In March, I wrote on the reason life was so busy the previous month. This month, I'm writing on the issue of priorities, because in the midst of busy lives of service, sometimes it's easy to put priorities in the wrong order.
Today, I had breakfast with a dear brother so I could discuss some connected parenting and heart issues in my life. I am thankful that God has provided brothers from whom I can gleam Biblical wisdom. I am also thankful for their ability to help me see practical applications of that wisdom every day.
Aside: If you don't regularly seek counsel and wisdom in your life, I strongly encourage you to do so. It can be painful at times, but God is good through it. If you want to be a tool of great influence in the service of the king, then the community of believers regularly digging into each other's lives is a necessity. See Prov. 27:17
I am first and foremost a bondservant to Christ (Rom. 1:1-15). My only aim is to be holy (completely devoted to God) in all my aspirations, endeavors, and desires. Unfortunately, in the midst of managing much service, the taxonomy and hierarchy of those items can be left in dis-array. The priorities and intended order can suffer because of sinful purposes and wrong belief that sneak in. We are usually blinded by our own sin and the effects that it has on us, until we become so overwhelmed and frustrated that we can't handle it anymore.
However, God is good. In that moment of 'not being able to handle it anymore', that is when God is quietly knocking on our hearts saying, "It's only through me that you can handle this. It's only by doing it my way that you can do this."
My priorities have gotten out of whack. My priority was no longer serving the king the way I am called to, but has been boiled down to just 'serving'. I have lost sight of serving out of obedience. For me, this means reorienting my priorities so that I am in obedience. When I elevate 'lesser' priorities and allow them to overtake and steal from the 'greater' priorities I have been delegated, then I have strayed from obedience.
Ok, Jon...this is all wonderfully vague. What exactly are you saying?
I confess for expanding my sphere of service and ministry for my own kingdom and not God's kingdom (Matt. 6:25-34). I confess to being lazy in shepherding my children's hearts toward the fear and admonition of the Lord (Eph 6:4). I confess to seeking service out of pride (Rom. 12:3-4). I confess to not being holy, set apart for God's purposes (1 Pet. 1:14-16). I confess for not believing that God's way is best, and that I know better. I confess to being selfish, and neglecting my God given responsibility.
However, I am not that person anymore. God thank you for the cross of Christ who redeems me from my sinful flesh.
24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
Praise God that he has revealed my sin against him to my blind eyes. Praise God that I am redeemed and have the power to live in righteousness!
So what do I do now? This is the first step (technically the second step since I've already started talking with my wife about this). God opened my eyes and I am responding by an obedience out of belief that God's way is best. I have begun strategizing ways to change our daily household life to recapture the call of heart-shepherding in our children. This means far more work for our family, however it is God's way...the right way.
It's hard to fathom how God's way (Prov. 29:17) will work, but I am trusting that my obedience will bring about exactly what God promises. A dedication, a holiness in my life in this area will be of much fruit. I will persevere, I will recapture God's aim for my life.
I will serve with intentionality for God's kingdom, not my own kingdom. I will lovingly sacrifice myself, my time, and my life for the sake of service for His kingdom.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
— 1 Peter 1:3-5
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
— 2 Cor 1:3-5
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
— Eph 1:3-6