My mind has been so busy for weeks now trying to figure out and align my priorities and goals for the year 2015. I find myself waking up most nights thinking about all that I was able to get done in 2014 by the grace of God, and those things I wish I was able to check-off my 2014 to-do list. In addition to looking back at the 2014 accomplishments, I find myself subconsciously setting my goals for the coming year and giving higher priority to certain things in my life. I can be honest writing this and maybe a little blunt with my selfishness because I know I am not alone in this land of self-preference. My subconscious to-do list has my graduate studies, my family, finance, and vacation as my priorities for 2015, but the book of Mathew 6:33 recently reshaped that. Jesus said in that passage of the scriptures that we should “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness…” I must have heard and read this phrase a thousand times in the years I have declared Jesus as my Lord, but to say it reflects in my personal priorities would be a lie.
It is so easy for us to get entangled in the web of life and forget that we are soldiers and according to the book of 2 Timothy 2:4, “No man that wars entangles himself with the affairs of this life.” We pursue life goals, money, position, power, and earthly comfort with so much vigor that we forget these things are temporal. There is a theory called “Socio-emotional selectivity theory”, and it stipulates that people’s priorities change when they are conscious that they have limited time to live. They would prefer to spend every minute and invest their emotions purposely. Of course, we should make God proud in all our earthly pursuits, education, work, family, and be outstanding in all our life endeavors. However, we must not get it so twisted that we lose focus and get so entangled with out to-do list that our priorities are misplaced. Eternal things are forever and temporal things end. To the church of Christ, 2015 should not be business-as-usual; there is an urgency for us to prioritize. I pray that God ignites a fire in the body of Christ that would make us more accountable in our stewardship, prompt to the things of God, zealous for His Kingdom, filled with His love for one another, and ardent seekers of the presence of Jesus through prayer and His word.
“That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” Ephesians 3:17-19.
We are called to live out the life of Jesus, upholders of His love and grace, carriers of His banner of righteousness, and we are the light of the world (Mathew 5:14). Ephesians 6:10-17 puts this clarion call into perspective for believers:
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power, put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”