—-I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.–Job 23:12
Most of us know what we ought to do–we just don’t do it. If I asked you to take a pen and paper and jot down the most important daily duties most Christians would have the same items on their list. There might be a slight variance as to the order of importance, but we would all have the same things in our top three or four. So, how are you doing by way of giving attention to those things? Are you majoring on minors?
We seem to forget that choices have consequences. Do you really believe that you can neglect the reading and study of God’s Word, prayer, etc. without any ill effects? You know better. You are smart enough to realize that there is a high price to pay for ignoring matters of such great importance. We reap what we sow– for good or bad. Do you have some reason to believe that you will be an exception to the rule? Do you think God will waive the rule for you because you have special circumstances?
You’re not the only one who finds it difficult to keep your priorities straight. Every Christian is engaged in a warfare–“the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh–“(Gal. 5:17). In other words, all progress must be made in the face of opposition (Rom. 7:14-25). Our failure to do our daily duties can be attributed to a lack of discipline, and the remedy for that is to be filled with the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). Any life not under the control of the Holy Spirit is out of control, and that’s a dangerous place to be.
This is a matter we all wrestle with. Keeping first things first isn’t always easy–but it’s crucial that we do! These things are important for a reason– they are essential to success in life. Several years ago one of the men in our church, a young man, told me he was going to quit taking his blood pressure medicine. He said he felt good and was convinced that he didn’t need it any longer. I warned him and tried to persuade him to do otherwise, but he was adamant. In just a few weeks he suffered a massive stroke and died. Dear friends there are some things essential to our welfare and survival — certain foods and meds that we cannot live without. We neglect them to our own peril. You wouldn’t do that, so why then would you neglect things that are of even greater importance? It is absolutely essential that we hear from God every day— and He communicates with us through His Word. It is better to not eat a bite of food all day than it is to not hear from God. Without a word from God we get weak and go wayward. Without a word to God we get weary and go wrong. Put first things first and everything is better. Job discovered that long ago. He could not have survived his trials without hearing from God–neither can you.