Summary: Putting God first requires resetting our priorities.
Have we ever promised something to the Lord and then we failed to follow through on our commitment? We promised to give a certain amount to the mission pledge card last year but reneged on that pledge? At that time, our business was doing well. Then, the oil crisis came. The peso-dollar exchange went crazy. Our business suffered. We are thinking of letting go of our employees. We even entertained the thought of closing down. Then, we saw the pledge card in our Bibles. We look at it and sigh, “Maybe the Lord would understand…”
Or, we prayed and prayed for a job. We promised to give our tithes. We finally landed into a good position. We started to give. Though the tithe was already big, we were glad to give. Then, we got promoted. We got a bigger salary. Then, another promotion came. So, we started computing again. Our tithe is now equivalent to our salary when we started. Bigger button, bigger button hole. Our expenses also went up with our salary. Bills are piling up. Now, we stare at the tithe envelope and think, “I could use the extra amount to pay off some debts.”
Or, we started a business. We committed to run the business according to God’s Word. We resolved to pay the right taxes and give the right salary. We declare that God is the real owner, we are just managers of His resources. Then, the extended value added tax came. Add to that the economic woes I just mentioned. We look at our competitors. It was such a cutthroat competition. They brought their prices down, even lower than our prices. We know why. They cheated the government by not paying the right taxes. We cannot afford to match their price. We look at our rising overhead expenses. We look at the taxes we are forking out. We now try to convince ourselves, “I need to tweak with my books to keep my business afloat.”
Or, maybe our business is doing really well despite of the economic crisis. We are getting busier and busier. Our schedule is packed with back-to-back meetings. Every morning we wake up tired. We leave for office while it is still early and we leave the office already late. Now, our clients wanted to meet with us for a power breakfast or a round of golf. Then, we realize that it is Sunday morning. We convince ourselves and say, “Just this once… I cannot afford to miss this meeting… Next Sunday, I will attend.” But, Sunday after Sunday, we find it harder and harder to say no to our clients.
If we are honest to ourselves, we know God is no longer first in our lives. We have misplaced priorities in life. According to the dictionary, the word “first” has two meanings. One meaning says, “coming before all others in time or order, earliest” as in “first time” or “first come, first served.” Another meaning says, “foremost in position, rank or importance” like when we say “first things first.” So, when we say, “Today God Is First” we are talking about the second meaning. When we say God is first, we are not talking about a list where we think there is a number two or a number three. What we are saying is that He is foremost in position, rank or importance. Our lives revolve around Him. The question now is, “Is God really first in our lives?”