Ask almost any Christian at church on Sunday what their priorities are, and they will instinctively tell you that God is first and family second. Saying so simply does not make it true. If God were first in the lives of all who proclaimed to know Him, our world would not be in the mess it is today. For that matter, if family was indeed the second priority, we would not find the divorce rate among Christians to be statistically the same as that of non-Christians (The Christian Post). We have been taught what we’re supposed to say, but there is an absolute disconnect between our lips and our reality.
Putting God first never happens on accident; it takes constant discipline to determine to live your life in a manner different from everyone else. Beyond discipline, it takes an authentic and burning love for Jesus Christ. If we don’t truly love Him, we will never live our lives for Him. Jesus must be more than a nice idea in our heads or a socially responsible position for us among our peers. Living for God means being willing to sacrifice everything in order to give our allegiance to His Son. If Jesus isn’t Lord of your life, it should go without saying that God cannot be first in your life.
Saying a prayer to ask Jesus into your life doesn’t magically transform your priorities. I really wish it were this simple. Beyond committing our lives to Jesus is the daily, moment by moment discipline required to choose to follow Him. As we are bombarded by choices, we must consciously and constantly decide that we will choose the path of Jesus; we must choose to turn away from the normal for the sake of the divine. Putting God first in our lives means that things will change. No longer will we behave like everyone else; we will be different. This may cause some awkward moments and uncomfortable tension between you and your peers, but this is what it takes to follow Jesus.
If Jesus is truly the Lord of our life, we will put aside all the things in which we previously found pleasure and satisfaction. Jesus becomes everything we need. We will discover life in Christ is what life is all about. As we immerse ourselves in His love and grace, and allow Him to envelop us in His all surpassing mercy and Holiness, we will find there is nothing else worth having. Putting God first in our lives requires that our priorities become reoriented to Him. Our focus changes from our own selfish desires to the sacrificial mission of Jesus.
It’s time we stopped lying to ourselves about our priorities. If your life looks pretty much the same as the person next to you, you probably aren’t putting God first in your life. If possessions, money and social status are important to you, chances are God is not. What has our attention is what has us. We can’t proclaim God to be first in our lives and then go and live for ourselves. Putting God first means doing it constantly, not just when it is convenient or when we know someone is looking. What good is it to fool others and even ourselves when we know that God sees our heart? If we want to be true followers of Jesus, then God must be our number one priority. Is this the reality in your life? If not, confess it to Jesus and ask Him to help you walk in His ways. Putting God first is the only way to have life (Luke 17:33). Make Him your top priority today and begin to experience the life you were created to live.