There is something that has been laying on my heart rather heavy lately and that is: Our Priorities.
We live in a world that will do anything it can to distract you from your relationship with God and him being rightfully placed at the throne of your heart. Anything we put before him is what we call an idol. As we read throughout scripture, worshiping idols are REALLY bad. We see this in both the Old Testament all the way to Revelation. But often I think because we aren’t worshiping a golden calf that we think we don’t have an idolatry problem.
We are all worshiping something…What are you worshiping?
It is ultimately up to you whether God has the throne of your heart. You can easily put things or people above God. Your spouse, children, addiction to sex, drugs, alcohol, social media, and even food can be a problem. We all have been there or are dealing with this right now. What I have come to find is that when we put our crazy schedule above church on Sunday morning or quiet time with God, we look to fill that void in other things or people, creating even more of an idolatry problem.
Not only that, but when our relationship with God isn’t our number one priority, all the priorities below are completely out of order too!
When I put my relationship with God in its rightful place, above my husband, our marriage flourishes. When I MAKE TIME to spend time with God, my mind is renewed. When I MAKE TIME to renew my mind my heart is lined up with God’s and I reflect the character of Christ. When I trust God with our finances, he provides. When I actively look for fellowship with other women, I am encouraged and filled. This all has to do with us putting forth the effort…
Our relationship with God takes time and dedication. It takes us putting down what we want and our selfish nature and listening to Holy Spirit and what God wants. I have never regretted a time I have been obedient to God. It is actively being aware of the world and it’s distractions. The Spiritual War we are in is the real deal ya’ll! Walking with God takes a lot of opening your heart and seeing that there is some work to be done and allowing God to change you from the inside out. Starting with your heart and mind.
I am not perfect. I will continue to grow until Jesus comes back or I go to my eternal home. I have to ask Holy Spirit to search my thoughts and my heart. I don’t want anything or anyone to be #1 in my life or in my heart besides him. Not even my husband.
This is a time to reflect…
Are you truly putting God first in everything you do or has the world distracted you?
I can say I have been distracted before. I have been that girl to go to food when I am stressed and have a bad day instead of going to God. I was that girl that called someone for advice before casting my cares to God through prayer. You are not alone. I can also say that God has forgiven me and through his word and fellowship with other believers I have the tools to overcome.
If you have something or someone before God, now is the time to ask God for his forgiveness and ask him for the help and Holy Spirit for his guidance. You don’t want anything on the Throne of Your Heart besides God. That just causes a whole lot of unnecessary problems. God being at the Throne of Our Heart is where he belongs. We were made to worship him.
As I was flying back to Texas, I had one of those breath taking moments with God as I overlooked the world from the sky. When you are in an airplane, the world looks so big. We seem so small. Yet, God, the creator of the universe…knows me better than I know myself. He knows every single detail of my life. He knows my heart. The beautiful, the not so beautiful, and the in-between. Overlooking the world (really just Texas), it was in that moment where God reminded me of how much he loves me. That he can pick out the smallest of details to let me know he’s here with me, directing my every step of the way. Yet, still is God of the universe and loves the person sitting next to me in such a profound way, that is individualized to them too. It brings tears to my eyes and such emotion, knowing the Love of God. How extravagant his love is. How reckless it is. How he knows it’s the little details that no one cares to pays attention to, that matter. It continually overwhelms me in the best way possible that he knows exactly what to say and what to do in the moment. Whether its a word of encourgment, a random act of kindness, or criticism out of love for my protection. No one can get in the way of his love for me.
His love never fails.
His love is relentless.
His love is so much bigger than we can ever imagine.
God laid it on my heart these past couple days to talk about how Jesus isn’t looking for us to “get clean” before we ask him in our life. Neither should the church you attend. The church you attend should be showing the love of Jesus by meeting you where you are at, sins and all. None of us our perfect. None.
I have went to different churches with different denominations. Where I have learned the most is where I felt the love of Jesus and was taught biblical principles. I’ve never learned something out of fear or condemnation. We know that fear nor condemnation come from God. Love casts out all fear and God is Love. There’s a big difference between conviction and condemnation. Condemnation is overwhelming guilt that pushes you away from God. Where conviction is where Holy Spirit points out you have something to work on in your heart through love.
