What’s important to you? Do you live a “Me First” life instead of “He is First” existence? Sometimes I do. And when I do, things start to go downhill pretty quickly and I have a lot of trouble ever feeling satisfied.
If you’re like me and ever find yourself falling into the “It’s All About Me” trap, you might be comforted to know we aren’t alone. Throughout the ages (and throughout scripture) people who neglect to place God first suffer from discontentment and dissatisfaction.
Why? Well, because we become too occupied with our own stuff and our own circumstances to think about placing priority on God. And scripture is full of accounts of what happens to us when we do that – and the results aren’t pretty.
Old Testament stories from Deuteronomy, Haggai, Malachi, (and plenty of others throughout the Bible) beg for our attention! It behooves us to notice that a lack of satisfaction and feelings of discontentment in life are directly correlated to our priorities and what we deem as important, especially when our focus isn’t on God!
Give careful thought to your ways, indeed.
An attitude of complacency regarding God and a haphazard level of respect for Him leads to pride, selfishness, and that feeling of “never having enough”.
But when we live a life with Him at the front and center, with God as Priority Number One, we learn to live an abundant and satisfied life! In fact, if we place God at the center of our lives, we will find ourselves becoming profoundly effective – and yes, even happy – wherever He places us!
Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.
John 15:4-5, NLT.
Abiding in Him, living our life constantly intertwined with Jesus, gives us a level-headed existence when we not only manage the lows of life without capsizing our life boat, but we also can handle the high points with a sense of level-headed joy without going “overboard”!
This balanced life begins by placing God first. By bucking our human nature to seek our own best interests first, thus circumventing our Creator and His Son who came to us LIFE.
What does it mean to place God first? It means to revere Him. Honor Him. Stand in awe of Him. Humble ourselves before Him. And this is the meaning of the first letter of our RISE acronym!
Reverence for God is stated in many translations of the Bible as the “fear of God”. Let me start by saying, this isn’t a “fear of punishment” kind of fear! It’s really more of a state of awe and wonder at His mighty self! It’s an appreciation for His holiness; a desire for unity with Him through love, admiration and humility.
The Bible tells us that reverence is not only pleasing to God, but it is also the beginning of all knowledge:
But his joy is in those who reverence him, those who expect him to be loving and kind. Psalm 147:11, TLB
Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom. Psalm 111:10, NLT
Why should we care about this? Well, it shows God we truly honor and respect Him. It allows us to take a position of humility and tell Him we need Him. And it gives us peace and protection in the process! It is the beginning of letting go of fear and anxiety as we place our lives in the hands of the One who made us, loves us, and cares infinitely for us:
Showing respect to the LORD brings true life—if you do it, you can relax without fear of danger. Proverbs 19:23, CEV
The Angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him [who revere and worship Him with awe] and each of them He delivers. Psalm 34:7, AMP.
The reward of humility and the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life. Proverbs 22:4, AMP
So how do we revere God? Submit to Him! Confess that you know He is in control and that you are sorry for the mistakes you’ve made and the times you tried to go it alone. Give Him your cares and worries with a sincere heart and an attitude of humility:
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Philippians 4:6, NLT
For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. Luke 14:11, NLT
This week, let’s take the time to really focus on our reverence to the Lord. Remember what Beth Moore says – “In God’s economy, the way up is to go face down.” In other words, revere God in all things! Abide in Him by giving Him control, asking all things in gratitude and humility, and see what happens!
Sometimes a shift in priorities is in order. I’d say today is one of those times, wouldn’t you?
Here’s a little sweet treat for you! Have a listen to one of our songs for this session, “I Am” by Crowder! Enjoy, give God your attention and reverence, and have a great weekend!
Peace, love, and JOY!
Up Next Week: Getting Out of Your Gulley: Escaping “Between a Rock and a Hard Place”