Boxers want to be the best. God wants to be the only. Your spouse doesn’t want to be your favorite. They want to be your only. God wants the same exclusivity. The most common way to understand what God wants for our life is in regards to priorities. We assume God just wants to be #1 in our life. God then wants family to be #2, then ministry #3, job #4, entertainment #5 (Books being ahead of movies when you get into the decimal places.) Where are we getting that from? In fact in Luke 14:26 it says, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.” This is a passage on identity. You cannot have identity in your lineage, occupation, skill-set, or even of being a husband or father, wife or mother, or any other aspect about your self. If you want to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, then “Disciple” is your only identity. But what’s the big deal as long as God’s your top priority? Here’s 5 reasons why God does NOT want to be #1 in your life:
1) Because People Are Prone to Exaggeration
Every high school football story I’ve heard from anyone ever has been the most exciting play in the history of pigskin. The Top 10 Plays on ESPN really missed out on some of those. It’s amazing how many players just barely missed out on the NFL because of an injury at the wrong time, or because of a coach that just didn’t use them properly (now reread that sentence with the amount of sarcasm that was intended.) People assume they are better than they really are, at pretty much everything. There are plenty of people who assume Jesus is #1 in their life, not because they are purposefully lying, but because they are not very self-aware.
2) Because Priorities Change
When I’m at work, my job feels like the top priority. When I’m at home, my family is most important. Then once the kids go to sleep at 8:30pm (who am I kidding, 9:15), finally I can be a husband (and by that I mean I clean up from dinner and take-out the trash followed by one television show before falling asleep on the couch.) Here’s the point, whatever institution might be of higher priority overall, takes the top spot during certain times of our day. So then you must ask, how am I judging what is more important to me. If it was judged on time spent, then many of us would have to admit that our job is the most important thing in our life. But if it was judged on what we would be most upset at losing, then our kids or our spouse would take the top spot. Either way, we see how priorities are not as clear-cut as we might think, and they obviously move up-and-down the list. The fact that Jesus even has a chance of getting knocked off the top spot at any given time is a dangerous sounding proposition.
3) Because Idolatry Becomes Possible
We tend to think of idolatry as simply making sure no other gods come before Jehovah. But it’s deeper than that. It means no other gods can take priority, ever. Let’s test this in my own marriage. My wife doesn’t just want to be my favorite wife, or the wife I spend the most time with, or something even more vague like the wife I love the most. She wants to be the only woman I ever connect with emotionally, physically, and otherwise. Just because I never sleep with another women doesn’t mean she’d be ok. I can’t imagine her very happy if I was snuggling or kissing another woman. Saying she’s still my #1 wouldn’t calm that firestorm. Jesus wants no competing devotion. He wants our entire identity wrapped up in Him, not just some of it.
4) Because God Does Not Want Just a Piece of You
If our life is a pie, Jesus wants the whole pie. Think about all the things in your life that would try to take a sliver of your life. Are you really planning on giving Jesus that mangled mush once this world is done digging its little hands into it? Give Jesus your life and then let him divvy it up for you according to His plans and purposes. When Jesus gives you a family and a job and other relationships then you utilize them for His Kingdom and His Glory. This makes sense with everything else God gives us. If we are born with an incredible skill or ability, we use that for His Glory. When we are born with arms and legs, we use them for His Glory. If God gave us x-ray vision or the ability to fly then He would want us to use that for His Glory too. It’s either all about Jesus or it’s not. Just like the philosopher Ricky Bobby said, “You’re either first or last.”
5) Because Jesus was “All In”
Did Jesus merely dedicate 3 years to us? Did Jesus juggle all His other responsibilities along side of saving the world? Does Jesus divide all his time up between His millions of followers giving us each .0001 seconds per day? No! His infinite nature allows Him to spend all of His eternity with us at every moment of each day. Our nature is not so infinite, but our Mentor, our Rabbi, our Master’s example is the same. We give our all to Jesus because He gave His all to us. We have so many competing identities – our nationality, gender, occupation, lineage, family status, etc. Jesus says we must abandon all of that. Hate any other identity that is not… I am a Disciple of Jesus Christ.
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