Putting God First – So we don’t finish last.
Part I – If we don’t stay in spiritual union with our Lord; He may allow our circumstances to be jolted so that we draw nigh to him. Sometimes this jolt can be so severe that we don’t just draw nigh… we come running full force to the foot of the cross for our mere survival. Notice… I did not say that God sends the circumstance; He allows it. Our negative actions can pull us out from the umbrella of protection that He so graciously gives. I recently found myself gradually pulling away from my daily time with the Lord. I felt it happening, but didn’t stop it. Each day I became more disinterested and lazy; finding other things to do. This only happened for about 2 weeks. Only two weeks; and BAM … out of nowhere I am oppressed by a spirit that I am all too familiar with and had dealt with in the past. This time it seemed stronger than I had ever encountered; quickly pulling me to a downward spiral spin heading for defeat. Believe me… when you get to this point, it is a struggle to call on God. You feel so distant and set apart from Him and His love and grace that you feel empty, alone, and almost non-existent . During this crushing short season, I dreamed one night that my mouth was sewn shut. I was very fearful in the dream because there was an evil presence there with me; intending to mean me harm. It was so real. I wanted to call out the name of Jesus and couldn’t. I repeatedly tried in the dream and my struggle finally woke me up calling out to Jesus. I know now that God was warning me. Warning me that I was getting close to being stifled by the enemy; and calling on the name of Jesus would almost be impossible. If you let your guard down and become complacent, that is when the enemy acquires reign to come in and attempt to annihilate you. You are unprotected and in wide open range. You can let a small wedge come between you and the Lord… it may start out as a miniscule thing that doesn’t separate you completely, just keeps you from being totally connected. That wedge then grows as its feed by the enemy with oppression, sin, disobedience and everything possible to completely separate you from God’s presence. I imagine a small child skipping around her mother… frolicking and having fun. A beautiful butterfly comes along that causes the child to skip further and further away. She occasionally looks back to see her mother there and then keeps following the butterfly. Finally she looks back and her mother is completely out of sight and she is left alone, out of reach, and where her cries cannot be heard. Staying in the presence of the Lord is essential. A perfect example that I just read from one of Jentezen Franklin’s books is this “In the cool of the day, Adam and Eve would walk with God in the Garden of Eden. When they were with God, satan never showed up. He approached Eve when she was absent from God’s presence.”
Part II – The other part of this lesson is this. What led me to the place where I wasn’t spending my daily time with the Lord? How did I get there? Mostly…It was my misguided love for a friend that caused my complacency with the Lord. I was spending time with him and gradually letting my extra time and thoughts be for him; all the while thinking less and less on the things of God and spending time with God. Ladies, be very careful! Whether you are married or are building a relationship with someone; do NOT let your love for him become greater than your love for the Lord. If you ever get to the point where you put others before God… it can be detrimental to your soul. Yes… God did create us to be the help mate for our husbands. Genesis 2:18 says…“It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Proverbs 18:22 says “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord” That’s my personal favorite! Ladies the word says we are a good thing! BUT we can’t be a good thing if we aren’t complete in Christ first. God created us as emotional and compassionate creatures and because of this we often love deeply and freely give of our hearts and ourselves. Two souls coming together as one flesh is a beautiful thing and is the plan of God. But you must bring it all into balance and never forget that our God is a jealous God. We can’t put a man, our children, our jobs, etc. before our Lord. Don’t wait until God allows things to be “shaken” for you to spend time with Him. Love Him now. Let Him love you now. He will never leave you or forsake you… if you let Him lead you and perfect you.