For people of faith, “make God number one” doubtlessly comes across as good advice. Indeed it is intended to be good advice, if not a compelling responsibility. As a person of faith, I deem every person’s relationship with God as one that cannot be substituted with anything else. However, I don’t think the “make God number one” motto sufficiently captures how we are supposed to position our relationship with God.
If God is number one, then other aspects or things in our lives are number two, number three, number four… That means, when you wake up in the morning, you are likely to have your devotion and say your prayers first. After that, you can move on to other things.
Making God number seems to have become a way of itemizing God on our to-do list to be ticked off when we are done with Him. So for many of us who seek to make God number one, we sort God out in the morning and somehow do our work, engage our family and friends, and have fun.
In making God number one, we succeed in creating compartments and labelling them with numbers (1, 2, 3…) in chronological order. We keep God in Box 1, family in Box 2, career/work in Box 3, entertainment in Box 4… the list goes on. It is very common to hear a person say, “I don’t joke with my spiritual life because it is very important.” My question is, “Which part of your life can you joke with?”
Jewish sacred text which was affirmed by Jesus entreats adherents to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind” (Luke 10:27; Deuteronomy 6:5, NIV). In this short text, the phrase ‘all your’ is used four times and on each occasion, a different aspect of our being is referenced – all our heart, all our soul, all our strength and all our mind. How can we be asked to love the Lord with “all our…” and we decide to resign Him to the morning or to Sunday?
God does not want to be number one. He does not want you to tick Him off while you move on to number two, number three and those that follow. God does not want you to have a spiritual life, a social life, a mental life, and a physical life – separately.
God wants you to have life and have it more abundantly. That is why He does not want to be number one; He wants to be at the center of your life. He is interested in your whole life. In your relationships with people, He wants to be at the center. In your work, He wants to be right in the middle. In your fun moments, He wants to be the ultimate. When you are eating, He wants you to eat with the motivation that your body is His temple so you have to keep it healthy and strong.
When we are making decisions at work, He wants us to make decisions that honor Him. In our appearance, He wants us to reflect and portray His glory…“whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men” (Colossians 3:23, NKJV).
God gives the assurance to His people that, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned” (Isaiah 43:2, NKJV). Clearly, He does not leave us; whether in the waters, rivers or fire. He is not only with you in the morning or when you are praying. He is with you all the time.
What you call your social life can have an impact on your so-called spiritual life and vice versa. If you don’t maintain a healthy life, how can you live to do what God tells you to do? Do you recognize that the whole idea of family is God’s invention? What makes you think that you can do family and God separately?
Don’t take God away from your work, family, day, night, parties, social media posts, and education. In Him, all things consist. If you keep Him at the center of everything, you will find every relevant thing that pertains to your life.
About the author
Terry Mante is a business development and management consultant who has worked on market research, strategy, corporate training, capacity-building, branding, as well as PR and communications projects for clients in diverse fields. He is an incisive and inspiring author, personal development coach, moderator of focus group discussions and conference/workshop resource person.
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