When I went back to church in 2015, I was sick and in need of a doctor. In other words, I was consumed by the enemies lies, what people portrayed God to be, overwhelmed by the heaviness of my sin, and just came home from the bar a couple hours before while still battling a pill addiction. I stepped into The River and was very timid and didn’t really want to talk or be seen by anyone. However, I was stopped by 4 amazing women that day that I still love to this day. They knew that I was struggling but loved me anyways, just as Jesus does. I walked into worship and it was completely different than anything I had ever saw. People were free. They held up their hands praising God, weeping, and laying hands on one another. And then Holy Spirit hit me….Like right in the face. Some of you know exactly what I’m talking about! The song we were singing was talking about was about breaking free from addiction and depression.
I am unsure why there is this lie floating around that Jesus expects you to be white as snow when you come to him…probably just one of satans tactics…But, if we were clean and not in need of a doctor, God wouldn’t of went Jesus to die for us. It’s never too late to come to God & you’re never too dirty to come to him either.
“Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord . “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.
Isaiah 1:18 NLT
“Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.”
1 John 4:18 NLT
We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.
1 John 4:16 NLT
God has brought a lot of revelation of the difference of being worldly and the new creation he has made me us. He has shown me things in my life that when trials and tribulations come that I begin to think from a worldly perspective. He has also used the people closest to me, facebook, and even people in the church, to show me the difference between worldly and thinking and acting like The Children Of God That We Are. How many of our thoughts are just mere feelings and worldly thoughts compared to biblical truth?
(This blog will have a couple different parts over the next couple days!)
Let me drop some biblical truth that relates to being worldly:
“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[The old has gone, the new is here!”-2 Corinthians 5:16-17 NIV
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”-1 John 2:15-17
Now let me challenge some worldly thinking:
We worry for nothing, especially when it comes to money. “But Tanja, money is important!! The world revolves around money!”
Let me stop you right there…If your world is revolving around anything but your relationship with God, then your priorities are out of order. God is supposed to be first in our lives. He is supposed to be at the throne of our heart. Not our spouses, children, nor our jobs that often can take up a majority of our time. That job you have doesn’t provide your needs, your heavenly father does. As long we give our first fruits (tithe 10%), he will provide our needs. There has been a lot of animosity about tithing. What if I told you tithing has to do with your heart, not your money? Do you trust God to provide your needs even though the overwhelming amount of bills are coming in continually or are you going to keep that money for yourself? The streets are made of gold in heaven. I assure you that God doesn’t need our money! But he is after out heart!
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”-Malachi 3:10
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”-Philippians 4:19
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you-you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”- Matthew 6:25-34
(Here’s the link to a video concerning financial worry and recent government shutdown)
A recent article showed me some astounding facts about how much time we sit in front a tv screen and on social media. I am thankful that I am able to use social media to spread the good news, but how much of our time is really spent on cat and puppy videos or even the death being spewed all over social media platforms?
“Astonishingly, the average person will spend nearly two hours (approximately 116 minutes) on social media everyday, which translates to a total of 5 years and 4 months spent over a lifetime. Even more, time spent on social is only expected to increase as platforms develop, and is expected to eat further into traditional media – most notably TV. Right now, the average person will spend 7 years and 8 months watching TV in a lifetime. Currently, total time spent on social media beats time spent eating and drinking, socializing, and grooming.” -Socialmediatoday.com
Are you spending as much time connected with God as you are other people?? (now that’s good, thankyou Holy Spirit!)
Let’s put social media aside…
Even children, spouses, friends, and our favorite hobby can take up the quiet time being spent with God. I am not saying that these things are bad. However, anything that takes precedent over first spending time with Abba, has become and idol.
Even Jesus took time away and prayed and spent time with the heavenly father. We see this in scripture several times. There was even a time where people were looking for Jesus, but he knew there was nothing more important than to surrender and have quiet time with the Father.
“Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”-Luke 15:15-16
“Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. Later Simon and the others went out to find him. When they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you.””-Mark 1:35-37
“Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”-Luke 22:39-45
The worldly perspective of the broken, needy, and poor are that they aren’t worth helping. Wipe your hands of them, they will hurt you, they are scary, they put themselves there.
Man am I thankful God took the broken person I was and made something beautiful out of me! Jesus hung out with the broken, the worldly “low-life’s”, the prostitutes, tax collectors, the sinners. None of us are holier than thou, including myself. God has used my testimony to set people free. He has used some of the hardest things I’ve went through to display his glory of healing, forgiveness, and overall victory.
Did you know when you love the poor, you are actually doing loving God?
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘LORD, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'”-Matthew 25:34-40
“As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.””-Matthew 9:9-13
God Focuses On:
love not hate
life not death
victory not defeat
I hope this post somehow challenged you like it has challenged me. We are constantly growing which causes growing pains and that’s okay. Remember, progress is progress!
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”-Colossians 3:2