PRIORITIES

Matthew 6:33  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Key Statement:  As you steadfastly and consistently wait on God, you will discover that He is indeed arranging and ordering your circumstances.

Ours is a harried and hurried world.  The complex and changing demands of our families, businesses, friends, and a myriad of other obligations and relationships are a constant strain on the ordering of our priorities.

Yet, none of us has faced the daily, overwhelming pressures that Jesus Christ encountered during His earthly ministry.  Everywhere He went, there were hordes of people who begged for His individual attention.  There were the sick to heal, the multitudes to teach, disciples to tutor, weddings to grace, dinners to attend, dead to resurrect-the list is endless.

     Jesus Kept Sight of His Mission

In no instance, however, do we ever sense panic or anxiety in Jesus’ life.  He never lost sight of His mission.  Despite the constant tugs at His robe, Jesus was never distracted from His ultimate purpose and priority.

When the amazed crowd at Capernaum wanted Him to stay, Christ replied:   “I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.” (Luke 4:43).  As Jerusalem loomed on the horizon, Jesus “steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem”  (Luke 9:51). 

The most compelling of all Jesus’ priorities is heard in His final words at the young age of thirty-three on a Roman cross:

“It is finished!”  (John 19:30).  Though there were thousands Jesus didn’t heal, hundreds of villages He didn’t preach in, innumerable synagogues He didn’t visit, Jesus could still proclaim He had completely fulfilled the Father’s plan for His life.

     Seek God’s Will Through Prayer

The secret of Jesus’ ordered life is also available for all who seek to accomplish God’s will through setting priorities-in daily, prayerful dependence upon the Father.

During His life on earth, Jesus was dependent upon the Father for direction and guidance.  Most mornings were spent in a special time of fellowship and communion with His Father:   “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed”  (Mark 1:35).

Before Jesus served lunch to the five thousand, He prayed.  After they left, He prayed.  So completely was His reliance that He could say,  “For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak”  (John 12:49).

Such regular dependence upon the Lord through prayer is our key to sifting through the daily complexities of our crowded schedules.  In His presence we have access to His wisdom for whatever lies ahead for the day.

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them”  (Ephesians 2:10).  Thus God has already laid out a marvelous array of priorities for us.  Our responsibility is simply to “walk in them.”

That’s where the abiding, prayerful life that seeks first the kingdom of God is critical.  It is in meditating on our relationship with Christ through His Word, that everything falls into its proper place.

Commit yourself to spend a regular, concentrated time with God at the beginning of each day.  List your tasks for the day.  Ask the Father to equip you and lead you.  Confess that you are involved in His business and therefore desire to please Him.  Thank Him for the people, the places, and the deeds He has already prepared for you to encounter along the way.  Tell Him you are responsive to His prompting, willing to change your routine if necessary.

     God Will Order Your Circumstances

As you steadfastly and consistently wait on God, you will discover that He is indeed arranging and ordering your circumstances.  You have made Him the center of all that you do, and you are dependent on Him.

As you cultivate your intimate relationship with Christ, you too can say, along with the Lord, that you have accomplished “the work which You have given Me to do”  (John 17:4). 

That is living with your priorities in the highest sense.

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