Hey everyone, thanks for taking a moment to read through this. I want to preface these comments by saying that this post is written with the assumption that those who will be reading it are born again Christians who are looking to go deeper in their walk with Christ.
The topic that I want to address here is that of Christian priorities. I want to challenge us to think about what our priorities are – and if there is anything in our lives that God is asking us to change.
Get your priorities right
In life, there are all sorts of things that we give our time, energy and various resources too. House, car, hobbies, games, family, work. You name it. As people who have given ourselves to God, usually, those things that we consciously decide to spend our time on are good things. Generally, we aren’t struggling with whether or not to make some fully sinful thing our priority, we are struggling with how much of a priority a good thing should be. Do you see the difference?
There are all sorts of things that we can be engaged in, and a lot of them aren’t sin. But as we look to go deeper with Christ Jesus, the question becomes less and less – “Is this sin?” and more and more – “Is this the best thing?” The Apostle Paul said that all things are lawful for him, but that not all things are profitable.
Christ is our life, all we are, all we have and all we do needs to be in and through Him – for His glory and to build His Kingdom. That begs the question then: are the things that you and I are engaged in on a regular basis things that He desperately wants us to be doing?
Unfortunately, there are NO easy answers to this question… they are different for each person. God clearly outlines right and wrong on the big issues for all people, but the little things He leaves to be dealt with between you and Him. The thing is, we have to listen.
Listening to God
Listing to God is a big topic and we can’t do much more then scratch the surface here, but I do want to ask the question – do we consciously take the time to STOP what we are doing and listen to God? I think that if we are being honest, most of the time – in our day to day, moment by moment lives – we are content to just carry on with what we are doing. I think that, often, either we feel we are too busy to stop and listen, or we just forget, or – worse still – maybe deep, deep down, we know that God would ask us to do something different – so we ignore him.
Generally, I think that we know what our priorities should be, and even though we struggle with exactly what our moment-to-moment lives should look like, we normally have a pretty good idea of what we should and shouldn’t be doing. We can put it down on paper, we can look back on our day and point out our mistakes. We can look to tomorrow and make a nice plan – but often we get blinded in the moment – for whatever reason. I think that if we took the time to stop and truly seek and to really, truly listen, it would become a lot easier to know what we should do.
However, even once we know exactly what we should be doing in THIS moment we are living in – even when we’ve made up our mind that we want to get our priorities straight and we’ve decided to listen to God and do what He wants, there is still another roadblock.
It is so hard to the right thing! It’s one thing to come up with a plan to get our priorities straight. It’s quite another thing to carry it out. How many times have we decided to give up such and such a habit, or to start such and such a thing that we feel God’s been asking us to do? Why is it so hard!? Well, that’s sin nature, the flesh, the devil, take your pick, one, all or some combo working to pull you away from God, and it’s only with His help that we can get it right.
The temptation then is to just give up; to decide that it’s just not worth it. After all, we feel as though we are pretty good Christians, we are going to Heaven, and we are happy with that. The problem is, this is serious stuff. You and I can’t progress much farther with God until we get sorted out on these things that He’s showing us, and they aren’t something that we can just leave. THEY WILL NOT JUST SORT THEMSELVES OUT. We have to DO something. God isn’t going to force us. He will help, of course, and it’s only through Him that it’s possible, but He will not do it himself. God is calling us to go higher and deeper with Him, and as long as we leave these little, day-to-day things undone in our lives, our Spiritual progress is stifled.
So what do we do?
Let’s get practical here. What can we do to make sure our priorities get and stay right? How can we be sure to honour God with every, single area of our live? We know our priorities need some work, we know there are changes that God wants to make, and we might even know some specifics of what they are… but what can we do?
There are the obvious answers that we all are familiar with: pray, read your bible, memorize scripture. But I’m assuming we know these things and are doing them. If we aren’t, we won’t get far in the Christian life anyway. So what else can we do to help along the way?
Accountability – that’s an option. Maybe you can find someone to keep you accountable over a priority issue in your life.
Plan – maybe you can develop an action plan to keep you on track and evaluate your progress.
There are lots of practical ideas, and it will be up to you to look deeper into them, but one thing I would like us to do is, take a moment to make a list. This list can be in your mind, but it’s better if it’s on a piece of paper or a device note or something where you can actually write it out. Take a few minutes and just ask God to show you the things in your life that He wants to change. Then, as he shows you, write them down. Once you’ve done this, set aside some time, maybe now, maybe tonight, maybe some other time soon, and get before God to figure out how He wants you to deal with these things. If you need help from someone – go ask for it. If you need to give something up, do it. If you need to cut back, cut back, if you need to start something, start it.
Life is short, and Christ is coming back soon. We don’t have time to fool around living lives that are comfortable for us and uncomfortable for God. If He wants to make a change, we need to let him – we will be glad for all eternity that we did.
In closing, the one thing I want to impress on all of us before we end is this: don’t let yourself put these things aside until they are dealt with. It’s easy to minimize or forget about these things BUT it is impossible to get much closer to God until these obstacles that He has identified are dealt with. So, get before God, have Him show you what needs to change, then do everything you can to change them. Remember, He will help you, but He won’t do everything, He won’t just magically change you. YOU HAVE to do something.
It’s not going to be easy by any means! It’s very easy to become a Christian (thanks be to God!) – but it’s not easy to live the Christian life – in fact it’s impossible for us in our natural state, but, as we know, it is Christ who works in and through us to make this possible! So, let’s make sure that we go as deep as we can with Him and live with no regrets!
Thanks for reading!
– Josh Menzies