Like most women, I have a very busy life! I work full time and I have a very active 8 year old. Oh yeah, I am also suppose to have a life of my own or not. Anyway, sometimes the days are so filled with things to do that I don’t even remember what I did, it’s crazy. All though God was delivering me from idolizing my to-do list, I still had so many things to do and commitments to honor, but I realized most of the things on my list were things I should have said no to. They were demands that God never intended for me to have at this time in my life. My priorities were out of order. Most of
the time when you ask a believer what is the most important thing in their life they will say God. But, the proof is in the pudding! I know that is what I said but my life was not matching my words. By the time I attended to all the demands of my day I was too tired to be about my father’s business. I would get up super early to make it to a meeting at work but be late to church. I would wake up early to do something for someone but not to spend time in his word or prayer. God started to deal with me about this. I kept hearing him say your priorities are out of order. The Merriam-Webster
dictionary (2012) defines a priority as something that has superiority in rank, position, or privilege; something given or meriting attention before competing alternatives. The synonym for priority is precedence. So basically, when something or someone is a priority in your life it/they take precedence over everything else. Its rank or position in your life is higher than anything and it merits your full attention. When you put action to a priority is becomes a verb – to prioritize - meaning you order or deal with something according to its rank or position in your life. I kept saying God was my priority but I did not deal with him as such. Understanding these definitions is important because we use these words frequently especially when discussing important people and things in our lives. However, our life does not always reflect what we say we prioritize. The reality of the situation can be found in our daily life! When you look at my days, weeks, months, you can tell what takes precedence and what gets my attention. Our actual everyday life is a good indicator of where our priorities lie; it will tell us what we truly honor as a priority in our life. I have learned that people pay more attention to what you do than they do to what you say. If you could never utter another word again, what would your life say? What priorities would it show? Allow your life to be the pudding and the proof of your commitment to God displayed in your everyday routine!
It is funny how God uses my 8 year old daughter to show me things about myself. I have a very expressive and animated child so she is a perfect candidate. One day my daughter asked me to take her to get ice cream and I agreed. As we went about our day she asked me again, “Mommy are you
going to take me to get ice cream today?” I replied yes, I am. Then maybe 30 minutes later she asked me again, “Mommy are you going to take me to get ice cream today?” Again, I replied yes, I am. Then another 30 minutes later she asked me again. At that point I was frustrated and my response was why do you keep asking me the same question, I told you yes, don’t you trust me? She
replied with “yes I trust you” my response was -then why don’t you believe me? At that very moment I heard God say good question, that is exactly what I wonder about you. It hit me like a ton of bricks; I do the exact same thing to God. I will pray about something and God will tell me yes most of the time through his word but yet I keep praying over and over about the same thing after his word clearly answers my prayer. I realized that trust and belief go hand and hand. A lot of times people say they trust God but yet they don’t believe he will do what his word says he will do. So we keep asking or we take matters into our own hands. I realized through that interaction with my
daughter that saying I trust God is useless if my actions don’t demonstrate that trust. My daughter began to doubt because the ice cream trip didn’t comeas fast as she wanted. She could not figure out when it was going to happen soshe started to question if it was going to happen at all. Sometimes when things don’t happen when we expect or if we can’t figure out the exact time it will
happen we start to doubt. The bottom line for me was do I believe that God will do what his word says he will do? Do I trust God? I expected my child to believe me when I said I would take her to get ice cream, I expected her to trust me because of who I am in her life. That is what God expects, he expectsus to believe in him and trust him with more than our words because of who heis in our lives. The next time you go to God with a request and his response is yes, trust and believe he will do what he said he will do regardless of the timeframe. Trust me, you will get your “ice cream”, my daughter did!
Our hearts are a breeding ground and the bible tells us to guard our hearts with all vigilance for out of it flows the issues of life (proverbs 4:23). The NIV version says everything we do flows from it. What life issues are you dealing with? Sometimes the things in our life are a direct reflection of the condition of our heart. I know that is hard to hear but it’s true. God would not direct us to guard our hearts if it didn’t need protection. So of course the next logical question is how? How do we guard our hearts? Well friends, we guard our hearts by watching what we say, hear, and see. Our eyes, ears, and mouth are gateways to our heart. Things are deposited in your heart by what you focus your eyes, ears, and mouth on. Those deposits manifest in our lives as thoughts, behaviors, and situations. For example, I don’t do scary movies because it produces fear in my heart especially horror movies that depict abduction, torture, and serial killing. I realized that when I watched certain movies I became nervous, fearful, and worried. My mind began to imagine various scenarios and it became overwhelming. One day when I was terrorizing myself, I heard God say why are you doing this to yourself? Why are you feeding yourself fear? It was like a light bulb came on and I remembered the scripture in proverbs telling me to guard my heart. I realized I was allowing fear to enter my heart. It made me evaluate the condition of my heart and trace what I
found back to what I was watching, listening to, and speaking. I had to make some serious decisions and changes in my life not just about horror movies but other areas of my life. I had to take a serious look at what I was feeding my heart. I had to evaluate what and who I was giving my ear and my eyes to. The hardest evaluation was what I was allowing to come out of my mouth - that is a
whole conversation within itself that we will have soon! What I learned is that my heart will grow whatever I plant, it’s called fruit. I encourage you to evaluate the condition of your heart and take it before God. Allow God to teach you how to guard your heart! Give your eyes, ears, and mouth to the things of God so that your heart will produce the fruit you are designed to produce.
One day this summer I woke up with a swollen and very painful foot so I went to the doctor and low and behold my foot was broken. The strange thing about it is I broke my foot months ago but I didn’t know it. Yes, you read it right – I did not know. I was so focused on the demands of my life that I walked around on a broken foot for months. At first it was funny but then I started to really think about the reality of the situation. I asked God how could this happen? How could I break my foot and not know it for months? Well my friends just know when you ask God a question and
take the time to listen – He will answer! God showed me something that completely shocked me! My to-do list became my idol. We tend to conceptualize idols as carved images that people worship however; an idol is anything that takes God’s place in our lives. I call it modern day idols, the kind of idols that are not so obvious, things like approval, relationships, television, and in my case, my to-do list. God showed me that I was so consumed with the demands of the day that it directed my life instead of God. It distracted me from spending time with him and listening for his direction in my life. Instead of turning to God to order my day I turned to my to-do list. It even distracted me from noticing my broken foot. Now I am not saying that to-do list are evil, I am saying that anything that begins to take God’s place in your life is harmful. I still use to-do list they just don’t control my day, God does. Take a moment and ask yourself, have I put anything in my life above God? Is there
anything big or small that distracts me from giving him my full attention? What or who determines the course of my day? When I begin my day focused on God I accomplish more in my day then when I focused on my to-do list. I am able to be where he needs me to be accomplishing the things in his plan for my life. Eliminate the modern day idols in your life and position yourself to be & do as God directs!