Summary: A look at the question "Is God Number One In My Life" and some indicators that can help us determine to what extent he rules and reigns in our lives.
Who’s Number One (And How Do We Know?)
Essence of the Lesson in a Sentence:
Christ’s pre-eminence in our lives will order our priorities to receive the life He promised
As I tried to make sense of so many thoughts for this sermon, I took a mental break to check my Facebook, hoping to find some momentary relief from the intensity of pulling my sermon together. I didn’t go shopping for it, but my eyes found a quote in a friend’s page that absolutely floored me, and I realized it summarizes what God is saying to me-very simply:
“Be someone’s priority, not their option!”
It’s the cry of the human heart-to be at the center of another’s hopes and dreams, and for that same person to share that position in your own life. It’s the ideal for intimacy, the prescription for passion and a life with another person.
I’d like for you to take a moment and let that simple concept speak to you. I believe it’s what God is saying to us today.
God does not “need” us for anything. The scriptures tell us that he desires us-to love and nurture us as a father does his child. Over and over he uses the concept of a father to illustrate His love and desires for us. I think about my relationship with my own girls-imperfect as it is- my love for them is a
reflection of the love I received from my own father (and mother). Yet, I know for a fact that my father never received that kind of love, guidance and
attention from his earthly father-it came from His walk with God. In my own imperfect way, the love of God flows through me to my own children, as it did to me from my parents.
So it follows-my greatest desire for my girls is to see them walking with God, being productive in their lives. I want them to have healthy, engaging lives and work. I want them to have the best relationships that life can offer. I have lived longer than them and
through my own mistakes and pain, I can see potential train wrecks in their lives, and I will sound the alarm when I see them. I can’t always rescue them from their own pain and mistakes, and some of that will be necessary for them to grow and the pain will make them
stronger, if they keep it in perspective. Yet it will hurt me every time I see them fall,and it will hurt worse when they don’t come to me.
Do I even matter to them? I hope so because I love them so much. Can I coerce them to listen
to me? Not a chance! If I do I will only drive them far from me. If they love me, and it follows that I have earned their respect and love, my words to them
and my presence in their lives will be a priority. I will not just be an option-their daddy will be a priority among the advisors and counselors they can look to in their lives.
The illustration breaks down at the point where I acknowledge that I am imperfect, and without infinite wisdom! I can’t be all things to my daughters. I cannot be their number one priority. I have failed them many times, and if they understand that I am weak in a particular area, they will not heed my advice, and move on to other priorities.
But let’s take it where it needs to go-
We have a Heavenly Father, and by our own testimony the large majority of us here have trusted our eternal salvation to Him. We came to the Cross one day and asked Him to come into our lives to save us-so that we could escape His wrath, being justified by our faith-we are freed from the penalty of our own sin. It is a glorious thing!
We are His people-He created us in His image. As Christians we absolutely agree on this! He
is all-knowing, always present, and all-powerful. He is the Creator, our Heavenly Father and He knows the beginning from the end. He will not fail.
He can be “everything” to us. As a matter of fact, He has called His people to place Him at the very apex of their lives, in the first and highest chair.
He *must* be our priority-without Him we can do nothing.
We speak often of the firstborn of all men-Adam and Eve. They walked and talked with God himself in the Garden before their sin separated them from Him. At that point God’s mercy and grace began to be extended towards them and their children as a lifeline. God revealed Himself in the Old Testament through Moses and the Prophets, and His people learned of him as they experienced His daily provision and followed the instruction of the Law and the declarations of their leaders. God often seemed fierce and unknowable in that day. Those who would set their face against him were destroyed.