There are certain aspects of my life that demand a need to be prioritized. Maybe that’s just my personal desire to be super organized. I tend to thrive on lists of “to-do’s” and feel a great sense of accomplishment when they’re checked off as “done”!
When it comes to household chores I prioritize tasks with my family’s needs in mind. When I go grocery shopping I prioritize spending for my family’s needs over our wants (as extras). When planning short trips to visit people, I prioritize immediate family before extended family and friends.
Not only do I structure my daily activities, but I structure the things in my heart. Those things that I love also become a system of priorities.
When I wake for the day, my priorities are as such: I read devotions. I check my phone for missed calls or texts. I browse through new emails. I scan all social media notifications (Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, etc). If I have time or am moved to do so, I write in a journal or type my thoughts out in a draft form.
I truly thought that by putting my daily devotions first was giving God my genuine time. Now, I love God very much. I felt that I was doing enough to justify my love for Him. But what I came to realize is that my devotions are all about me. Devotions about marriage, parenting, bettering myself, and so on.
The rest of my daily priorities continue to be about me, or about caring for my family or our home. While none of these things are a destructive way life, I am not fully committing my heart to God and what His word tells me to do.
God provides us the Old Testament law with this first commandment, “You must not have any other god but me.” (Exodus 20:3). Other gods can mean deities, rulers, idols, or that which we worship. In the New Testament, “Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matthew 22:37-38).
My attempt at committing my time to God falls short to my human nature. The things I prioritize have become my idols. Serving myself and others has come before serving God.
Jesus advises us in John 14:15, “If you love me, obey my commandments.” I surely do love God, but I have not been completely obedient to these commandments.
I even go to God in prayer, asking Him for things for myself or others. Again, not giving Him His rightful place in my heart. There’s an incredible truth to the lyrics of “More and More of You” by the band Selah. They declare, “Oh, forgive us all for seeking Your hand and not Your face“.
How, then, can I expect so much from God without making Him my greatest priority in life? God is more than deserving of my worship, time, and commitment. Rather than having the mindset, “what can God do for me”, I must shift my thoughts to what can I do for God”. I must not always demand for His hand to give. I must truly learn what it means for me to give by seeking His face.
Dear friend, if this is all too familiar I ask you to join me. Let’s make a committment to seek God’s face, to keep all of His commandments, and to make Him our first priority. Let us agree together in prayer:
Lord, I confess that I have diminished your rightful place in my heart. I have not completely made you my greatest priority. Right now, I repent from this selfish nature. I thank You for freely lavishing me with Your loving forgiveness and unending grace whenever I ask. May Your Spirit guide me in wisdom and understanding to know how to truly seek Your face. And it is in Your name that I pray. Amen!
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”- Colossians 3:1-2 (NIV)