A Believer’s Priority

By Nelson Thomas Mumbai

Once a teacher was asked, “What is the most important thing in life?” His response was interesting, “The most important thing in life is to make the most important thing, the most important thing”! Is it not prioritizing our priorities?

All of us have our priorities, though they change according to each individual and their situation. Our priorities reveal our values and determine our lifestyle and success. Many troubles and failures stem from misplaced priorities.

This is true in our spiritual life also. However, there is a difference. In Christian life there is only one thing to do irrespective of the person or situation; that is, to make God and His purposes as our chief goal.

Notice few scripture passages:
Matthew 6:33: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
Luke 10:42: “But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her."
Matthew 10:37: “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.”

Normal Christian Life
True Christian life is not just a religious life of convenience but a life of commitment. It is impossible to lead a smooth and successful Christian life without being consecrated to God and His will. It seems many gradually forget that at the time of conversion they had not only confessed their sins, but also had acknowledged Christ as their Lord. (Romans 10:9).

In other words, we have made a covenant to yield ourselves to Christ as our Master. Yet, do we really give the Lord Jesus Christ the supreme place in all our thoughts, words and deeds?

Often it is because of our half-hearted lukewarm lifestyle, we fail to enjoy the true blessings of Christian life. From Matthew 6: 25 onwards Christ was talking about the worry-free, satisfied life of His followers. However, this is possible only when one makes God and His kingdom as a priority. The Lord’s promise is if we wholeheartedly seek God and His will more than anything else, everything will fall in line. (Matthew 6: 33)

Results of Failure
Likewise, the reason behind the irritation and murmuring of Martha was her misplaced priority. Martha’s concern to feed the Lord and His people were commendable indeed, yet it should not have been at the expense of hearing God’s word. Sitting quietly at His presence and listening to Him would have given her all the needed grace for that occasion. (Luke 10:38 – 42)

One of the failures of the Pharisees of Christ’s time was also their confused priorities. They emphasised insignificant, external things but neglected valuable things of eternal value. Reputation was everything for them, not character. Popularity, pomp, position, prominence, etc., were their main concern, but they were least bothered about a life of love, mercy and honesty. (Luke 11: 42, 43; Micah 6:7, 8)

Examine the stories of any failure in biblical history or church history; they all begin with a change of focus. The moment God becomes secondary in our life, our purpose in life becomes something else. God’s word, His people, and the assembly gatherings, etc., become optional. Senses of morality, justice, honesty, holiness and humility, etc., become blurred. That’s exactly what happened to Lot, Achan, Eli, David and even Peter. They all were fallen due to their failure in recognizing the right priority at certain times of their lives.

Eminent Examples
In the same way consider the successful men of the past; they had one thing in common, their priorities were right. They found the Lord Almighty as the centre of their life. Tents and altars of Abraham speak volume of his priorities. (Gen. 12:8) Even as a young man, Moses set his priorities straight in spite of the cost he had to pay. (Heb. 11: 24 – 27) Solomon’s priority for divine wisdom caused God to bless him abundantly. (1Kings 3: 9ff) Of course, later he misplaced the same and reaped the consequences. (1Kings 11:1ff)

David writes “One thing I have desired of the LORD, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD, And to inquire in His temple.” (Psalm 27: 4) He earnestly longed to spend time with the Lord and His people. (cf. Psalm 63: 1; 42: 1, 2; 84: 2)

Paul’s words are pertinent, “I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ ……….that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings………..………one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3: 8, 10a, 13b, 14)

Paul had only his priority fixed; to know Christ and make Him known. He had no hesitation to forsake his gains and even his rights for the same. (1Corinthians 9:12ff)

Divine Displeasure
Is it really a serious issue? Making God our priority is not just a subject of success or failure. It’s about giving God His rightful place in our life. It’s absolutely impossible to make God secondary, for He is God the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He cannot deny His very nature, He must be above all. (Colo. 1:18; 2Timo 2:13)

No wonder, the Lord spoke to Eli, “Why do you…………honor your sons more than Me…...” (1Samuel 2:29) Then He pronounced the consequence to Eli. (1Samuel 2:30 ff)

Our Lord’s response to the church at Ephesus is noteworthy in this context. Losing their first love for Christ was tantamount to removing Him from their top priority. In spite of their impeccable doctrinal stand and spiritual services, the Lord warns them to repent of this ‘fall’ and return to the right path to avoid chastening. (Revelation 2: 1 – 7) That means failure to make God our priority is a serious sin, and disciplinary action becomes inevitable if not rectified in time.

Let us make God our priority. There should be nothing else more important to us other than our walk with the Lord. Affection for dear ones, love for possessions and luxury, and even ignorance have made many to fail in this area.

Listening to His word, sharing our heart with Him in prayer, enjoying the fellowship of God’s people, etc., should be on the top of our everyday agenda. So that in all things Christ will have the pre-eminence and in and through us He is glorified. This will also assure a satisfied and successful Christian life. It is high time we examine our priority!




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