POSITIVE LIVING: GOD MUST BE FIRST!
What do we want? That is the most pressing and important question we are faced with at the moment. How do we hope to achieve the things we desire? Do we want a prosperous country? Do we want a peaceful Anguilla? Do we want God’s divine intervention in our country’s affairs? Well, in order to achieve those things, we must put God first. Not ourselves and not our agendas. To experience the presence of God, and be all that God wants us to be, we have to put our lives in proper perspective. God must be first. We cannot put the cart before the horse. Everything has order. First things must come first.
If everything must go right in our lives and our country, it is imperative that we get the first things right. That is the first principle: once we move God from the position of first in our lives every other thing falls out of place and leads to chaos. Putting God first means that we must put Him first in all we do, and always seek to live our lives according to his principles. We must never allow selfishness to dominate our lives because it will only create all kinds of unhealthy situations for us.
You see, God has clearly outlined the correct order of things for us. He said, “Seek ye first his kingdom and all other things will be added unto you” (Matt.6:33). If we fail to adhere to this, and refuse to honour Him and follow His wisdom in our decisions, it will cause us to become bogged down with worry, resentment and bitterness. The benefit of putting Him first is that He will direct our paths and we would be able to respond to His leading. As we live to please Him, He promises to bless our lives and make us prosperous. That is the hallmark of a successful life and a successful country.
Seeking God must be our first priority. When we do that, there will be nothing too insignificant to seek His face about. When we put God first, we will have the desire to know His will for us and do it. Only His will is important, not ours. He knows what is best for us. We will not find true happiness apart from Him. God control all things. Apart from Him we can do nothing. If we want to be successful we have to put Him first – that’s the bottom line. Nothing else will work!
The Bible is filled with the evidence of this. In second Chronicles 26:5 it was said concerning King Uzziah that “as long as he sought the Lord, God made him prosper”. King Uzziah continued to prosper as long as he sought God. That took faith and humility on his part. Genesis 26 outlined also that Isaac stayed in the land of famine at God’s instruction, and as God blessed him he began to prosper and continued to prosper until he became very prosperous.
The Book of Haggai also communicated that fact to us as well. God sent Haggai, his prophet, to speak to his people. He helped the people get their priorities in line with what they knew they should be. Haggai came along and said, “Hey, folks, it’s God who controls the rain and the harvest. He is withholding His blessing because your priorities are not right! Put His house first and He will bless you. Seek first His kingdom and all these things will be added unto you.”
You see, when the Jews returned from exile they faced a daunting task of rebuilding, but when they started putting God first, as instructed by Haggai, things turned around for them. Jerusalem came to life again. Homes were built, stores opened, commerce established, fields planted, crops harvested, and life began to resemble normalcy. This is a lesson for us, as well, that we need to learn. You see, people who slip into putting their prosperity above God’s kingdom have lost the spiritual perspective they need to get out of the quicksand they have fallen into.
Perhaps God in His wisdom allows us to reach to this point to get our attention, to get us to reconsider our mixed up priorities. When we begin to put our prosperity above God, we will never get what we are after. Therefore we need to take heed. We need to stop, rethink and refocus. Jesus promised that when we put God and His kingdom first, He will give us all the material things we need. But we have to fight constantly the drift toward wrong priorities. We must deliberately and continually put God first above our prosperity.
Haggai preached and the people obeyed! That took humility on their part. It would have been easy for the political and spiritual leaders of that day to resist Haggai’s message in order to preserve their esteem in the eyes of the community, but they listened and obeyed and they were better off for it. Thankfully they did! God blessed their nation abundantly. Our leaders need to do the same as well. They can either resist that call to put God first or we will all pay the consequences. The ball is in their court now. How they play it will make all the difference! May God help us all as we heed that call today! Remember God is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him. Let our focus be God first.
Remember: Leaders in tune to God’s will are individuals in tune to the needs of those they lead.
About the Author: Mrs. Marilyn Hodge owns and operates the Wellness Centre in the Farrington, Anguilla. The Centre offers Counselling Services by Appointment Only and has now published Positive Living Volume 2. Contact information: 476-3517 or email:firstname.lastname@example.org. www.facebook.com/axawellnesscentre