It’s the first month of the new year, an appropriate time to consider what adjustments we might need to make for our lives to line up with what God says about Who He is. Let’s think about the following verses:
Isaiah 48:12 “. . . I am the first and I am the last.” NIV
Revelation 22:13 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” NIV
In the Old and New Testaments, God refers to Himself as the First and the Beginning, the Last and the End. Without giving much thought to this, we might have this picture of God at the beginning, creating everything at one end of eternity, and then God at the end, having moved to the other end of eternity . . . to wait. We need to consider an unstated element of what He calls Himself in these verses. He is the First, from eternity past right on through, and in the midst of, the present and all the way through eternity future, where He is the Last – for the whole world for all time, and for us, individually! To know Him in this way, we must remain in a constant attitude of prayer about everything we do, plan, say, think, etc., being ever-mindful of Him. It’s not that we must pray, verbally, about everything. If we did that, we would never have a conversation with anyone else, or even have opportunity to sleep! No, it’s a matter of having our hearts open to constant communion with Him, from His Spirit to ours, and vice versa.
Colossians 1:18 “. . . He is the Beginning, the Firstborn from among the dead, so that He alone in everything and in every respect might occupy the chief place [stand first and be preeminent].” AMP (italics added for emphasis)
What does it mean, practically, for us to let the Lord have first place in everything and in every respect? We already put God first in the morning, reading the Bible and praying before starting our day. We already pray in giving God His tithe from the finances He brings to us. We already pray over our food, before we eat. We already pray for His help before we do things with which we’re unfamiliar or uncomfortable, that are way too big for us. . . Let’s get beyond the obvious things, though, and consider some probing questions. Do we pray before we do the things we’ve done so many times we can do them without thinking, seemingly without needing His help? Do we pray before we respond to someone’s request to do something, go somewhere, or be a part of something? Do we pray before we plan our day, or ask Him to bless our plans after we make them, if at all? Do we pray about the “big” illnesses, like cancer, heart disease, etc., but not for something as “simple” as headaches, stomach upset, or a cut finger?
God wants us to give Him the chief place in every situation, in everything that comes our way. If He is, and knows, the Beginning through to the End of our personal lives, then He also knows where we need to be and what we need to do to reach His End for us. Truly, for us to make Him first means we are willing for Him to disrupt our routines, our timetables, our plans, our finances, and even our prayer, at any time, any place, and in any way He sees fit. Take, for instance, His recent reminder of this lesson to me. I was driving to a friend’s, listening to a Bible teaching, when He diverted my thoughts to something totally unrelated, in order to make clear a new prayer ministry assignment He had for me. This wasn’t anything I expected or asked for, and it’s going to require time and effort I would have put elsewhere. My Father God, however, is First in my life, so my spirit was open to receive what He wanted to share with me by His Spirit, when He chose to do so.
Letting God be First is really not a difficult thing to do, though it might take some retraining of our thoughts and attitudes. After all, He already is First, even if we haven’t been living that way. We must humble ourselves and ask Him to make us aware of those places in our lives where we haven’t given Him the chief place, and then yield those places to Him. We can be certain that He will hear and answer, for this prayer is according to His Word (1 John 5:14-15), which He is faithful to perform (Jeremiah 1:12). Have a Happy New Year from this moment on, as you live your life with God being First!
© Copyright 2008 Kay V. Stocking