favorite fishing hole at Waterman’s Pond.  He just knew those big bass were waiting for him. Joe’s
excitement about his fishing trip was so heightened that in his hurry to rush off, he forgot several things necessary for his
trip and did not discover his errors until it was too late.

  First of all, as he was driving along enroute to Waterman’s Pond, he realized he had forgotten his mobile phone.  He
needed to make a 10am call to a client; he told him he would call this morning to cement several key elements to the deal
they had just negotiated. As it turned out, when Monday rolled around and he finally contacted his client, the man was so
furious about Joe’s blunder that he cancelled the order that would have made Joe a sizeable amount of commission.  That
cell phone on Saturday morning would have made all the difference!

  Secondly, Joe had prepared his lunch for the day but had failed to pack any meat for his sandwich.  He had bread, mayo,
lettuce, and tomato, but no meat.  What a letdown!

  One of Joe’s special things about his fishing trips was to camp at the very same place each time at Waterman’s Pond.  He
would always call ahead to reserve “his” camp sight.  This time he did not make that call and soon found, much to his
dismay, a young family with 5 kids occupying his space!  One phone call would have insured his joy on the fishing trip.  Joe
had to settle for a place he hated!

  Early in the day as he was casting his line, he remembered his carving knife and ringer were left right where he had
placed them while gathering his stuff to leave – on the workbench!  Now, he had no way to clean any fish he might catch or
any way to keep them fresh. The three good sized bass he caught that day all went right back into the pond since he had
no way to handle them properly. That fish fry he always looked forward to was not going to happen this time!

  t wasn’t until he pulled into the gas station on the way home that evening did he realize that he had forgotten to stop by
the ATM that morning to get cash.  Now his tank was almost empty, his wallet with credit cards was on the dresser in the
bedroom and the man at the gas station was standing there sizing him up like some kind of criminal.  He had filled his tank
without first checking funds.

  Joe’s unpleasant fishing trip is not unlike the daily lives of many Christians. As they make their way along the day’s
pathway, they discover one thing after another that does not go right.  In many cases those unforeseen unpleasantries are
a matter of not properly planning and preparing for the day.  Each time Joe encountered another problem (that he himself
had created) his day declined even further. He knew he had no one to blame except himself; his haste had needlessly
created situations that otherwise would not have happened. So it is with most of us with regards to our spiritual lives.

  Let’s take an honest look at the time period between arising for the day and actually starting the day at our job or at
school.  What fills that time period?  Do we turn on the radio or TV just for noise?  Do we venture out to find the
newspaper in the yard and kick back to catch up on what’s happening in the world? We most certainly eat breakfast, brush
our teeth, shower, and fix our hair. (if we have hair!)  If we have children, the duties to prepare them for their day fill much
of that time.  We finally rush out the front door and drive to work or school.  What spiritual preparations have we made to
ready us for the day?  Sadly, far too many of us do like Joe Miller did in preparing for his fishing trip; we hastily dash out
the door ill-prepared for what lay ahead.

  In order for your day not to go as Joe’s did, consider these five spiritual disciplines to help start your day in the right


  God is the most important thing in your life.  Because He is, it stands to reason that He should hold the first place on your
agenda. Worship is not just something you do when you are at church with other Christians. Worship and praise are acts of
the heart in acknowledgement of who God is and how wonderful He is to you. You might use the Psalms to help you
discover how to worship and praise God. You will find that the more you worship and praise God, the more God-centered
your life becomes. And the more He is the central focus of your life, the better you life will go! (Psalm 95, Isaiah 61:3, John 4:


  Your relationship with God is something to be cherished and guarded.  In one sense it is not unlike relating to a spouse
or friend; there must be an expenditure of time and effort to preserve that relationship as the two communicate with each
other.  Prayer is actually communicating with God.  It involves speaking to Him, as well as, listening to what He has to say.
Prayer deepens your relationship with God.  As your relationship with God becomes stronger you will find your joy level
will remain high, your ability to defend against spiritual attacks will be enhanced, and your wisdom and strength to deal
with the challenges of life will be heightened. Prayer is being intimate with God and intimacy is what He desires in the
covenant relationship the two of you have.  (Ephesians 6:18, I Timothy 2:8, James 5:16, I John 5:14-16)


  You would not consider starting your day without breakfast; nor should you leave home without eating a spiritual
breakfast.  Jesus likens the Word of God to bread, to water, to milk, and to meat.  When the powerful words of God flow
into you as you read them, it is supernatural nourishment that is necessary for sustenance and for victory in life.  It is
important to remind yourself of the importance of really knowing the truth of the Word. This type of knowing is what is
called revelation.  Revelation is knowledge that moves you beyond mere information; it is knowledge that empowers you
to fulfill the very will of God!  As you read the Bible the Holy Spirit who is your Teacher empowers the words you read and
makes them usable for you. God’s words literally become the wisdom you will need; they enliven you to withstand the
pressures of life; and they embolden you to do Kingdom work wherever you are. (Psalm 119:11, Psalm 119:25, Psalm 119:
105, John 6:33, John 8:31-32)


  You stand in the authority of Jesus Christ over your own life.  What happens to you depends largely on you. Since that is
true, make certain that what happens to you is what God wants to happen to you. You insure that by releasing His will (His
Word) into your life by declaring it out loud. Take the words of God from the pages of your Bible and send them by faith
into the atmosphere around you to make things happen.  Angels and demons await your words, and they act on what you
say.  As you declare things, you literally determine the balance of power in the spiritual realm as it relates to your life.
Consider how your day might go if all that could happen is what God wants to happen. I say, “Amen!” (Isaiah 55:10-11, Mark
11:23, II Corinthians 4:13, Hebrews 1:14)


  You have an enemy that hates you. He is evil and he is bent on your destruction. His job description is to steal from you,
kill what he can in your life, and destroy everything that relates to you. The question is this: What are you going to allow
him to do to you today?  Do not fear Satan or his evil cohorts. They were defeated by Jesus and are actually powerless
against you.  The only thing they can do to you is to deceive you into doubting God’s Word and thus disobeying it.  Remind
yourself each morning that your enemy is under your feet and make the choice that he will not have any sway over your life
today! Stop him before he gets started!  You were destined for victory over him, so handle him accordingly. (Matthew 18:
18, Luke 4:19, James 4:7, I John 4:4)

  You can see now that how you start your day determines how it will unfold.  The importance of proper spiritual
preparation for your day cannot be over-stated.  As you discipline yourself to do these five things each morning, you are
actually insuring success in your day.  Paul declares to you in II Corinthians 2:14 that God always leads you in triumph in
Christ. That promise depends upon you being diligent in these five essential Christian disciplines. Therefore, I encourage
you to make the choice to start practicing these things today.  Make them as much a part of your life as eating breakfast or
taking a shower.  Your life will go so much better than it ever has, and indeed the joy of the Lord will be something you live

   I rejoice with you in your new, daily walk of triumph!