The Power of Proper Priorities (Part One)
We all give our lives to something in hopes of finding happiness and fulfillment. But the Bible tells us that seeking God is the only means of finding what you’re looking for.
Jesus said, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).
The person who succeeds in life is the one who recognizes the proper priority of seeking God. If you are failing in life, it is probably because your priorities are confused. A Christian with confused priorities doesn’t know what to value, and in this day of vanishing values, we are seeing Christians fail at an alarming rate. Bad values lead to bad priorities, which in turn lead to failure.
Fifteen years ago, William Bennett, former secretary of education, wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal about the problem of values in America. “Since 1960, the U.S. population has increased 41%, social spending by the government has risen five-fold, and the gross domestic product has nearly tripled. With all that money being spread around, you’d think there would be incredible success in America. Yet in that same span of time, violent crime is up 560%, illegitimacy has risen 419%, the divorce rate has quadrupled, SAT scores have dropped 80 points, and teen suicide has increased more than 200%.” 1 Those statistics show that, regardless of material success, we’re failing in our values. And how much worse are the results now! One report reveals in the year 2008, “one in 100 adults is incarcerated; 13 states spend more than $1 billion on corrections; and from 1987 to 2007 there was an increase in spending for corrections of 127% while spending on higher education rose 21%.” 2
For all the money we’ve thrown at social problems, all we’ve received is more trouble. We’ve lost our values, which has confused our priorities and led us to failure as a nation.
Jesus said that our first priority ought to be God. If we make Him our number one priority, all the other things will be added to our lives. Consider the implications of that statement.
The Sovereign Demand of This Priority
Jesus spoke of God’s kingdom, and where there is a kingdom there must be a king. We are to make the King of Kings our first priority. His sovereign demand is that we seek Him.
Is He Lord of your life? His goal throughout all history is to be recognized as King. Colossians 1:18 puts it this way: “And He is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence.”
God wants us to make Christ preeminent. You see, something is number one in your life. Everybody makes something their primary focus. As wisely stated … in every heart there is a throne. If Christ is on the throne, the true King reigns supreme. But if self is on the throne, Christ is still on the cross.
Jesus doesn’t desire a place in your life—He demands priority in your life.
“For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him: And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist” (Colossians 1:16-17).
Jesus is preeminent in all things. That is the entire story of history. God created all to bow down to Him. He sent the Holy Spirit simply to bring glory to the Lord. One day there will be judgment where “every knee should bow. . . and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11). He will have the preeminence over every man, even the men in hell. That is God’s plan for the ages. It is His top priority.
Why should Christ have preeminence in your life?
Because of His deity. He is God. Colossians 1:19 says that all the fullness of God dwells in Him. Jesus is literally the image of the Almighty.
Because of His death. He suffered and died for you, giving up His life while you were still a sinner. You are not your own; you’ve been bought with a price.
Because of His devotion. Nobody loves you as much as Jesus Christ. He loved you so much that He laid down His life for you. He took your place in death, paying the penalty for your sins.
He is the sovereign Lord over all, and He demands you recognize that fact.