Last night in my prayer time I was presented with a worship-halting word from the enemy of my soul. It was so powerful and fear-inducing that I could hardly move.
I remember just standing there feeling as though the entire world had stopped moving. I knew I shouldn’t have stopped praising, but for that moment, I did.
I prayed some more and then sought spiritual counsel from my parents. They confirmed in my spirit what I already knew to be true.
After we talked I knew that right then and there I needed to check my heart. I was literally just singing the songs and saying the words, “Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders” but my heart reflected a different sentiment.
I was humbled and convicted.
God, in all His goodness and grace, revealed to me that I still sometimes put my family above Him and His call. Was I willing to do whatever or be whoever He had called me to be?
In Matthew 10:37 Jesus says, “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.”
Christians, our priorities are skewed. Our intentions are right, but our hearts are wrong.
In that moment, the hard truth resounded in my spirit that I was susceptible to choosing my family over my Father.
When God gave Moses and the Israelite people the 10 Commandments, the first one said, “You shall have no other gods before Me.” (Exodus 20:3)
There isn’t a ‘but’ at the end of the sentence. There isn’t an ‘and’ either. God simply instructs us to love Him first and foremost. And believe it or not, we often make gods or even modern day idols out of our family and friends.
When we hit a rough spot in life or we are in a trial, instead of running to our Savior and Sustainer, we run to our best friend or our parents. We look forward to being with our family or our closest companions more than we do with God.
He doesn’t tell us not to love our friends and family, but He does have a proper order in which we should love. God is our Champion and Creator. He takes first place in our hearts. He has a righteous jealousy for our affections, and He is more than deserving of the first fruits of our passionate adoration. And what’s more, in spending time with Him and prioritizing our relationship with God, we are giving Him the room to teach us how to fully love those around us.
He can and will give us the strength to love our family (even those we don’t get along with) and friends with even more completeness. It won’t be pretentious or forced, selfish or self-seeking. It will be selfless and God-inspired.
Today I encourage you to seek God in the stillness and the quiet and truly ask for Him to unearth the truth about your relational priorities. It won’t feel good and it may cause you to feel a sense of shame, but don’t hold onto those negative feelings. Pray for forgiveness and for God to help redirect your priorities.
The second most important commandment Jesus talks about in the New Testament is to “love your neighbor as yourself”, but first we must “Love the Lord our God will all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our mind.” (Matthew 22:37-39)