This article is about the importance of making God our TOP priority and how to achieve this.
Let’s get started with a story
There is a particular man who is instructed by his master to take a load of water to the other village. He willingly accepts the task commissioned to him. At first, he was traveling happily with not much worry but to bring the water to its destination. But along the way, he finds precious stones and starts to pick them up and puts it in his bag. He is glad that his travel has been worthwhile because he can sell those stones when he gets to the village. As he continued with this journey, he found more precious stones and he put them inside his bag. Little by little, his bag became heavy with stones until he started to complain and curse because of his heavy loads.
But still, he continued to find stones along the way and put them in his bag until he decided to take the water out from his bag and left it at the side of the road.
At the end of his travel, he immediately went to the nearest marketplace and saw how much money he will earn from the stones. To his disappointment, those stones are not precious at all; they are all counterfeit and just the same as ordinary stones.
He suddenly remembered the water and went back for it. He found the water dried up and not fit for drinking anymore. He went home sorrowful that day and never walks that slow in his entire life because he does not know how to explain all that happened to him on that day to his MASTER.
A Lesson to Learn from the Story
There is a great lesson that we can learn from this story. Sometimes, we are like the man who was given the load of water. Our mission is to deliver the water to other the village, but sometimes we lose our focus and concentrate on the stones that we thought valuable. In the end, what we thought was important will just boil to nothing.
Every day, when we look in our world, people seem to be restless and have lost a sense of direction. SELF-PRESERVATION drives most of them. They spend most of their life working or studying just to have what they call the “good life.”
They feel that there is a void or a hole in their heart and they have the urge to fill that hole. But sad to say, they are filling it with the wrong things. They spend countless time and effort chasing what they thought that really matters but they end up still feeling empty.
Setting our top priority
We must ask ourselves these questions:
What should be our priorities in our life?
Should we wake up each day thinking how we can earn money?
Should we spend countless hours in front of the computer, playing games and surfing the internet?
Should we spend all our day gossiping about other people?
Or should we procrastinate before starting to be productive?
I hope that the answer to all these questions is NO. IT IS UNDENIABLY TRUE THAT WE SPEND OUR TIME IN THINGS THAT WE HOLD MOST IMPORTANT TO US. What about you? Are you spending enough time on those things that are really important?
We are Christians!
We are CHRISTIANS. We should not be like the world. Our priorities should be different. We are all too familiar with Matthew 6:33 which states:
“Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you”.
But how much of this scripture is being TRANSLATED in our lives? Why cannot we give our one hundred percent commitment to God and trust Him no matter what the consequences may be? As followers of Christ, we know what to do, but sometimes we are afraid to do what it takes to actually please God.
Putting God first in our life is our top priority. This means that we must never compromise with our beliefs.
Attending classes on the Sabbath is not putting God first.
Missing the Feast of God just to close a business contract is not putting God first.
Pleasing your friends by following them instead of what the scripture says is not putting God first.
Standing on what is right no matter what the consequences are is the real test of character.
It is not wrong to dream about a secured and brighter future because God also wants to bless us physically. What is wrong is when we put our careers or our studies BETWEEN God and us. That is when the sin of idolatry comes in. What we put between God and us is an idol.
Our career or studies should not be our end by itself but it should only be a means for us to make it to the Kingdom of God.
Just like what the apostle Paul said:
“While we do not look at the things which are not seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the thing which are seen are temporary, but the thing which are not seen are eternal”.
If you think about it; striving for earthly riches seems to be irrational while forgetting about what God commands us to do. YOU ARE DIRECTLY EXCHANGING SOMETHING THAT IS TEMPORARY OVER THE THINGS THAT ARE ETERNAL. The three hours you spend in classes during the Sabbath are exponentially NOTHING compared to what eternity is.
So why do you still choose to compromise if you think that your salvation is at risk?
Following God is a must! Everything else is optional. Do not let the optional push away what is mandatory. As the apostle Peter said:
“Therefore, since all these things will be DISSOLVED, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of God…?”
All the visible things are temporary, but the invisible is permanent. Do not ever commit the mistake of believing that the physical things will give you lasting happiness. GENUINE HAPPINESS is derived from having a good relationship with our Father and Brother in heaven, as well as with other people.
Invest more time in building a relationship. When we finally come to our death bed; that is the time when we realize how short and fleeting our life is.
When we are dying, we do not ask for our cars, houses, or money to surround us. But instead, we want our loved ones to come and comfort us.
It is the time when we look back in our life if it had been worthwhile. Because in the end, our value is not measured on how much we accomplished on this Earth. It is measured according to how much we develop godly character.
Our money cannot hug us back. Our car cannot tap us at the back. Our laptop or computer cannot wipe away our tears. It is only the real and warm touch of a loved one, or even a stranger can keep the light glowing within us.
At the final analysis, we are nothing until God is the center of our life. It is time to rethink our priorities. The lifetime that is given to us is our training ground. We are not promised with smooth sailing but only the assurance that God will never leave us nor forsake us as long as we make Him our top priority.
When we follow God, everything else will fall into its right place. It is my sincerest hope that we will not be like the man in the story who exchanged his life for things that eventually worth nothing. Maybe there are also “precious stones” in your life that are really hard to give up. It is time to make the right choice because, in due time, God will provide us with a reward that is described by Paul as “eye has not seen nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man”. The reward that awaits us is BEYOND our limited imagination that even our bright mind cannot comprehend. This is the love and plan of God for us. Make God your top priority and see what He can do for you!