Sunday, June 25, 2017

Nancy Hughes devotion: Putting gods before God

(Nancy Hughes'  devotions, which have been featured on the Inside Joplin page in the past, are moving over to the Turner Report, as I begin occasionally adding other voices to the mix on this blog. For those who have missed Nancy's devotions in recent months, she has been recuperating from two arm surgeries and now is back in writing mode. You can find more of her writing on her new blog, Encouragement from the War Room. Please check it out.)

A glance at the clock as I sat down and opened my Bible for much-needed moments with the Lord showed almost 8 am – more than enough time to dig in His Word before I met a friend for lunch. I looked at the curtains pulled across my door to the deck. “I’ll pull them open,” I thought. “Much nicer to see God’s creation during prayer time.”

And the view was better . . . except for the hand prints on the glass door. Several sprays of Windex and swipes with paper towels cleaned up my view even more.

As I turned to go back to my quiet time, I noticed the cob web. “Good grief! What if someone came to visit and saw that thing hanging down!” my mind winced.

It didn’t take long to remove the offending web but it had friends in the corners of my living room so as long as I was getting rid of one, I decided to clean the rest of the room.

I sat down and picked up my Bible and realized I didn’t have a pen or paper to take notes. As I scooped up a pad of paper on my computer desk, it occurred to me that I hadn’t wished my friends “happy birthday” on Facebook so I took just a few minutes to get that done.

I found a pen in a drawer by the kitchen sink but I also noticed all the dirty dishes so I rinsed them and put them in the dishwasher.

As I sat back down in my chair, I again glanced at the clock and was shocked to see that over two hours had passed since I first opened my Bible for prayer time!

What was more important than a face to face, intimate conversation with God my Father? Clean glass doors and no cobwebs and a loaded dishwasher. I put household chores before the Creator of the Universe. God was not my first priority of the day. To be honest, He wasn’t my first priority at all.

As I sat in silence, one of the Ten Commandments spoke to my heart. “You shall have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:3.

Surely household chores or getting on Facebook aren’t gods? They are simply things that need to be done . . .right? Sure . . . unless. Unless I allow them to take first place in my life.

Now, just to be clear, I know we all have those days when a daughter is throwing up, a son can’t find his shoe and the bus is coming, and the washer is broken – all BEFORE 8 am. And our only prayer is “Get me through the next five minutes, Lord!” Believe me, I get it.

But if we are continually putting daily activities before the Lord, they have indeed become idols – in other words, gods – because they have taken His place of importance in our lives.

May I encourage you to do a daily heart check? Are there any “gods” in your life that are moving up your priority list each day as your time with the Lord moves down?

If so, decide today – this minute – to re-evaluate what holds first place in your life. If it’s your time with the Creator, fantastic! If it isn’t, see what you can change to make sure you are never putting gods before God.

Lord, with all my heart I want You to have first place in my life. Please show me those things that I need to rearrange so I can spend time with You every day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

R.A.P. it up

· Look over your last few weeks of being in the Word and having prayer time with the Lord. How many times have you put activities before Him?

· Before you go to bed, make a “to do” list for the next day. Rearrange activities to make time with the Lord a priority.

Power Verses
· Exodus 20:3 (NIV) “You shall have no other gods before me.”

· Proverbs 3:6 (NIV) “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

· Matthew 6:33 (NIV) “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

· Colossians 3:2 (NIV) “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

· Matthew 26:40 (NIV) “Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. ‘Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?’ he asked Peter.”

1 comment:

Harvey Hutchinson said...

Very nice!!

Harvey Hutchinson 303-522-6622 voice&text