Okay…so we’re at the end of another year and getting ready to start the next. It is around New Year’s that people tend to think about their past year and evaluate what they did well and what they did poorly, so they can make resolutions for the year to come. Here’s a resolution I think all faithful Christians should commit to: in the upcoming year, and all the years left to come in our lives, we will do everything we can to not make God a priority.
Now before I get ran off as some sort of heretic, consider a few things:
“In the beginning, God.”—the first four words of most English translations of the Bible, Genesis 1:1
“I Am Who I Am.”—God, telling his name to Moses before Moses goes back to the people of Israel to lead them out of their enslavement to Egypt, Exodus 3:14.
“I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god. Who is like me? Let him proclaim it.”—God’s declaration to his people through Isaiah, 44:6-7.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.”—Jesus, answering the question, “Teacher what is the great commandment in the Law?”, Matthew 22:37-38.
“Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on the earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”—Paul, commenting on the exaltation of Jesus through his death on the cross, Philippians 2:9-11.
“I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other.”—God, Isaiah 42:8.
It is a popular thing to hear preachers, teachers, youth leaders, discipleship material, etc. tell people: “Make God number one in your life.” “God should be your priority.” Unfortunately, I’ve even used the lingo myself.
But do any of those verses sound like a God who wants to be a priority in your life? No. God is not interested in being number one in anyone’s life. He’s not interested in being anyone’s top priority.
Because here’s the problem with priorities: If you have twenty things to focus on, and you give the most important thing 10% of your time and attention, and the rest receive less than that, individually…then yes, whatever that 10% thing is, it becomes your number one priority and is first in your life. But you’re still only giving it 10%.
Priorities are individual little boxes, we take them out when we need to focus on them then we put them away. In no way, no how should God be a priority. God is not interested in 10% of our time. He doesn’t even want 99.99999% of our time and energy.
Rather, he is a God who demands EVERYTHING.
Our God, the God who describes himself in his Word to us, is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He is the I AM. Before Jesus, every knee will one day bow. He is not a God who will share his glory. Period. When it comes to our priorities then, God is the One who looks at us and tells us what our priorities must be.
Every aspect of life—every “priority”—be it family, work, church activities, recreation, and even sleep, whatever…we must define every aspect of our lives through God and his Word, and therefore make them the proper priorities in our lists.
Even with prayer and the Word—these are also not priorities. God expects us to meditate on his Word day and night. God expects us to pray without ceasing. Specific moments in our days of doing nothing but studying the Bible or nothing but praying—these we must make priorities, but the Word itself is to influence and direct our every thought and decision, and an attitude of prayer is to surrounded every activity we engage in.
So, my friends, as we leave 2011 and enter into 2012, don’t make God a priority. Instead humbly realize your place in complete submission to the Lord of all and his Word, and then order all your priorities in light of God and his glory!