First Things First

“We ought to see the face of God every morning before we see the face of man.”
 –D.L. Moody

Busyness is the enemy of intimacy. Intimacy is about attentiveness, being still and present. We are made for intimacy. When we say “yes” to something or someone we are saying “no” to something/someone else. When we close the door on one invitation we are accepting another. Ultimately, it is not what we say but our diaries that reveal our priorities!

We must beware the temptation to live busy lives through a fear of missing out. It’s so easy to be busy and distracted that we must be ruthless about setting aside time for intimacy with our Father. The most important boundary in our lives is the one that protects our secret place with God.

If we don’t miss or long for God’s presence then we need to ask ourselves some tough questions. Fundamentally, the romance goes when we give our attention to other lovers, instead of our true love. Happy are those who are hungry for God’s presence, because they will be fully satisfied. We were created for intimacy, so maybe we should scrap our carefully crafted prayer lists and focus on divine hunger. All our other needs are peripheral.

Jesus put it plainly: “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and everything needed will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). The word “first” is key. What we seek first will affect everything that comes after it. As we seek God first, our needs will change because we will be transformed by God’s presence. Our priorities will alter as we embark on this life-surrendering pilgrimage. Everything that comes second will become grace-endowed as we seek the Father. As William Law writes, “If you have not chosen the Kingdom of God first, it will in the end make no difference what you have chosen instead.”

Judas was offended by Mary wasting a year’s worth of earnings by anointing Jesus’ body for burial. Restless orphans will always be offended when relationship with Jesus takes priority over doing things for Him. Focusing on “doing” rather than “being” results in self-justification. I know this place of bondage only too well. The truth is, lovers of God get more done than workers.

Swim against the tide of distraction. Shun the counterfeits of busyness and achievement. Stop and be still. Fruitfulness flows from intimacy. If we don’t “waste” time with Jesus first, then we are likely to waste the rest of our time.

This article is an extract from 

God Hunger: Meditations from a life of longing


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