Do you ever think about how you spend your time? We often find ourselves doing what seems necessary to get by and moving from event to event on our calendar. But are we actually prioritizing what is important in life?
Putting God “First”
Ever since I was a little girl, I remember sermons and messages about how God needs to be the MOST important thing in my life! I took all of those teachings very seriously. I always made a point to make sure everyone knew that God was the most important thing in my life. If you were to ask me, I could quote my life verse Matthew 6:33 proudly, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.”
Honestly, I thought I was doing pretty good at making God first in my life. I sang on the worship team in church, went to a Christian college, and worked in ministry right after college. How much more in the center of my life could I make God, right???
And yet, my life didn’t seem to have things that a God-centered life was “supposed” to have in it. I felt exhausted, anxious, and busy all the time. I worked my job, volunteered at church, was active on social media, managed my side hustle, and filled my calendar to the brim. Even though I knew I was tired, but how could I stop any of these activities? After all, they were all “for God.” I was walking in my calling, using the gifts He gave me and pouring into others’ lives.
I was still making time for other important things like counseling and taking an occasional self-care day. I knew I couldn’t afford burnout. Not when God needed me to do all the things I was doing. I was confident God was first in my life because I was doing so many things to please Him. Surely, God felt right at the center since I did so much for Him.
God Wants to Walk With Us, Not Behind Us
But as I was walking and praying one day trying to hear from God on why some things weren’t really working in my life the way I thought they should, I felt God impress this phrase on my heart, “I want to walk with you, not behind you.” I had heard my fiancé say the same thing to me the other day because I am notorious for my speed walking. I’m not naturally a “smell the roses” kind of girl. Even on a leisurely walk, I get too focused on getting to my destination rather than enjoying time with my best friend.
At that moment, walking and talking to God, I began to see a pattern in my life. I would be in a place of peace and closeness to God, but when He opened a door in my life, I would run ahead, trying to do everything in my own strength, leaving Him behind. The more I tried, the more tired I became and the less I enjoyed the blessing God had given me. Here I was in my twenties, utterly exhausted from trying to do anything and everything FOR God.
None of the things I was doing were bad! But I had put so much emphasis on the achievements I was earning for God that I had slowly let Him slip into the background of my life. In that simple moment, God reminded me that He wanted to be my priority. Not things I thought would earn His love. He wanted to spend time WITH me, not just watching on the sidelines as I talked about Him.
In my own religious attempt to make God the center of life, I ended up doing things God never asked me to do!
His Love is Enough
God wants to be the center of our life because He wants to walk with us. In a culture where we are constantly told to hustle, I had missed out on the God who wants me to just sit at His feet. I placed my priority on doing for God rather than being with God. You may not be in the same situation as me. But I think we could all use the reminder that God desires to walk with us. He wants to know you and for you to know Him! God doesn’t need us to accomplish His plans, but He does want to love and spend time with us.
So this week, ask God where you need to take something off of your to-do list and spend time just resting and being with God.
Mercy Multiplied exists to provide opportunities for all to experience God’s unconditional love, forgiveness, and life-transforming power. We offer multiple programs and resources online and onsite designed to equip people to live free and stay free in Christ. For more information about the services we offer, click here.