“Is God first?”
That is the question Lead Pastor Ben Snyder asked during his weekend message. The question struck me harder than I expected. I am a faithful follower of Christ. I make time for prayer and Scripture every morning (well, almost). At work, I get to see the way God is using my gifts to make a difference, and outside of work, I have authentic, life-giving relationships where I can feel God working in my life and in the lives of my friends. I joyfully give God a lot of my time and energy.
But lately, I haven’t been giving my first to God—and that makes a difference. I’ve been giving the first of my thoughts, the focus of my attention, to the things that are wrong in my life and how I can fix them. (Spoiler alert: I can’t.)
Ben talked about the Principle of First: what you do first matters. We all know this is true—ever start something off on the wrong foot, and the rest of it seems to go downhill from there? The bottom line for the week is that we experience God’s best when we give him our first.
God is, by nature, first. He is preeminent: existing before anything else, more knowledgeable and powerful than everything else. It only makes sense to put him first—when you do, you’re submitting to the natural order of the world, as he designed it, and it’s going to help the rest of your life fall into order.
However, if you’re not trusting God by putting him first, the alternative is resisting his order and doing things your own way. Speaking as someone who’s tried to do things my own way many times, it doesn’t work out well. I’ve been giving God my time, thoughts, and energy—but only after I’ve used them to try to fix things I’m not able to fix. I’m giving to him, but I’ve only been giving him my seconds.
God loves you. He wants the best for you—his best for you, which doesn’t always look the way we expect it to. However, if we want to receive his best, we must start by giving God our first and putting him first in our lives. For me, that means focusing on him and giving my problems to him before I try to solve them.
Over the next few days we are going to look at ways we can put God first in our lives and live out this principle.
What does giving God your first and putting him first in your life look like right now? Are you putting him first?
Look at where you invest your resources: your time, money, energy, thoughts, etc., to help determine what you’re putting first. Then, consider what it would mean to put God first in those areas, and start living that out. It’s OK if you don’t do it perfectly at first—reordering our lives according to what God wants for us can be challenging. Be patient, but don’t give up.
21 Days of Prayer:
Day 8 Focus – Broken Before Him (Psalms 51:17)
Dear God, I have missed the mark of righteousness many times. Yet while I was still separated from you, you loved me and sent your Son to die for me. Thank you, Lord. Today, I offer my broken spirit to you, for you alone make it whole. I come to you in repentance, knowing I need you. Heal me, God, and teach my heart to break for what breaks yours. In your Son’s name, I pray.
This post was written by Payton Lechner. Payton is currently the apprentice copywriter at CedarCreek. In her spare time, she freelances as a writer and editor. Besides the English language, Payton loves swimming, cats, and a good cup of tea.
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