Last year, I stepped out on faith and made some major changes in my life. Whew!!! These changes were ALL about putting GOD first and becoming a better me for him.
This change came about as I found myself questioning relationships, where I was in life and the purpose that God has for me.
Instead of continuing to live with these questions and complain about things that annoyed me, I prayed about it.
Throughout this time of prayer, I was reminded that I had lost my ZEAL and fire for God. I was comfortable and had become lazy. I dragged myself to church, I stopped reading the word as much as I was consumed with things that had nothing to do with God. Life happened Y’all.
While life was happening, I was completing a certification course for work so I traveled a lot. This was great as it allowed me to take breaks from Social Media and have lots of quiet time in my hotel with God. I needed to get my heart back right.
During this time of quietness I was presented with this question:
Why did you stop serving me?
Yep, I was shocked. I started to reflect back on the last few years to see the changes I made. Was this statement true?!?
It was. When serving in ministry sometimes we can become so consumed with serving the people that we leave God out of it.
Had I become that person? Did I continue to serve because I wanted people to see that I showed up? Did I get so comfortable with the tiny portion I was given to God?
The answer is Yes. So I made a change I listened to God and transitioned from the church I had been attending for the last 9 years.
Was this easy?? Nope, l I knew that this decision would not only affect me.
Yet, I listened to God and stepped out on faith. I started on my path to Putting God back where he needed to be in my life FIRST.
Here is my list to ensure I was “Putting God First:”
1. Stop People Pleasing
I had lost my zeal for God. Why? Because I thought too much about what people would say and not enough about what God would say. What did he want me to do? Did I go to him first about a decision? Was I in right relationship with him? I had so many questions that I needed to answer over time.
But first, I had to stop caring about pleasing others, what others may say, or how others viewed me. I had to remember that I needed God to be pleased with my life. Even if that meant I wasn’t available to others and I opted for a quiet night at home alone focused on the things God called me to do. Also, reading the word, increasing my prayer life, and journaling became a big part of my day to day actions, I would intentionally set aside time devoted to him as he is FIRST.
2. Purpose Driven
I have known since I was a little girl the purpose that God has for me. I have been rebelliously running from it and the calling that God has for my life.
So I had to ask myself: How could I change my rebellious heart? Do I really understand that he wants me to be purposed driven? Actually walking in my purpose not being so rebellious and caught up in things that had nothing to do with it. I knew that I was not utilizing it and not walking in the purpose that he had for me to draw others to him. So I changed my focused = Purpose Driven.
This can be a whole separate blog post as Maya Angelou says “When people show you who they are believe them the first time.”
Yes, Putting God First impacted some of my relationships. I learned that as a “strong” friend and giver if something is bothering me I just put it in a box and place it on this imaginary bookshelf never to be addressed.
Is this a good trait? Nah I had to ask myself “Why are you disregarding your feelings?”. Over the past 7 months, I have learned that Sharing how I feel about something can be a GREAT thing if I want my relationships to grow.
Someone once said to me “You teach people how to treat you.”
This is true. I had to learn how to communicate my feelings and address the actions of others that weren’t healthy even when it was hard.
4. Changed Behavior
What unhealthy behaviors did I need to change?
When you present things like this to God he will allow you to see an “ugly version” of yourself.
Putting God First allowed me to step back and be honest with myself. What behaviors am I willing to give up in order to “Put God first?” I believe self-reflection is important and needed in order to grow.
5. Putting God First
Last but definitely not least “How would I continue to make changes in my life that would allow me to Put God First?” This is one of the hardest things I had to learn. I am not the same person I was 9 years ago when I decided to give my life to CHRIST for real. I have fallen and often fell short of his glory. He still loved me through it. He never gave up on me. So now, since I am more mature and have grown spiritually; I had to ask myself “What will you do differently this time?” My answer was fully rely on God and as the scripture Psalms 37:4 (NLT) says:
“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
I encourage you to ensure that you are “Putting God First” in every aspect of your life. If this means you have to make some changes consult with him first and he will give you wisdom/direction on how to handle all situations (Proverbs 3:5-6). Remember he does things in his own timing so sometimes he’ll have us to wait before we make changes. Also, he’ll direct you to a strong person, mentor, or a friend who can give you wise advice because sometimes that is needed. I pray that you are "Putting God First" where he needs to be in your life.
“Embrace God, Put Him First, Love You, & Be Fashioned For Him”With Love,
⁃ Shishandra D.