God’s Place in Your Life
MANY are the persons who pray at times of deep mental anguish or physical stress, yet fail to consider God when happy and physically fit. Only when they need something does God have a place in their lives. Others have a set place for God in their lives, but only at those times when they meet at their place of worship. Relegating worship to such infrequent consideration is certainly incompatible with the sound advice contained in God’s Word, the Bible. It was Jesus Christ who stated the place God should have in your life, when he said, “You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind.” (Matt. 22:37) A person loved receives the foremost consideration. So by having complete love for God and expressing that love in your actions, you will be able to place God first in your life.
Fifteen hundred years before God’s Son stated this commandment, the same instruction had been given through God’s servant Moses to the nation of Israel. To ensure that the children of those Israelites would grow up to be adults who would place God first in their lives, the fathers were told to fix God’s law in the minds of their children ‘when they sat in their house and when they walked on the road and when they lay down and when they got up.’ The Christian apostle Paul advised that “all the things that were written aforetime were written” for the instruction of true Christians. In order to place God first in your life you will want to follow the fine example of those Israelites who obeyed the law. You will make certain that time is set aside to study God’s righteous requirements so that these will be fixed in your mind and available to guide you to keep God first in your life.—Deut. 6:7; Rom. 15:4.
The Bible contains examples of men who did place God first in their lives. When faced with the choice of continuing to be reckoned as a son of Pharaoh’s daughter or being “ill-treated with the people of God,” Moses had to make a choice. What would you have chosen? Would you have put God ahead of wealth and worldly fame? Displaying true wisdom, Moses “esteemed the reproach of the Christ as riches greater than the treasures of Egypt; for he looked intently toward the payment of the reward.” And just what was that reward? It was not only to receive mention in the Bible as one of the cloud of witnesses who are excellent examples for Christians today, but also to be reckoned as one of those “who did good things” who Jesus said would receive a resurrection to life.—Heb. 11:24-27; 12:1; John 5:28, 29.
Faithful Daniel was another who kept God in first place in his life. Not just once a week, but three times a day he prayed to God. Even when the Medo-Persian government put a temporary ban on such religious observance, he did not put God in second place to please men. Are you as constant in your worship as Daniel was?—Dan. 6:4-11.
What place does God have in your life? Do Bible principles and commands guide you so that everything you do pleases God? Can it be said that God comes first in your life?
In making decisions that affect their lives, Christians who place God first in their lives stop to consider how their worship of God will be affected by those decisions. For example, when considering the type of secular work in which to engage, the first consideration with God-fearing Christians is not the amount of pay and the opportunities for advancement; rather, they carefully consider what will be involved in taking on such work. If dishonesty or even questionable business dealings were called for, then Christians would refuse to accept that work, realizing that to engage in such would be displeasing to God and would violate their conscience, which they have trained to lead them in harmony with God’s principles as outlined in the Bible.
Likewise in the field of entertainment, Christians select only what is upbuilding and in harmony with godly principles. They wisely avoid literature, TV programs, stage plays and other entertainment that feature immorality, dishonesty, violence, murder and anything else the Bible condemns. Rather than corrupt their minds, they make their minds over in harmony with the will of God.—Rom. 12:2.
The Christian’s thoughts, then, must be pure if he is going to put God first in his life. Exposing the wrong kind of thoughts, Jesus Christ said: “From inside, out of the heart of men, injurious reasonings issue forth: fornications, thieveries, murders, adulteries, covetings, acts of wickedness, deceit, loose conduct, an envious eye.” Those entertaining such reasonings are not putting God first in their lives, for Christians cultivate thoughts that are pure, lovable, righteous and chaste. They do this especially by taking in the precious thoughts of God. Then they will be able to say with David, who placed God first in his life: “To me how precious your thoughts are! O God, how much does the grand sum of them amount to! Search through me, O God, and know my heart. Examine me, and know my disquieting thoughts.”—Mark 7:21, 22; Phil. 4:8; Ps. 139:17, 23.
God deserves that prominent place in your life because of what he is and what he has done. Recognizing this, you will be able to echo these words of reverence: “You are worthy, Jehovah, even our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, because you created all things, and because of your will they existed and were created.”—Rev. 4:11.
By careful study of God’s Word, learning God’s principles, applying them in your life, benefiting from the examples of faithful men of old, you will be able to place God first in your life. Analyze your thoughts and actions. Make sure they please God. The result is desirable: Everlasting life in which God will always have the first place.