This morning as I was working, my four year old came in singing the little song, "Seek ye first." I love to hear her sing and the words got me to thinking about how we can really make God first in our lives. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you..."
It's easy to say that we want to put God first, but in everyday practice, it's easier to see Him slip to second or even third place. Putting God first requires thoughtful planning ahead. If I want to put Him first each day, I have to start the evening before by getting to bed on time so that I can get up and spend time with Him.
Sometimes we make excuses about how we didn't have time for prayer or Bible reading in the morning, but the truth is that we always have time for the thing we do FIRST! Of course, I know from much experience that there will always be unexpected things that come up that can legitimately distract us, but as a regular pattern, seeking God first in the morning requires that we plan for that the night before.
If I want to seek God first in any area of my life, it always requires planning ahead. For me to put God first on Wednesday evenings when our church has Bible study, requires my planning on Wednesday morning so that the meal will be ready on time in the evening and things run smoothly so that we get there on time (and hopefully with a smile on my face and in my heart). If I want to honor God on Sundays, I have to plan ahead on Saturday so that clothing is ready, food is prepared and everything is set to go.
It looks a little suspicious when we can get to most events and get there on time, but when it is time to spend time with God whether it is our own personal devotions or in corporate worship, we always have excuses for why we couldn't do it or why we couldn't get there on time. The fact of the matter is that those events we get to on time were a priority, and those that we don't get to on time or not at all were just not prioritized. Often we salve our conscience by searching for some half -way legitimate sounding excuse, but if we were really to be honest, our hearts would tell us that we just hadn't made it a priority. If we were even more honest, our hearts might even tell us why we didn't make it a priority!
It sounds like a lot of work at first glance, but for me it is a way of conveying my love to God. I show God that I love Him by getting to bed on time so that we can have our visit in the morning. It shows Him that I value what He values by arranging my schedule so that I can put His things first. After all, when one falls in love with another, they don't mind arranging their schedule and planning their day around an appointment with the one that they love! Why should we offer anything less to the One that we are supposed to love with all our heart?
"Seek ye first the kingdom of God" is more than just words we have grown accustomed to saying and not applying in everyday life. It's a way of daily expressing our love to Christ by letting Him know that He is worth planning our day around. Somehow I think it expresses our true love for Him far more than just words that don't add up to actions. If we truly want to seek Him first, we have to let all other priorities fall in line behind the priority of actively seeking Him.