How do I truly put God first?
Our world is obsessed with “places” — first, second, third, etc. I once told someone that if I was in the Olympics, I would rather get bronze than silver. Silver is the first loser! I know that’s terrible, but sometimes I’m too competitive for my own good. Silver in the Olympics is something I can never even dream about!
Assigning things “places” or accolades is so big in our world. Are you the top seller this month? Did your child get a good class ranking? How much is your house worth? How nice are your clothes, jewelry, cars, etc.?
There is so much everyone wants from us that their immediate demands and desires for us quickly overshadow what God wants for us.
I started my faith journey at age 14 at a church youth retreat. Here is a list of everything that I placed before God at that point in time:
- Popularity — because high school, ya’ know?
- Clothing — you can’t be popular without good clothes!
- Friends — yes, clothing came before them.
- God — top 4!
- Family — yikes.
- Work — my first job was as a cashier at a frozen yogurt shop, and I really only cared about the tips!
As I have gotten older, my priorities have shifted. Many of these things appear very “teen,” but as an adult, they just received new names.
I’m not sure what your priorities are, and I’m not sure where you place God, but check out what Moses says in Deuteronomy 1:29-31:
But I said to you: Don’t be terrified! Don’t be afraid of them! The Lord your God is going before you. He will fight for you just as he fought for you in Egypt while you watched, and as you saw him do in the desert. Throughout your entire journey, until you reached this very place, the Lord your God has carried you just as a parent carries a child.
God is going before you. Take that in for a moment.
In the meeting you are dreading right now, in the exam you have coming up, in your marriage, in your crazy wedding plans, and in any other thing that your mind is prioritizing right now, God is already there.
What if putting God first was not about cutting things out or caring about them less?
What if putting God first was about acknowledging that God is already here, present and ready to fight for you?
What if putting God first is about witnessing how God is in each of these priorities you love, hate, and dread?
God is there. God is present. God is moving.
If we want to put God first, we have to see how God is in all things.
In fact, He blessed you with many of the priorities you place first. Those blessings can become curses though if you allow them to cause you to lose sight of God.
See how God is in them, see how you can become like God through them, and in the moments where you feel shame for these priorities, please remember: Throughout your entire journey, until you reached this very place, the Lord your God has carried you just as a parent carries a child.
Honest to God Sermon Series
It’s okay to ask questions. Yes, even the difficult ones about God and faith. In our current sermon series, “Honest to God,” Rev. Paul Rasmussen and Rev. Matt Tuggle answer some of the tough questions that we all have.