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First Things First

The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. Right?

As we move further and faster into this global pandemic, we're faced with new issues of "priority."

As men of God, our call – and our priority – is still to operate from a different perspective. An eternal, Kingdom perspective.

Hopefully we understand that we need to rely on God to get us through this time of crisis. Not that we don’t need intelligent others to help guide the way, but even there we are trusting God to lead our leaders and help our scientists. Our job is to pray for them. Our number one job is to keep God our number one priority.

I once heard someone ask the question, “Is God your steering wheel or your spare tire?” Think about it – some people travel without a spare tire – no big deal as long as the other four are ok. No one travels without a steering wheel. We need our steering wheel to guide us through every mile of our trip. In all my years as an over the road truck driver I can’t even tell you the number of times I have seen a stranded motorist on the side of the road because they weren’t aware that the spare tire they were counting on was in no condition to do its job. It was worthless as a result of neglect.

Unfortunately, that’s how many of us operate with our faith – “for emergency use only.” Men fall into this trap constantly. For many of us, our daily routine doesn’t require much faith. We pretty much go through our lives robotically and in the process our faith atrophies. Then suddenly we encounter some sort of crisis and we find our faith pretty much worthless as a result of neglect.

So how do we go about establishing God as a priority?

Think about your daily routine – is God part of it? What do you do when you first wake up? Ok, I mean what’s after that? Whatever you do next is a priority decision – and after that and after that? At what point in your day do you turn to God? Maybe only if something goes wrong – maybe when you get into the office you close your door and spend a few minutes with the Lord.

Actually, when you meet with God isn’t as important as the fact that you are doing it – its just that for many of us, if spending time with the Lord isn’t the first thing we do there is every likelihood that other issues will come up that will rob us of our time with Him. The next thing we know, we are going to bed and finally remember that God got squeezed out – again.

The Main Thing First Thing

I personally try to begin each day by giving the Lord the first minutes. It might be a fairly quick prayer on a rushed day but it is usually an hour spent reading and in prayer. Usually Cindy will join me near the end of my time and we will always pray together as we start our day. We end each day in prayer as well. This is the rule for most days. The only way we can know the Lord and especially His still small voice is by spending time with Him.

Time together is the only way we can actually know anyone. Have you ever thought that maybe God is waiting to meet with you? That maybe He looks forward to your time together even more than you do? Maybe He has been expectantly waiting all night to meet with us and is so excited to see us wake up and then we just go about our routine as though He doesn’t exist?

Ok, I don’t have scripture for that but I know in the Bible God spends a lot of time waiting for His people to love Him, follow Him and spend time with Him. I know this – since He loves us, He wants to be with us.

King David gives us an example of his own priorities – David’s first time with the Lord each day seemed to be morning. Time with God first thing, sets the tone for the day.

In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch. Psalm 5:3

David was a pretty busy guy – he had tons of King stuff to do every day. As busy as he was, starting the day with the Lord was a priority decision for the king. He knew the value of putting first things first.

How’s this? Job says,

“I have not departed from the command of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food. Job 23:12

In other words, Job says, if I have to choose between my daily food and the word of God, I’m choosing God. Wow, that’s devotion!

Its usually right about now that many guys say to me, “well, I don’t really like to read.” What they generally mean is that they don’t want to read the Bible – most of them are college grads, many with post grad degrees, so I know they can read – they are making priority decisions. They may read the sports page, the business section, the stock report, e-mail, etc. Whatever you’re reading, that’s your priority decision.

Priority One

What if we were to establish a new priority, one like Job’s? Something like, "Lord, I will value time with You and Your word over all the other options."

I know this – if we are to keep God first through this time, we will have to fight to do so. It’s challenging enough to put Him first every morning when we’re not in the midst of a national crisis.

Now, everything has been disrupted – even our kids aren’t going to school – well, they are, but its in the kitchen. Perhaps you have been ordered to work from home – more disruption. Perhaps you are needed at work more than ever.

Whatever your situation – fight to make God your first priority – let’s lead well.

Lets endeavor together to put first things first – if we’re looking for an anchor in the storm that is now upon us, perhaps time with God is exactly what we need!

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