"You shall have no other gods before or besides Me." ~ Exodus 20:3
I PUT GOD FIRST IN MY LIFE.
Confession time: I have not put God first in my life! I have gone to Him in times of need, stress, fear and sadness, but not every day as I should. Not to have a relationship with Him, but to get something from Him.
God love me and wants to have a close, personal relationship with us. He wants me to have the best life possible. Everything He asks us to do is for our good.
I've been fitting God in around my schedule and now I am working at making my schedule fit around God. I need to constantly re-establish my priorities so that God remains the center. I'm not perfect at it yet, but God looks for growing, changing and learning not perfection. He knows our heart.
I've been meditating on this lately:
God loves me as I am. He loves everything about me. My "who" is different then my "do." He cares about all areas of my life. He wants to be involved in every aspect of my life (thoughts, conversation, business, finances, time, activities, health, entertainment, friends). I am not a surprise to God. He knows everything about me and has known since the day I was born. He knows the past, present and future of me.
Joyce quotes some statistics:
"If the average person lives 70 years, then they spend 23 years sleeping, 16 years working, 8 years watching t.v., 6 years eating, 6 years traveling, 4.5 years on leisure activities, 4 years being sick, 2 years getting dressed and 6 months on spiritual activities....and then life is over. Do you want to spend four times as much of your life getting dressed as you do talking to God, reading His Word, or worshipping Him?"
Matthew 22:37 says, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (intellect)."
In other words, we can't just love God when we need Him.
It's like having a one-sided relationship with someone where the only time they call is when they need something, but when ever you call them they are too busy to chat or whenever you invite them to something they have something more important planned, but if they invite you, they expect you to make it.
It's very one-sided and does not feel good.
I realized that I was doing to God what a very close friend (I don't have a relationship with this person right now.) was doing to me, and I didn't like it.
As Joyce says, "You would never expect to have a good relationship with a human being if you never spoke to that person or took time to listen to him or her, would you? Then why would you think you could enjoy a growing relationship with God if you never spoke or listened to Him?"
I am not perfect by any means, it is a lifetime journey, but I daily press toward the goal.
Putting God first is a choice. Everything is God's anyway, so we need to give our "firsts" of everything to Him (time, asking for guidance, money etc...), which says, "I trust You to take care of me and to meet all my needs and I am honoring You with the first of my provisions. I trust You to bring what I need back to me."
Nothing we give to Him is ever lost.