In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we often forget to put God first. Just think about your average day and the situations that demand your attention…
- Text messages and calls
- Family commitments
- House chores
- Social media notifications
- TV advertisements
Sometimes, it can feel like you are being pulled in so many directions that you are coming apart at the seams! Although these things are essential, they can easily distract us from spending time with God if we do not actively put Him first.
When God is at the top of your priority list, you will give time to Him before other things. You can do this by scheduling your time with Him first and then filling in the rest of your to-do list around it.
A visual representation of this concept is rocks in a jar. The rocks are your top priorities, and the jar is your time. Fill the jar with rocks, your top priorities, first. Then, pour in sand and water, which are your lesser priorities. They will fit around the rocks. Any secondary priorities that do not fit into the jar of your time come after completing your other priorities. This makes for a much more satisfying day.
Why Should God Be at the Top of Our Priority List?
For Christians, our relationship with Him is the most important of all our relationships, so we must spend time developing it. God created us, and He knows us intimately. We find our purpose and meaning in Him, for He is the very source of life. The following verses give us compelling reasons why we should put God first each day:
“…for in Him we live and move and have our being…”—Acts 17:28
Only Jesus can sustain us and give us the patience, grace, and strength to live each day for His glory.
“For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him who is the head of all principality and power.”—Colossians 2:9-10
We cannot experience the abundant life God has for us if we do not put Him first and prioritize spending time with Him.
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”—1 Peter 5:8
Our enemy, the devil, is constantly seeking ways to distract us with thoughts of the future. He wants us to be consumed with anxiety and fear. We must put God first and fill our minds with Scripture to combat the distractions the enemy throws at us.
“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”—Ephesians 6:11
Since God is your source of strength, Satan will do his best to distract you away from spending time with him. You must prioritize spending time with God, pursuing Him wholeheartedly, and putting on the armor of God to prepare and defend against the devil’s attacks.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”—Matthew 6:33
Matthew 6:33 promises that God will supply all our needs if we seek His kingdom first. This should comfort believers because if we put Him first, He will help us order the rest of our priorities.
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”—John 15:7-8
When we abide daily with God, He fills us with His spirit so we can produce fruit that honors and glorifies Him throughout the day.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”—Philippians 4:6-7
Jesus promises that He will give us peace that will put our hearts and minds at ease. This peace is not dependent on our circumstances. God wants you to experience it by talking to Him, thanking him, and asking Him for what you need.
5 Ways to Put God First
Reading Bible verses about putting God first is helpful, but how should believers apply these principles? Here are five tangible ways you can put God first daily…
1. Start each day in the Word.
This can feel like a huge sacrifice, but giving the first moments of your day to God communicates that you value your relationship with Him. Praying and reading the Bible aligns our hearts and minds with God’s will and prepares us for the day's challenges. It can help us be more productive because we are often more peaceful and focused after spending time in God’s word.
King David, a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), committed his mornings to God in Psalm 5:3. He recognized the importance of starting his day by spending time with God and filling his mind with Scripture.
2. Pray and give thanks daily.
One Thessalonians 5:17 says, “pray without ceasing…” Praying without ceasing means having an ongoing conversation with the Lord throughout your day. Doing this will prompt you to put God first because what we think about is what we prioritize.
A biblical way to begin your prayer is with thanksgiving. Thanksgiving prepares our hearts and adjusts our perspective so we see how good, gracious, and glorious God is.
Psalm 100:4 instructs us:
“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.”
It is essential to make giving thanks a daily habit just as much as prayer.
3. Be obedient.
We show our love for God by obeying Him.
One John 5:3 states:
“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”
Obeying God’s commandments comes with tremendous rewards.
John 14:23 records Jesus saying:
“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.”
What a treasured gift it is that the Creator of the universe will come and make His home with you!
4. Get involved in community.
Each believer is part of the body of Christ, and we need one another’s prayers, accountability, and support to grow in our faith. This concept is explained in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27. When we are among others who love and serve the Lord, they encourage us to keep living for Jesus.
If one of us falls, our brothers and sisters in Christ can pick us up. If we are ensnared in sin, our community can confront us and lead us to repentance, which brings us back into a right relationship with the Lord. Our community is where we learn to build others up and hold each other accountable to godly living.
5. Rest in the Lord.
Growing our relationship with the Lord requires intentional effort, but we should not do it in our own strength. You may feel groggy as you get out of bed half an hour early to read God’s Word. Going to your community group after a long day might be challenging. Giving thanks for anything amid a storm may seem impossible, but God is strong in your weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). Depending on His strength is the nature of resting in the Lord.
As you implement these tips to put God first, remember that you are adding something new to your life that will draw you closer to Jesus. The enemy will not like that you are making this change, and you may feel some resistance. When you feel this resistance, draw close to God and rely on His strength. You will reap a reward in due time (Galatians 6:9).