FIRST THINGS FIRST
Many things and people want our time. School PTA Meeting, office report to submit, quiet time with God, childhood friend’s daughter’s wedding, quick dash to the market to buy foodstuffs for the house, Digging Deep Service, family meeting, business meeting, clothes to wash, pictures to post and friends to chat with on social media, and on and on the list goes on. How do we know which activities to focus on each day and which to push aside? How can you draw the line between activities that are important and those that are good but not a priority?
One of the easiest ways to know what God considers most important and should be given priority attention is to check those things in God’s Word He says we should do FIRST.
Here is a list of some things God says we should do first; we should place far above all other things.
The Kingdom of God and His Righteousness – Matthew 6:33 tells us that what we should seek, long after and desire more than anything else in this life is to know God and how He operates. The mistake we make is to get so preoccupied with seeking other things we neglect our relationship with God. Seeking God and His righteousness first means creating time to diligently study God’s Word, constantly giving attention to your relationship with God, pouring your life into those things that delight Him like soul winning, giving special preference to the things of God and placing them before food, money, riches, getting married, having a child, building a house and all other things of life which in themselves are not bad but should never be made our priority.
Personal Internal Check and Correction – It’s interesting that one of the things God says should be paramount in our lives is taking time to recognize our personal flaws and weaknesses before we start complaining about or criticizing other people. Matthew 7:5 says “First take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” Many of us have this gigantic log of anger, grudges of 10, 15 years, gossip, envy, covetousness, secret lies and sins in our eyes. Yet we give little or no attention to our own shortcomings and spend all our time and energy picking on other people and highlighting their failures. What is more important is our personal internal check. What is more important is to see what we are doing wrong and work towards correcting these things not noticing and making a mountain out of a molehill of other people’s weaknesses.
Intercession – When last did you pray for someone? I don’t mean a half-hearted prayer of God bless my sister, God bless my brother. When last did you take time out to consistently cry out to God for His mercy and intervention in the life of that girl, boy, man, woman, business, church or even our nation? The reason why things appear to be going ‘haywire’ in our nation is because we have not done the first things first. 1 Timothy 2:1-2 says “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” This scripture simply means that when it comes to prayer, praying for others, praying for our leaders should be placed before personal requests. But for many of us, all we do when we pray is to bombard heaven with only our personal needs. Yet we wonder why there are so many leadership problems in every segment of our society. It is because we have done the foremost and fundamental things last instead of first.
Acquiring Wisdom – Moses was a man God spoke mouth to mouth with (Numbers 12:8). Moses and God had intelligent conversations with one another. Moses experienced interesting and refreshing times of dialogue with God. But hearing God is not enough, you need wisdom. All day long, Moses was busy settling disputes amongst the Israelites and telling them God’s will on particular issues. But for the wise advice of Jethro, his father-in-law, to delegate some of his responsibilities, Moses would have died from burnout and exhaustion (Exodus 18:11-26). Zeal without wisdom can be disastrous. Wisdom is profitable to direct (Ecclesiastes 10:10). Wisdom is the principal thing (Proverbs 4:7). Wisdom is the most important attribute we must possess if we want to live a balanced, fruitful and outstanding life.
By putting the kingdom of God and His righteousness, divine wisdom, personal internal check and correction and intercession first, before all other things we seek after and are involved in, we would witness remarkable growth and improvement in our lives.
PHOT CREDIT: google