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Spiritual Growth

Putting God First

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

It’s not always easy to put God first. No matter how much we love God, life has a way of pulling us in multiple directions, starting with when we first wake up. Too often, our phones are our first distraction of the day. We read the latest news alerts, see who has tried to reach us, scroll through social media, and start to respond to those late-night text messages or email. Before we know it, our minds are focused on what needs to be done instead of where we need to be.

As we try to solve the problems of the day, we can find ourselves putting our relationship with God aside for later. It’s hard to focus on God when you’re already thinking about so much else. Unfortunately, our “laters” can turn into days. We try to solve the problems found throughout the areas of our lives, failing to see that our spiritual lives are suffering. Eventually, we give God less and less, until there is nothing left.

A Lesson on How to Put God First

Early in the Bible, we learn the importance of what it means to put God first. After Adam & Eve had sinned, and left the garden of Eden, they had two sons – Cain & Abel. In Genesis 4:3-5, we read about the first recorded offering the Cain and Abel brought to God:

And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering.

While there are many theories as to why Cain’s offering was rejected, I’ll offer some insight based on the words used in the scripture. Cain brought to God “an offering”. Abel brought the “firstborn “of his flock. There is something significant about giving God your “firsts”. Whether it be devotion at the first start of the day or His will being first in your heart, where we place God in our lives demonstrates the role He plays in our hearts.

What does it take to prioritize God?

We have to remember that first reflects priority/importance. When we are committed to God in all areas of our lives, we become what He intends for us to be. If we wake up in the morning and choose first to spend time with God, before we check our phones, we are better prepared for the journey of the day. As we faithfully give our tithes and offering, we acknowledge God as the source of our blessings. Our spiritual walk is strengthened, and our souls enlightened. But experience this, we have to make choices. Each day, and in each moment, we have to actively choose God, and allow Him the space to work in our lives.

Cain Had More Choices

If we go back to the account of Cain and Abel, we find there is still more to learn. Cain was angry that God accepted Abel’s offering but not his own.  While in the field with his brother, Cain killed Abel. (Genesis 4:8). Here lies the first murder in the Bible. Instead of seeking forgiveness from God and finding peace, Cain allowed his anger to take over. Cain’s decision-making process became clouded, and he acted on impulse.

Do not, however, judge Cain too harshly for becoming consumed with anger. We have all made lackluster decisions based on emotions. Sometimes, anger and jealousy take over and our vision starts to blur. Ephesians 4:26-27 warns us –

 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.

Do Not Give a Home to Sin

Distractions come in many forms. When we are consumed with negative emotions, our walk with God starts to suffer. We end up making choices filled with destruction and regret, instead of leaving our burdens at the foot of the cross. Be careful to not let frustrations displace your love of God. When we push God out, we let sin in, and give it a home.

Don’t succumb to the distractions that are trying to pull you away from God. Instead, open yourselves up to the word of God. Through Bible study and daily devotion, our connections with Him are strengthened. When we put God first, we being to understand His character and recognize His will for us. God is ready to accept us with open arms, and to make a home in our hearts. As we look around at what’s happening in the world, now is the time to draw closer to God. He is here, and He patiently awaits our response.

Thank you for reading. Please share your thoughts below, and if you’ve enjoyed this devotional, be sure to share it with others.

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