What is the most important thing in your life? What do you spend your time, energy, thoughts, and money on? If you’re a Christian, is your answer Jesus? I think all of us have room to grow in this area, me included.
As believers, we are called to put God first in our lives. But what does that mean, in practical terms? This is a question I have wrestled with for a long time.
I believe that God places us where we are in life for a purpose, and that we are called to serve him right where we’re at. We don’t all need to be missionaries, preachers, worship leaders, or charity presidents to serve Jesus. We each have ministry opportunities all around!
Putting God first means that we are intentional about noticing our ministry opportunities. It means that we treat our roles in life as ministries, doing them to the best of our ability to honor God. We can serve God in any role: as a significant other, spouse, parent, family member, friend, co-worker, boss, employee, customer, neighbor, volunteer, and so on. All we have to do is treat others with love and kindness, putting others before ourselves, and we are automatically pleasing God.
Putting God first means that we strive to see all of the people around us the way God sees them; with love, and with the desire to draw them closer to Him.
Putting God first also means that we take time to nurture our relationship with Him. There should be nothing more valuable to a Christian than our relationship with Christ. How we treat that relationship is a reflection of our spiritual health.
Am I taking time to plant seeds of truth, wisdom, and understanding– from God’s word– in my heart and mind? Am I taking time to talk to God and listen– to pray? Am I taking time to learn about the ways of God from those called to teach? Am I taking time to worship him, both through music and through service? Am I taking time to develop and strengthen relationships with other believers, so we can support each other spiritually?
It breaks my heart when I see people who call themselves Christians but don’t have any daily interactions with God through the Bible and prayer, who don’t go to church, or who have no spiritual support system. They may or may not be believers in their hearts, but they certainly aren’t living the God-centered life that they have been called to. That is the life where the most blessings are experienced, both in this lifetime and for eternity. That is the life God wants for all of us! One that is deeply connected to Him.
Putting God first in our lives also means we cast aside any idols, or things that we may be tempted to make more important than Him. In our modern world, it may seem like idols don’t exist. But just because we aren’t making golden cows or statues to bow down to doesn’t mean we aren’t worshipping idols.
Many things can become idols in our lives. Even well-intentioned things can become more important to us than God, if we let them. Our significant others or spouses, our children, our families, our friends; we are called to love others deeply, but never more than God. Our education, our jobs, our success, our money; we are encouraged and enabled to do our best work and to prosper vocationally, but never to the detriment of loving and serving our God, and loving others. Our bodies, our fitness, our outward beauty; we are called to treat our bodies as a temple, but never to replace our pursuit of the eternal God with pursuits of this temporary world. All of these things and more can become idols. So what’s your golden cow? Perhaps it’s time to put that cow in its rightful place.
Is it time for a spiritual checkup? How are you doing in your walk with God?
I’d love to be a part of your spiritual support system. I know I certainly need more people in mine! If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, send me an email to let me know. Let’s share prayer requests, pray for each other, share our questions and insights into God and his word, and share each other’s burdens as brothers and sisters in Christ. I am here for you!
Let’s support each other in putting God first.