Get your priorities straight! That’s what I felt the Holy Spirit shout at me this week. I’ve really been struggling the last month or so. Last week, I knew the topic for this post was going to be about priorities. But, honestly, it took a little more introspection to see that I needed to write it for me—not necessarily for any of you. It took me a little while to realize that my own priorities are out of alignment right now—and that is why I felt such conviction about this topic. (And that is why we’re posting on Friday this week instead of Wednesday!) For the past few weeks, at the end of each day, I would think about all the things that I had wanted to do but didn’t. The thing is—I used to just feel overwhelmed about life and dismiss these feelings of inadequacy because I was just “busy” and “didn’t have time” to get them done. I chose to accept that my life was just “crazy.” But, over the last couple of years, God has gently taught me that busyness is a choice and not getting (the important) things done is also a choice. (*I realize that some of you may disagree with that statement, and that is totally fine! But I hope you’ll keep reading.)
See—what I’ve learned is that you have time for what you want to make time for. Over the last month or so, I’ve allowed myself to become exhausted: mentally, physically, emotionally, and even spiritually exhausted. I’ve been cramming my thoughts and schedules with activities without being intentional to determine what was important to me. This chaos I’m feeling is because I am allowing my priorities to get all out of whack. It’s crazy how it just happens so fast. I used to be intentional about setting priorities…so what happened?
It’s easy to look to the circumstances surrounding me to find excuses for my “slump.” I could list a bunch of things that have upset me recently. But, as I lead small groups and encourage my friends to “choose joy,” I find myself feeling hypocritical. As I prayed this morning for God to help me to find contentment in the midst of my struggles, He lead me to Romans 2, where Paul says, “But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath…” Ouch. Me? Stubborn? Yes…very. Hard-headed and stubborn—trying to solve it all on my own and forgetting that God is the one who is in control, not me. Paul goes on to say in verse 7, “To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality, he will give eternal life.” I want eternal life, so I need to seek glory, honor, and immortality.
However, I find myself seeking knowledge and earthly solutions—even though I know what I should be doing. It’s easy to get caught up in our circumstances, isn’t it? But I love that God is reminding me to get my priorities straight. Want to walk through that with me? Let’s start with what God tells us about priorities.
The first one: Love God. Not just “hey, luv ya” kind of love. But He tells us to love Him with our whole hearts, minds, and souls. Love Him with our thoughts, will, and emotions. Jesus tells us this in Matthew:
“ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.’ ” Matthew 22:37-38
Love Him more than your spouse, more than your friends, more than your collection of jewelry, more than your job, more than your car that you worked so hard to be able to afford, more than your budget sheet, more than your lifestyle, more than your plans and dreams (or even fears) of the future. Love Him first.
Secondly, Jesus tells us to love people.
“Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:39
What is hard for us to comprehend is that when these two things are our top two priorities, we are in alignment with God’s will. The Bible tells us that if we will just do these two things—first—then the rest will fall into place. It seems like we should have to do more, right? Today, I am trying to be more intentional with my priority alignment. What is consuming my thoughts the most? Loving God and His people? (Not yet…but I am going to work hard on that—starting now!)
Dear Heavenly Father, search my heart and show me where I am out of alignment. In your loving way, Lord, please redirect my thoughts and help me get my priorities straight. I choose today to stop worrying and fretting about things that just do not matter to you. I love you—with all of my heart, soul, and mind. And I love your people. Help me to love and serve others as you have commanded. Your Word tells me that if I follow these commands, then the rest will fall into place. I trust you, God. Thank you for your grace when I let the world consume my thoughts. And thank you for your loving redirection so that I may live abundantly and in accordance to your will. Amen