Looking up the word priorities in my Bible, this is what I found:
What You Treasure Reveals What Your Real Priorities Are
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~ Proverbs 3:6
Can you just imagine for a moment what the implications of this would mean and would do in our lives if we only followed this rule? Only think on this verse for a moment until the impact hits home. When I think of things that I have done in the past, had I only stopped long enough to put God first in that effort, what could have been done? We can not dwell on the things of the past but move forward, having the knowledge and understanding that was done and not done in the past will help us grow and move forward in the future.
"You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?" declares the LORD Almighty. "Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house. ~ Haggai 1:9
In the beginning of Haggai, I have written "Priorities" in my Bible. The book of Haggai is all about priorities and how we place them. Judah, like us, had confused priorities with those things we think or place first over God, like our jobs, homes, where we are going to vacation and activities that only take us away from what needs to be done.
The commentary at the beginning of Haggai in my Bible says this: "PRESSURES, demands, expectations, and tasks push in from all sides and assault our schedules. Do this! Be there! Finish that! Call them! It seems as though everyone wants something from us -- family, employer, school, church, clubs. Soon there is little left to give, as we run out of energy and time. We find ourselves rushing through life, attending to the necessary, the immediate, and the urgent. Too often, the important is left in the dust. Our problem is not the volume of demands or lack of scheduling skills, but values -- what is truly important to us. Our values and priorities are reflected in how we use our resources -- time, money, strength, and talent. Often our actions belie our words. We say God is number one, but then we relegate him to a lesser number on our "to do" lists. (Life Application Bible ~ Tyndale House)
Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be. ~ Luke 12:34
Hmmm... If we were truly honest with ourselves and looked at where we spend our time and efforts and judged accordingly, what would the verdict be? If we were to open our checkbooks or look at our credit card statements and examine where our money goes, what would that say about us and where our priorities lie? Same thing with our time. If we were to record how much time we spend doing each thing, what exactly would we find? How much time do we spend doing what we want to do and not what should be done? How much effort do we really put towards those things that will bless our family? Too bad we don't have a checkbook for our time spent and efforts made. Wouldn't that be a great measure? This verse is truly convicting!
Right Priorities Help Other Things Fall Into Place
God asked Solomon to request anything he wanted, and Solomon's reply was "wisdom." God's response to his request was this: "Because your greatest desire is to help your people, and you haven't asked for personal wealth and honor, and you haven't asked me to curse your enemies, and you haven't asked for a long life, but for wisdom and knowledge to properly guide my people -- yes, I am giving you the wisdom and knowledge you asked for! And I am also giving you such riches, wealth, and honor as no other king has ever had before you! And there will never again be so great a king in all the world!" (2 Chronicles 1:11-12)
Is What Is Important to You Important to God?
"And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you. If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart. ~ Malachi 2:1-2
How many times does God tell us what it is that is important to Him, yet we don't listen? We put Him on the back burner with the rest of the stuff we really don't want to have to do or think about, because it would require something from us. It would require giving up what we think is important or fun or pleases us. Loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5) means what to us, exactly?
In all honesty, we can't complain about our situations, because we place ourselves in those situations. We only need to read through the Old Testament to see we are actually repeating history.
I am continually repeating history in that I struggle with the priorities in my life. If I were to open my "checkbook" of priorities and look back on my checks written in the past I would see a great waste of time and effort. It was for what exactly? To be honest I can't remember. Or maybe I can...I was doing what I wanted to do without regard to the effect it had on the rest of my family. It is like looking back through the struggles that the Israelites encountered in the Old Testament and wondering if they will ever "get it." When will it sink in that what they are doing, or not doing, is effecting their walk and efforts. Looking back through my checkbook of life I could ask myself the very same question. When will it sink in that what I am doing, or not doing, is effecting my walk and any efforts I make towards life, my husband, my children and my home?
I have four priorities in my life right now. They have order. They have purpose. Most importantly, they are what I treasure the most:
God - My Husband - My Children - My Home
Everything else must take a back seat or be placed on the back burner, because right now at this point and time in my life, this is where my treasure lies. When we recheck our priorities and place them where they should be in our lives, everything else naturally falls right into place. When things get hectic in my life, I must stop, check my priorities, and put things back into the order they should be.
In everything we do, let us place God first.