Laundry, dirty dishes in the sink, work assignments, church commitments, family needs, appointments, and meetings—all of these things are part of my everyday life. Oh, and my friend has a birthday coming up and I need to send her a card! You get it! Our lives are full and busy! There are those days when we need a little more time to get it all done. But when you really stop to think about it, these are not the things that will fill our time in heaven for eternity. I really don’t think the Lord is going to tell us, “I wish you would have kept a cleaner house,” or “You needed more meetings like that one!”
For eternity and for the days we have now on earth, I think the Lord wants time with us and our focus to be on seeking Him first. Take a few minutes and evaluate your life by answering these questions:
- Do I seek God first with my time?
- Do I seek God first with the decisions I need to make each day?
- Do I seek God first over the opinions of others?
As believers, it would seem that we would automatically keep God first in all things, but this world is full of distractions. It is challenging at times to keep our minds focused on seeking God first. It is tempting to listen to the voices and opinions of others when we are making decisions. Wise, godly counsel from others is great, but does it override God’s counsel and the truth in His Word?
Here are six verses to help us see why seeking God first must always be our priority:
- “Do not have other gods besides me” (Ex. 20:3).
- “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight” (Prov. 3:5-6).
- “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you” (Matt. 6:33).
- “And whoever doesn’t take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Anyone who finds his life will lose it, and anyone who loses his life because of me will find it” (Matt. 10:38-39).
- “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure, buried in a field, that a man found and reburied. Then in his joy he goes and sells everything he has and buys that field” (Matt. 13:44).
- “He said to him, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command” (Matt. 22:37-38).
Listening to others is often helpful, but keeping God’s counsel first is more important. The opinions of others may sound good, and some may be right in line with God, but they are not God. So we need to be careful that we don’t treat their opinions like we would God’s Word. We need to make sure that even the wisest counsel lines up with God’s Word and His ways.
In the Christian Standard Bible translation Proverbs 29:25 says, “The fear of mankind is a snare, but the one who trusts in the LORD is protected.” In some paraphrases this verse is translated, “The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in GOD protects you from that” (The Message). “It is dangerous to be concerned with what other people think of you, but if you trust the LORD, you are safe” (GNT).
We may face fear, loneliness, anger, grief, sadness, rejection, or any other emotion or circumstance that can pull us away from God’s plans and purposes. But when we are seeking God first, we stay focused on His purpose for us. We trust God to take care of us. Instead of panicking or withdrawing, we give Him all our worries and anxieties. He wants us to face our fears, trials, temptations, anger, grief, rejection, loneliness, and everything else with Him rather than without Him. We put God first when we worship Him, praise Him, thank Him, trust Him, and rely on Him rather than ourselves or anyone else. We seek God first when we go to Him for comfort, strength, and reassurance, acknowledging who He is and what He can do. God has a good plan for us. When we face hardship, we put our hope in Him as a way of seeking God first and remembering that He will keep His promises, including the promise that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Deut. 31:6).
We seek God first by remembering that our approval comes from Him. We accept what Jesus did on the cross for us, and we put Him first when we seek to live out the calling He has for us. We say yes to God above and before anything else. He is the answer to everything that matters in this life and for eternity.
What are some ways that you will seek God first today?
Michelle Hicks is the managing editor for Journey devotional magazine with Lifeway Women. Michelle served as a freelance writer, campus minister, and corporate chaplain before coming to Lifeway. She is a graduate of the University of North Texas and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Michelle has a deep hunger for God’s Word and wants others to discover the abundant life they can have with Jesus as their Lord and Savior.