Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
Does your life feel like it is spinning out of control? Don’t know where you are going—or how to get there if you did?
Generally, we live life our way. We give ourselves first priority in our life. As a result, we go after the material things that loom large in life. We give small attention to the spiritual things of life. We expect that somehow spiritual things will take care of themselves—but do we make a conscious effort to have a top priority in life?
If so, what is it? In a fast-moving world, what grabs our attention is that which is faster, better and brighter. We are accustomed to instant answers and results. We are masters at multi-tasking, trying to get everything done in our own time.
Establish Priorities in Your Life
Jesus says in Matthew 6:33 (CEV) in the Bible, “More than anything else, put God’s work first and do what he wants, then the other things will be yours as well”. God expects us to work and live, while centring our life on him and his kingdom as we work and live. Now, I’m saying it’s not wrong to go after other things. We do not need to spend all our time or energy in spiritual pursuits. There is a difference between concern and focus, obsession or anxiety, between our first priority and our responsibility.
What Jesus is teaching us here is to clearly establish priorities in your life. Let your first priority be following Christ. Jesus says, focus your attention and hopes on the things of the Lord. If you are going to be consumed with anything, be consumed with his kingdom. If God’s priorities become our priorities, he will take care of our needs. This daily supply is a promise. It’s simple—but we try to complicate matters.
Put First Things First
Dr W.A. Criswell, pastor of the largest Southern Baptist church in the world at one time, was once preaching in the North Shore Baptist Church in Chicago. He was entertained at the home of the church deacon James L. Kraft, who was superintendent of their Sunday School and founder of well-known Kraft Foods.
James Kraft said that as a young man he had a desire to be the most famous manufacturer and salesman of cheese in the world. He planned on becoming rich and famous by making and selling cheese, and began as a young fellow with a little buggy, pulled by a pony named Paddy. After making his cheese, young James would load his wagon, and he and Paddy would drive down the streets of Chicago to sell the cheese.
As the months passed, he began to despair because he was not making any money, in spite of his long hours and hard work. One day he pulled his pony to a stop and began to talk to him. He said:
Paddy, there is something wrong. We are not doing it right. I am afraid we have things turned around. Our priorities are not where they ought to be. Maybe we ought to serve God and place Him first in our lives.
Kraft then drove home and made a covenant that for the rest of his life he would first serve God and then would work as God directed. Many years after this, Dr Criswell heard James Kraft say: “I would rather be a layman in the North Shore Baptist Church than to head the greatest corporation in America. My first job is serving Jesus.” He died in 1953 aged 78. What a wonderful example of a man who put first things first!
Let God into Every Area of Your Life
It was C.S. Lewis who wrote these words:
Put first things first, and we get second things thrown in. Put second things first, and we lose both first and second things.
It makes sense to me—there are many distractions and demands today, and it can be confusing. But the message of the Bible is clear. Let God into every area of your life, and you will be amazed at how he will guide and help you. Enjoying the best life possible isn’t about what you can get, however; it’s about what directs your life. That’s because whatever force has first place in your life will drive your decisions and shape your future.
If you decide to make your relationship with God first in your life, everything else will naturally fall into place in the right order, creating the fulfilling life you hope to enjoy. I believe that the primary reason we are on this earth, first and foremost, is to know God, to have a relationship with God, and to come into fellowship with God.