Truth You Need to Know about the First Commandment

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A closer look at the First Commandment and what having "no other gods" means for you and me. #BibleStudy #Faith #ChristianCommunity

Maybe you’re someone who reads the First Commandment,

You must not have any other god but me. Exodus 20:3

and thinks…

Whew, I believe in God as He is revealed in the Bible. I’m good on that one. That’s one commandment I don’t have to worry about.

I’m not. I’ve had times when I’ve worried about my ability or should I say, lack of ability, to obey God’s First Commandment.

Not because I worshipped the gods of other religions but because I questioned whether I loved other things more.

Did I love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength?

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Mark 12:30

But I wondered if I could love God and put Him first “no matter what?”

I’d read Job…

Everything was taken from him – his wealth, his children, his position, and his health … and  through his grief he proclaimed:

“I came naked from my mother’s womb,
    and I will be naked when I leave.
The Lord gave me what I had,
    and the Lord has taken it away.
Praise the name of the Lord!”
Job 1:21

Could I do that?!

Could I still worship and love God with all my heart. soul, mind, and strength if everything was gone? And if I couldn’t, I felt I had to ask myself if my family, our careers, our home, our positions and a long list of other things had become “other gods.”

My verse for this year is Matthew 6:33

“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.”

And verse 34 says:

 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” 

If I was putting my relationship with God first … I should have been able to trust Him to give me everything I NEEDed and not worry.

Oh, but I worried! Remember, I’d read the Book of Job!

I’d  also read Jesus words:

“In this world you will have troubles.” 

I know, I was ignoring the rest of that verse…

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. 

And – Take heart! I have overcome the world! John 16:33

All I could focus on was the trouble part. I was young, but I’d lived long enough to know that life was full of troubles.

Could I still worship and love God if God was all I had?

Truth You Need to Know about the First Commandment

A closer look at the First Commandment and what having "no other gods" means for you and me. #BibleStudy #Faith #ChristianCommunity

The Apostle John challenges us with the following:

Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts. 1 John 5:21

But our family? Career? Position? Home? Reputation? SELF?

How do we “keep away” from those things?

It’s hard, isn’t it?!

There are so many things vying for our time, attention, admiration, and affection. And the Job factor, always made me wonder at what point God’s blessings could become “other gods” in my life.

The Life Application Bible Notes say the following about God’s First Commandment:

Today we can allow many things to become gods to us. Money, fame, work, or pleasure can become gods when we concentrate too much on them for personal identity, meaning, and security. No one sets out with the intention of worshiping these things but by the amount of time we devote to them they can grow into gods that ultimately control our thoughts and energies.

That’s a hard word, isn’t it?

Before you leave completely discouraged, there is HOPE!

It’s the part I didn’t trust before God did His big work in me.

I had been relying on myself. I believed I had to give God first place in my life on my own. I believed it was up to me to love Him completely.

I was wrong!

In His grace and mercy, God allowed me to lose a few of the “other gods” in my life and although the grief was overwhelming … I didn’t run from God; I ran to Him.

And He proved Himself to be who He says He is. I learned I could trust Him.

I learned that if God is all I have … He is more than enough!

Because He is…

Ready to help!

God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. Psalm 46:1


“Call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory.” Psalm 50:15

Gracious and merciful!

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. Hebrews 4:16


For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

The truth is when you and I believe we have to obey God’s commands on our own, we make ourselves small “g” gods.

We don’t have to do it alone. God is gracious, merciful, and ready to help. He is rescuer and strength. And when we fail … He forgives.

Obeying God’s First Commandment means surrendering and trusting.

Surrendering all that we are and all that we have to the One who gave everything for us. It’s trusting His grace, mercy, and love are greater than our circumstances … great enough to meet every need!

A closer look at the First Commandment and what having "no other gods" means for you and me. #BibleStudy #Faith #ChristianCommunity

You see, it’s true!

In this world, you and I will have trouble!

God may give you more than you can handle but He will never leave you to handle it alone!

He will give you everything you need to trust and love Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Everything you need to honor the First Commandment!

I know! Because He’s done it for me and He is able to do it for you!

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  1. Yikes, I feel a little convicted tonight, but it is good. I have failed more times than I can count this week to put God first. Oh, I have fit him in, but he has not been first. Tomorrow is a new day. Thank you for your words of wisdom.

  2. Wonderful truth here, Deb. I’m grateful for my Lutheran education, which had me memorizing the Ten Commandments from a very young age. I like the ways you bring more insight to the commandment. Sharing on Pinterest and Twitter!

  3. Hey Deb, love your features this week. Looking forward to reading Elizabeth Spencer’s post. Thank you for hosting and have a blessed Mother’s Day!

    1. Aw, Tiffiney, you are the best! Such a faithful, precious encourager to me. One of God’s richest blessings in my life. I’m heading over to read YOUR post right. This. Minute. For obvious reasons. Love, Psycho Mom

  4. Oh my goodness…thank you so, so much for the honor of being one of your features this week, Deb! I am truly grateful for the chance to tell this piece of my story of “faith and feelings.” Thank you for giving me that opportunity!

  5. This is a question, a big one, that I recently pondered in a post, Deb, and I’m so glad you have elaborated on it here. We can only put God first with His help. Yes! May we all take His hand and let Him lead us to oneness with Him. Blessings!

  6. Surrendering and trusting…I think I will be forever learning how to do both. Your post is so timely and encouraging to me, Deb. I’ve been camping out on John 16:23 all week. There’s a song by Natalie Grant called, More Than Anything, and I’ve been challenged in this area of “other Gods” particularly in the area of protection over my children…do I want the protection more than I want the Protector? It’s so easy to find ourselves following an idol without even realizing it. Praying you have a wonderful Mother’s Day!

  7. I just finished reading a book by Madeleine L’Engle in which she cautions us about turning the very things that are supposed to point us to God into idols themselves, so that they get in the way of truly worshiping God.
    Thanks for taking our thoughts back to that first commandment!

  8. I had a Pastor once who said you couldn’t break any of the other 9 commandments without also breaking the first. Kinda mind blowing… This post reminded me that I don’t have to bow down to sin in any form! Thanks for this gut check today! Blessings!

  9. Thanks Deb for the great reminder. I don’t think many of us would say set out to put other things before God, but the truth is often times we do. Great post. and thanks for the great linkup as always 🙂

  10. Not that we can do it perfectly, but when we fail to keep the first commandment, we’re going to fail with the others, too. Thanks for this reminder to reassess what we believe the first commandment really means.

  11. So true Deb!
    God revealed to me years ago that we really need to have wisdom in this one!

    As we can also become gods to others when we step in & try to help that may not be in God’s wisdom, taking God’s place in that person’s life! Rather than them relying & depending on Him, they come to us instead! We always need to point people to the Lord as first port of call…

    That was such a very sobering revelation at the time especially as a Clinical Therapist, such wisdom can only be gained from the Lord!

    From that day forth I started each working day in my office praying over every patient that would come in that day! Not just a general prayer at home, as I had been, before I went to work.

  12. Amen dear Deb.
    …but sometimes it’s soooooo hard! Specially when a horrific calamity has struck your life and the lives of your people and nation. It’s so difficult to understand and accept.

    1. I am so sorry for the tragedy that has happened in your country. I am praying for you all . . . asking God to meet your needs and cover you with His love. It is hard to understand why He allows these horrible things to happen. I pray to just continue by His grace, to trust His mercy and love. God be with you!