This One Thing: Set Your Priorities Right This Year

There are times we present our desires to God and wait patiently for them to be met. We wait, first with faith, but as time passes we become anxious, frustrated and helpless. We wonder, “Is God unkind or unable?” “Don’t I deserve what others have?” “Or have I committed some unpardonable sin?”

At a period in my life, I cried many times and walked without any joy or sparkle in my eyes. If I was not knocked down by a car, then it was grace, because drivers blew their horns at me, as I was so absent minded while I walked. It was as if I was ready to die for this one thing I so badly needed. It seemed my life was incomplete without it.

I lost sight of the abundance of God’s blessings in my life: the breath of life, the financial breakthrough, the job, the good health I shared with my family. I lost sight of them all for this one thing I did not have, hopping from one prayer meeting to the other until I lost my attitude of praise and did not want to pray any more. How forgetful one can be!

But one day, the Holy Spirit ministered to me in the following verse:

Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all other things will be added unto you (Matt. 6:33).

As a Christian, why had I not received all the “other things”?

The Holy Spirit was there to help me find the answers and to learn the following divine truths:

First, God is interested in the salvation of my soul before all other things.

In the same way he is interested in the salvation of other souls before all other things. He is, above all things, committed to reconciling the whole world back to himself. That’s his primary business.

He is also looking for people whose primary goal is to be available for his use in the ministry of reconciliation.

Yes, He is in the business of giving material blessings, but they are all geared towards one goal—the salvation of humankind.

Second, God’s will often does not fit into our individual aspirations, desires and goals.

God works with a time table that suits his plan for the salvation of my soul and the world. Interestingly, this time table is not like what I have as an individual:

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts (Is. 55:8).

God is sovereign, all wise, all knowledgeable. No human can fully fathom his being and character. And he is meant to be known through personal relationship and through his word by the help of the Holy Spirit.

Believers are to submit their will to God’s. He is the master planner who holds the perfect and beautiful master plan. Believers need faith and absolute trust with patience and perseverance to be able to accept and conform to God’s will for their lives.

What do we learn from these things?

We need to set our hearts and minds right. There should be a rearrangement of our priorities—to have eternity in mind and know that it is urgent that we do so. Time is running out. Souls are dying everyday. There is no time to procrastinate or delay:

But this I say, brethren, the time is short, …for the form of this world is passing away (1 Cor. 7:29-31).

God knows that we need resources in fulfilling divine assignment. When we set our minds and hearts right, commit and make active move towards his work, we will use these resources in ways that please him. But when we do not set our hearts and minds right and realign our priorities to fit into God’s plans, these resources can become burdens rather than blessings.

What resource do you have? How are you using them to fulfil God’s will? May God help us to set our priorities right this year.

Have a happy and prosperous New Year!

Photo: FreeImages.com/Joshua Parent
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The Sweetness of Your Word

Oh Lord how sweet are thy words to me

How comforting! How lovely.

They soothe my anxious heart

They heal my weary soul

They are strength to my bones

They are life to my failing flesh

Oh how sweet!

Thy words are directions to my wandering feet

Instructions to my wayward heart

O Lord how I love thy words!

They melt my fears

They embolden me

I face my foes

I win life’s battle because of thy words

Oh how sweet! How lovely.

I have hope, hope of eternity

I have peace, eternal peace

I have joy, joy unceasing

All because of thy words

Oh how sweet! How lovely.

Oh grace grant thou me

That daily I may feast on thy words

That I may reflect daily on the wisdom therein

Grace grant thou me

That I may follow steadily every detail of thy words

When all is said and done,

May thy words lead me to thy feet

Oh how sweet are thy words oh Lord!

(c) P. G. Okyere Asante, November, 2016

When I shared this poem with my husband, he asked, “Since when did you start writing poems?” I responded that poetry is part of the mine of gifts that have not been unearthed.

I can’t completely explain how I felt when I wrote the poem, but I know I was unwell; I had been to the hospital a number of times. The symptoms I saw scared me badly. Fear crippled me. I wasn’t only physically unwell but was emotionally and spiritually disturbed. I felt light and empty. I woke up in the morning and instead of feeling renewed, I rather felt tired. I struggled to step out of the house. No energy, no drive, no zeal even when I had things to attend to out there.

I had said few prayers both quietly and aloud: “Oh Lord have mercy on me!” “I am strong in Jesus’ name.” I blurted these out a couple of times yet nothing changed.

So I picked my Bible and began to feed on it. It was my major task. I read and read. I took break to eat, then came back to it. I did that for three days. On the fourth day I had renewed energy. I went out to do some weeding on our compound, something I hadn’t really done before. It was while clearing the weeds that the words poured out of my heart. I wrote them down while going to bed.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).

The word had entered my soul and spirit, it had entered my joints and marrow to give strength to my body. It entered my heart and thought to drive away fear of the non-existent. The word had healed my anxious heart.

As we commit ourselves to studying God’s word every single day and completing the entire Bible in a year, make the most of it. It may seem like a waste of time but it’s not; in fact it is a great time saver. Be encouraged. Fight on!

Photo Credit: FreeImages.com/Nikolaj Bourguignon