Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. ~ Colossians 3:2 (NLT)
Priorities. It’s a word I’ve spoken to dozens upon dozens of people over the years God has blessed me in ministry. The unfortunate reality is that the word has become forgotten, a relic of times passed. Why? Because today’s culture is impulsive, calling us to do what we want when we want to do it. Whatever is right in front of us receives our attention. When we follow this mode of operation, our life becomes out of balance, and there are some not so good consequences that follow.
Growing up, I’ve been taught, that priorities need to look like this: 1) God, 2) Family, 3) Work, 4) Friends. It seems like a pretty straightforward way of setting things up. In fact, most people would agree with this order (assuming they are Christians, of course). But, actually following this model is more difficult to follow than simply agreeing with it.
In our lives, one of Satan’s greatest tricks is to get us to reorder this list of priorities without realizing that he has caused us to do so. Over the years, I can tell you that, in general, the priorities of the majority of people place God out of the top three. As a result, their spiritual lives struggle. Why? It’s pretty plain. When we put God anywhere but first on the list, we are focusing on the things of this world, not the things of Heaven. Our lives get out of whack, and things that are temporary replace the things that are eternal.
When we don’t put our primary focus on God, our view of Him becomes less and less clear. We don’t see Him as our provider – there are other things in this world that make us “happy.” We don’t see Him as our healer – We can numb our pain through other means. We don’t see Him as Savior – we can fix ourselves. We don’t see Him – period. When we lose sight of God, we lose sight of eternity. When God is the priority in our lives, everything else falls into place. He is our provider. He is our healer. He is our Savior. He is our all-in-all. He puts the friends in our lives that will support us. He brings families closer together. He provides the career opportunities, and helps us manage our workload in school. In short: When God is the priority, He figures it all out and provides for our eternity, not just the here-and-now.