Would you describe yourself as someone who is strong? What about your faith? Is your faith strong?
I would like to be able to answer with a resounding “yes” consistently but the fact is, I’ve had times when I’m humbled by the strength God has given me and times when I’m ashamed at the way I’ve allowed fear to overwhelm me.
I’ve heard Jesus say…
Why do you have so little faith?
The truth is, my faith is weak when I fail to trust Jesus’ promise…
All the people in the world are trying to get these things, and your Father knows you need them. But seek God’s kingdom, and all your other needs will be met as well.Luke 12:30–31 (NCV)
My faith is weak when I fail to seek God first … when life gets crazy busy and distractions lead to worry and anxiety.
You see, I’ve learned that I struggle most when I fail to consistently seek God first.
Which made me ask myself … what does seeking a God-first life look like?
I believe the answer is…
A God-First Life Trusts God’s Promises and Surrenders to God’s Will.
Before I can trust God’s promise … I need to know God’s promises!
For Your unfailing love is as high as the heavens.Psalm 57:10
Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
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
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
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
“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
The next thing I need to surrender is my will to the truth of God’s promises.
But I’m going to be honest with you. I fall short! I look around and see the many bad things happening in this sinful world and that’s when doubts creep in tempting me to hold back a little, trust a little less and do a little more of whatever I can to be in control my of own circumstances.
Yes, I’m guilty.
Like Eve, I have LISTENED TO THE ENEMY’s WORDS IN THE GARDEN. “DID GOD REALLY SAY?”
Maybe you can relate.
The problem is, when you and I fail to take those “Did God really say” doubts to the truth of God’s Word, we start to question His absolute truth and give ourselves permission to tweak His will a little here and there to make it align more comfortably with culture so we can be in control.
It’s crazy how many painful consequences we experience because we, like Eve and Adam, listen to the original words of temptation and allow our doubts to not only question but edit God’s will.
Imagine what would happen if we stopped before we grabbed the apple and took that bite? If we took our questions and doubts straight to God … surrendering our will again and trusting His promises one more time to give us the strength and power we need?
I love these words of Isaiah…
Have you never heard?Isaiah 40:28–29
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.
God wants us to bring our doubts and questions to Him, so He can replace them with the truth. Absolute truth which is able to give us His power and strength.
Which is what we need to live a God-first life.
So, I’ve written 5 steps I want to consistently apply to my life to have the power and strength I need.
Power and strength He is able to give me.
Power and strength God wants to give me.
5 Steps to Help You Put God First
1. MAKE SPENDING TIME WITH GOD A PRIORITY.
I like the saying, “Make time for quiet moments, as God whispers and the world is loud.”
It’s true. The world is shouting ideas and values that are contrary to God’s Word. I know I need to spend time in prayer, read my Bible, memorize His promises, and spend time with people who put God first if I want to know His truth and trust His will.
Jesus said, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”John 8:31–32
2. TAKE EVERY DOUBT AND QUESTION TO GOD.
When the enemy tempts me to doubt and question God’s will … I need to take those feelings and frustrations to God. I need to ask Him to show me the truth and give me everything I need to surrender my will to Him.
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.Romans 12:2
3. TAKE A PRIORITY ASSESSMENT.
I’m taking a look at my calendar and budget. I’m assessing my emotional health. I want to know where I’m spending my time, money, and effort. Then I will evaluate my attitudes and decide if the way I’m living really demonstrates God-first living.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart;Proverbs 3:5–6
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.
4. ASK GOD FOR HELP TO START MAKING CHANGES.
When I know where my time, money, and efforts are being spent, it’s time to pray. I need God’s help to completely surrender every area of my life but I believe He will help me trust His will and start making choices that put Him first.
Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.Matthew 7:7
I plan on repeating the following phrase as often as necessary… “God loves me. I am His child. He knows and wants what is best for me in every situation and every relationship.”
Despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 8:37–39
I have victory in Jesus and with His help, I can put God first and love Him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.
I found the following by Pastor Rick Warren on The Ways to Put 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 better.
We will have the strength we need and be blessed with the joy we want no matter what is going on around us.
Don’t believe me?
Look around. How does the other way seem to be working for people?
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