If you had to name one thing as “most important” in marriage what would it be?
What about the “most important” thing in your friendships?
A Sense of Humor?
Of course, those things are all important…
This may surprise you.
I believe the most important thing in any relationship is living a God-first life.
What is a God-first life?
It’s a life that seeks and loves…
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:33
Jesus answered, “The most important command is this: ‘Listen, people of Israel! The Lord our God is the only Lord. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.” Mark 12:29–30
What does it mean to seek God’s kingdom above all else and love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength?
2 words — surrender and trust.
I believe a God-first life surrenders everything to God . . . humbly trusting His perfect love and believing His promises. Promises like:
For Your unfailing love is as high as the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Psalm 57:10
For Jesus Christ, the Son of God, . . . is God’s ultimate “Yes,” He always does what He says. For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for His glory. 2 Corinthians 1:19—20
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 1 John 1:9
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:27
If only I surrendered and trusted perfectly. I believe every part of my life would be better.
But I’m guilty…
I look around and recognize that in this sinful world bad things happen. So, doubts creep in and tempt me to hold back a little, trust less and control more.
Yes, I’m guilty.
I’ve listened to the words from the Garden. “Did God really say?”
Maybe you can relate.
The problem is when you and I take those “Did God really say” doubts to God’s words on marriage, friendship, parenting, etc., we question whether they are absolute truth or if we can tweak them a little here and there.
Whew, we live out a lot of life challenges all because we, like Eve and Adam, listen to the original words of temptation and doubt and question God’s will.
But we are not a people without hope. We have a God who loves, and stoops, and saves. Who sent Jesus to show us how much He loves us and offer us a better way of freedom and hope.
So, we can take our doubts and questions straight to God believing He will give us the power and strength to know and do what He promises is best.
Have you never heard?
Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of His understanding.
He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
We know it’s what He wants for us. And we may even admit we know a God-first life is best for us.
What does a God-first life look like?
5 Steps to Living a God-first Life
1. Take every doubt and question to God.
Spend time in God’s Word to know His will and when you have doubts and questions . . . pray. Ask God to give you everything you need to surrender and trust Him in everything.
2. Take a priority assessment.
Know where you spend your time, money, and effort. Evaluate your attitudes and decide if what you’re doing really demonstrates God-first living.
3. With God’s help, start making changes.
Once you know where your time, money, and efforts are being spent . . . pray. Go to God and tell Him you want to completely surrender your life and ask Him to help you trust Him and start making choices that put Him first.
4. Make spending time with God a priority.
Pray, read your Bible, memorize His promises, and spend time with people who put God first.
5. Trust God’s love for you.
Repeat the following often . . . “God loves me. I am His child. He knows wants what is best for me in every situation and every relationship.”
For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for well-being and not for trouble, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
I found the following by Rick Warren on putting God first:
Finances. If you want God to bless your finances, even during a recession, you must tithe. Sorry! There’s no other alternative.
Interests. Put Him first in your hobbies, your career, and your recreation. Give God first consideration in every decision.
Relationships. Put Him first in your family, your marriage, and your friendships.
Schedule. That means you give Him the first part of every day. You get up and sit on the side of your bed every morning and say, “God if I don’t get anything else done today, I just want to love you a little bit more and know you a little bit better.”
Troubles. You need to turn to God first when you have a problem. Prayer should never be your last resort. It should be your first choice.
When you and I put God first in everything, life is just better . . . including our relationships.
Don’t believe me?
Look around. How does the other way seem to be working for people?
Thank you so much for joining me today.
And a thank you to BibleGateway.com for sources.
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