Matthew 6:31-34: “Therefore do not worry, saying ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink? or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your Heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” NKJV
I used to say “God first” often. As I reflect on where I am today with this subject matter, I realize that often times my words and actions were far from congruent in the past. I guess I would call that spiritual growth, spiritual awakening and a reclassifying of priorities. That’s a good thing I feel. I suppose a part of me knew back then that my faith was somewhat shallow, yet I’m sure I would’ve defended my position then from an ego perspective. Big scheme of things, my priorities and subsequent actions certainly didn’t reflect the above verse- once again words spoken by Jesus Himself.
I think if I’m honest, despite what I said, my priorities throughout my twenties and early thirties based on actions were mostly driven by ego. Naturally the things that were most important to me were of this world and driven by underlying feelings of lack and fear. The grip of the enemy was tight for many reasons. We all have our reasons to seek fulfillment from this world, to mask hurts, to escape our reality in ways. I searched for external fulfillment to try filling the void that only God can fill. You know that feeling you get that nothing is ever enough, or that subtle part of you that always feels empty of something?
I cared so much of what people thought because the lack within my soul was so strong. I would choose short-term escape mechanisms at times to fill the void of my lacking relationship with God. I would choose seeking validation via recognition, awards, “atto-boys,” winning competitions, or even needing to feel wanted by others (relationships, friendships, family, etc). I used to say “God first,” yet the world was first to me. All things I sought brought more emptiness because they inevitably didn’t align with these very important words from Jesus: “But seek first the Kingdom of God.” My faith in God was in some distant creator, not in an actual relationship with Him and His spirit with me. I sought him mostly conveniently, not truly. So I suppose I didn’t really SEEK him much at all. I had infantile belief at best.
I believe we are all on a spiritual journey. Jesus is knocking. God wants the relationship with Him to be first, which requires TRUST AND FAITH that all will subsequently work out for good. I’m not saying we cannot be recognized, be wanted, or perform well in this world. I’m just saying these should be bi-products of our GOD FIRST lifestyle. Everything good flows through Him. He loves us, no matter how derailed our faith-based train ride. Romans 8:28 comes to mind as I write this- “And we know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” NKJV
As I wrote yesterday, the enemy will continue to attack our weaknesses. We might trip, fall, get knocked down over and over again. Yet our weaknesses will be used for His mighty purpose when we let Him OVERCOME and take the reins of our lives.
I used to have so many priorities based on my mindset, focus and inevitably where my heart was. Now I have 1 priority and all other things must flow through this: GOD FIRST.
I have faith that all other things will evolve from this priority shift of complete surrender. I don’t need to worry about tomorrow anymore (que hypochondria for example). I want to live a life of responses starting with “if it is God’s will, it will be.” Worry, fear, lack, hoarding and needing (praise, acceptance, importance) are things of this world. I don’t NEED anything but God’s love. This is where perhaps unknowingly to him something my father has sworn by comes to mind as a spiritual statement: “don’t be in a relationship where you NEED the other’s love, yet instead be in a relationship where you WANT it.” I NEED GOD, everything else can be a WANT, yet I must be in a position where I’ve given up the driver’s seat. I most trust even in failures, hurts or hang-ups that all things will work out for His purpose! I might want a relationship to work. I might want my career to look a certain way. I might want security financially. I might want control. I don’t NEED these things however if I truly put God first. I instead have faith that He is now making decisions for me. He is determining my steps. What a relief. What faith this requires though, which is why I need reminders every day to SURRENDER!
I’m still trying and will continue to put my relationship with Him first, and let all things flow from there. Priority #1- God. Priority #2- God. Priority #3- God…. you catching on? Surrender the desire for control and let the creator of the universe take over. I believe this will lead to more love to give & feel, more authenticity, more abundance and more impact. God first and all else flows! How great would it be to feel no worry? How great to have no fears? How great to have no dependence on anyone else to fill spiritual or emotional voids? How great to be carefree and fully trust? How great is our God!
Much love from Fort Lauderdale, FL!
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