If you’ve been in church for any period of time in your life, I’m sure you have heard someone at some time use the phrase, “Keep God in first place.” What does that really mean?
Let’s unfold this truth using what Jesus taught us in Matthew 6. (I get tickled at times when, in this context, people stop at Jesus’ teaching what is commonly known as the “model prayer,” because He continues teaching on prayer through chapter 7 of Matthew.)
Jesus paints a picture here that it isn’t just words to pray; it is our life.
Today we are going to hone in on one aspect of that: keeping God first. I’m going to make this very simple; it means God is the first place you run.
You need an answer to a problem at work, run to God. You are having difficulty, take it to God. This sounds so simple, but when we are hurting, how often do we run to a friend to tell our story first, or look for counsel from books, media and magazines, instead of His word?
If we run to Him first, He will add everything we need to us. God wants us to come to Him first, and the cool thing is that He makes an amazing promise. Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first the kingdom of heaven and all these things will be added to you.”
What things? What you eat, drink, wear…things. Wow, everything!
Are you wanting to be married, or find a job, or know what to do with your kids? God promises He will add everything we need to us, if we come to Him first.
If we make Him the first place we run, another promise He makes is to protect us. Proverbs 18:10 says, “ The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run into it and are safe.” So what does this look like in reality? I’m talking simple, practical, childlike. We all say things like, “God is the place where help comes from,” but the truth is, we can say that all day, but if we don’t run to Him, we are just saying empty words.
Recently my washing machine died, so when Mr. Budget gave the okay, we bought a new one. It was supposed to be delivered on Monday, but they said if we could wait until Saturday, the pedestal that goes with it would be delivered on the same day, so I took the Saturday date.
Saturday morning, bright and early, we got a call from the delivery service saying that they didn’t have our washer or pedestal, and they weren’t going to be delivering it that day. We had gone a week without a washer and needed to do the laundry. I began to lift it to God. “Father, I know that if You number my hairs, You care about this washer, so I’m bringing this problem to You and asking You to move in this situation.”
My husband called the store, and the manager said the best they could do was deliver it Monday. When he told me that, the Holy Spirit prompted me to pray again. (The Bible says, ask and keep on asking.) So again, I simply said, “Lord, You know how much we need this washer, and I thank You that You have provided the money for it, and I thank You that You are taking care of this thing for me. Now I’m trusting You with this, and leaving it before You to take care of it.”
Fifteen minutes later we got a call from the head of the delivery service, who said, “I can’t explain it, but your stuff was here all along. I don’t know how we missed it. Is it okay if we deliver around 2 o’clock today?”
God knows how to change natural situations; God can change hearts and give you favor. He is the answer to every question; run to Him and simply ask, not just in the “big things,” but every little thing. The more you trust Him with the little, the easier it will be to trust Him with the big.
This isn’t a tough concept because most of us love relating to people. That’s why we are drawn to things like Twitter or Facebook.
All I’m saying here is to keep God in your everyday life, as the one you run to, share your life with and receive help from in times of trouble. There are precious promises you can experience, just by giving Him first place.
God holds the answer to everything, so I challenge you, this week, when you come upon a problem, or need a friend to talk to, or need some good counsel, run to Him first and see what He will do. Crack open His Word, the Bible, and see what answers you can find there. When you do, let us know the good things He has done for you!