Putting God FirstQUESTION: Putting God First - Our PriorityANSWER:Putting God First - Insights from God’s Word
''Do not call conspiracy everything that these people call conspiracy, do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it. The Lord Almighty is the One you are to regard as holy, He is the One you are fear, He is the One you are to dread, and He will be a sanctuary.” - Isaiah 8:12-14Putting God First – A Step of Faith
Prayer: My King, I wait on Your Presence this morning knowing what an awesome privilege our Presence is -- a special gift without which I would never have been able to journey as far as I have. I am in awe this morning as I see the opportunities You are giving us to impact the world with Your truth and with Your power. I also fall to my knees recognizing my own pride and my own arrogance -- which has prevented me from having a proper "fear of the Lord" in my daily comings and goings.
I tremble at the recognition of your patience with me as I have worked my way through the valley of presumption and pride. You knew of my struggles --yet chose to allow me time to come to the depth of understanding You knew I would need -- if I was to persevere and finish well.
To believe with my heart -- and not just with my mind -- has been a huge step of faith for me. For too many years I only trusted my mind. As I have learned to become dependent on You, Jesus -- and on Your Holy Spirit, I have come to realize that the only things worth living for are the things that result in lasting fruit. It is there where Your Presence and Your power reside.
I realize this morning the truth of John 3:6: "That which is born of flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit," so I ask You to look deeply within my inner being and reveal anything that has not received the stamp of approval from Your Holy Spirit. Your Word has -- and to this day still does -- sustain every facet of my life. Without this gift You gave me, I would be lost in a great darkness.
I pray this morning that we would all see the importance of putting You first in every facet of our lives. I pray we will live in a pure and holy fear of our God as I know this is the primary ingredient to living a life of freedom. Help us to learn to not fear as the world fears -- but rather to walk with You throughout our day -- so that the witness of our lives can be filled with the fragrance of worship -- as we journey. Fill us please with Your wisdom and power.
I pray You will use everyone praying this prayer to drive back the darkness that has been consuming the world. I pray they will bend their knee in prayer, trusting in Your Holy Spirit for His wisdom and power -- and focus their "doing" on the things that bear lasting fruit for eternity. We cannot and must not waste any more time -- or allow Satan to take any more ground in our families, churches, cities and nations.
Help us to stay focused on You -- like the Apostles of the early church. Help us to wield the shield of faith wisely -- as we use love as the bullet that destroys the enemy and stops him dead in his tracks. Make us sensitive to Your timing -- as I know You generally work much slower than I am willing to accept. Give us patient spirits to wait on You as You work out the deeper, longer lasting changes in each one of us -- as You change us from the inside out.
I sense a strong call on my heart this day to recognize that we must live out the truth we speak out. We must be living, breathing examples of our faith -- alert to our own selfish natures and motivations that walk hand in hand with us each day. I know from personal experience that You only use me when I live out what I believe. It is only then that You can grow me as I embrace spiritual and eternal truths making them the fuel for my earthly body. Your Holy Spirit then fuels my spirit with His "golden nuggets" of truth -- for every situation I face.
I claim the ground on which I now stand as holy ground because You are here with me. I claim light instead of darkness which I know will penetrate everything false in me. I claim love as my power tool and rebuke luke-warmness as my enemy. I claim my right to walk in the light of the Holy Spirit of God and I chose to trust Him to help me do my part to put Satan and his evil ones to flight.
I wait patiently on You for Your marching orders -- knowing that this journey I am on is an eternal journey -- and the fruit of my life matters. Help me -- help all with whom I walk -- to impact our world by exhibiting a pure, holy fear of the Lord to all we meet. That is the straight and narrow path You have laid out for us. I am grateful to be out of the ditch on the side of that path -- as I run the race with perseverance, determined to finish well.
I pray I am bringing pure and holy motivations as my gift offering today -- and every day -- along this path You have designed for me. To You be the glory!Putting God First – Making it Personal
Reflect: We must learn to bear fruit that is eternal -- fruit that generally comes from surrender, patience, acts of kindness and mercy. God has a great wisdom to give each one of us, but we must put him first in our lives if we are to reap the benefits. As you learn to see from God's eternal perspective it becomes easier to understand what will last for eternity and what will be burned up. One of my life lessons is that God is not in a hurry -- and I must wait on Him with a pure and holy fear of my God. I have also come to see that that the Holy Spirit cannot endorse anything I do with a false, selfish motivation -- and He will do what it takes to help me understand and overcome this. Look at the fruit of your life and ask yourself if it will result in eternal, kingdom truths shining out of your being to penetrate the darkness around you.