I grew up in church. My family went to church every single Sunday, I went to Sunday school and knew the creeds, all of the books of the Bible forward and backward, and all of what were considered the "significant" Bible stories. I had the perfect attendance award every year! I knew all about Jesus but I didn't know Jesus. In fact I didn't understand salvation. It was very easy to follow people and to do what they did, but I wasn't a true Christian because although I knew so much from memory, I had no real comprehension of what it all meant.
It wasn't until I was older and in a bad position that I called out to Jesus and then gave Him my life. I died to myself and began a new life in Him. It was a new beginning. I was a baby Christian at the beginning of a new road. I had much to learn and still do; in fact I will have more to learn and more growing to do for the rest of my life. I have a long way to go and always will, for I always be a sinner. There is no cure, we have all been born sinners. I am blessed to be filled with God's grace since believing Jesus to be my savior and giving God my life. It is genuine and He has been working in my heart.
Honestly speaking, it wasn't that long ago that I realized that although I always said I put Christ first, in reality I didn't. My husband and children were put right there with Him. Sometimes, my worries and burdens were put right there with Him, sometimes my wants were put right there with Him, and my wish to be healed of chronic illness was put right there with Him. At times, any of these, I am ashamed to say were put above Him. I realized that the things I put above Him were idols! Idols don't have to tangible things, precious carvings of silver and gold; idols can be anything that we hold more dear than our beloved God. It took a lot of honesty and soul baring to admit how guilty I was and none of these sins were intentional or even realized at the time.
"But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you." ~Matthew 6:33
It is so easy to put other people or things before God without even thinking about it.But when we do put Him first the rewards are numerous-- we can "hear his voice," and we can actually lay down our burdens. We are open to receive everything he has for us and can live in his strength and do things through and with His assistance. The list of things that happen when we put God first is endless. He is our creator, He is responsible for all the good in our lives and in us.
How many times do we have to go back to start to learn this?
Here are a few simple questions to help you determine if You are putting God first in your life. I hope that you work on it and ask for His help in doing it (He will) like I do.
1. List the five most important things to you
2. List the order of importance
3. Do you feel like you have been growing in the Lord?
4. Are you satisfied with the amount of time You spend with God and the quality of that time?
Thank You Heavenly Father for loving one like I who doesn't deserve the grace and mercy that I live in! I pray that you help us all to put You and keep You first in our lives, where You belong, for You are the great I Am. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.