Academic degrees, moving upward in our career, taking care of ourselves, the children, marriage, resolving daily challenges, and maintaining a nurturing environment require determination, strength, and resilience. As mentally, emotionally, and physically taxing as life is, even with our accomplishments, still, it is not enough. To have the highest quality of life, God requires that we put Him first.
“Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.'” (Matthew 27:37-38)
The most formidable challenge we face every day is to put God first! With so many distractions, how is it possible to dedicate our hearts to God, as He requires? We must ask ourselves, “Would God ask us to do the impossible?” Regardless of our feelings, the answer is No. When was the last time you analyzed your lifestyle? Our schedules reflect the desires of our hearts. The people, places, and things we embrace are the obstacles that keep us from putting our Heavenly Father first.
Simple changes include morning worship. Let your day begin with prayer and study of the Scriptures. Studying the same verses or a chapter for 7-10 days allows one to memorize God’s promises. Your day will begin with joy and peace, equipping you with the power of the Holy Spirit to handle the challenges for that day. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:34).
Review your family’s extracurricular activities and explore the “working smarter not harder” strategies. Our lifestyle will steal our time and rob us of joy and happiness. Say a prayer, asking God to reveal the changes that keep you from putting Him first. Self-control and discipline are necessary to eliminate nonproductive habits and activities.
With steadfast determination, make the necessary changes. Stand your ground with children. Yes, they will be disgruntled in the beginning. Remind them that the believer’s family is preparing for eternal life in the New Heaven and New Earth. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit’s guidance before you commit to adding something else to your already packed schedule. Finally, learn to gently say, “No, I am unable to do that at this time.”
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Dedicating our hearts to God requires a daily commitment. Put God first! Jesus will provide the knowledge, wisdom, and strength to lift the heavy burdens. Living according to the will of God guarantees peace. Stay encouraged! The Holy Spirit gives us the spiritual power to run the race every day.
Prayer: O Lord, our God, we ask You to give us the knowledge and wisdom to change our lifestyles. We are worn down in every aspect of our minds and bodies. Give us the peace that surpasses our understanding. And as we worship and dedicate our time to you on the Holy Sabbath, anoint us with the Holy Spirit. We ask this prayer in the Worthy name of Jesus. Amen.