What is the primary pursuit in your life? For some it may be approval, money, progress, order, organization, or any array of things. They may all be good, healthy things; but if any of these take first priority or are in conflict with the Kingdom of God, they will ultimately stand in the way of God painting our lives into a masterpiece.
Another problem with making anything besides the Kingdom of God primary in your life is that there’s never a finish line to any earthly thing. Have you noticed this, too? If you’re living for approval, you will never get to the place where you feel you have acceptance. If its money, how much do you need before you can say you have enough and will no longer seek more? Ecclesiastes 5:10 affirms, “Those who love money will never have enough. How absurd to think that wealth brings true happiness!” It’s not that these things are necessarily bad. God celebrates these gifts in your life. He intended them for your good, but they can’t be first ahead of Him. When you discover that you have allowed something to trump first place in your life, you’ll also soon discover that your life, designed to be a masterpiece, is instead looking oddly like a forgery.
1. Keep The Primary Thing The Primary Thing
Type A personalities, the go-getters of life, may think prioritizing God’s Kingdom above more “practical” demands of life sounds complacent, even non-productive. Nothing could be further from the truth. Getting this core foundational value right is not about sitting around on your hands and never getting anything done. God created you with drive, dreams, and destiny. Yet if they become your primary pursuit, you’ll soon find that they drive you instead of you driving them. The very things the Lord gave you as good gifts will ultimately become distractions from being the masterpiece God desires.
2. Be Honest With Yourself And God
Once you’re honest with yourself and with God about your life’s core value, you’ll discover a lie lurks behind any value or belief that does not line up with God’s Word. Perhaps you don’t believe you can trust God with your finances because you believe His ways of handling money and possessions are antiquated, not current with culture. Yet Paul tells you the truth in Philippians 4:19: “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” Why wouldn’t you trust Him completely and obey Him in this area? The lurking lie is that He won’t really supply all your needs, and you’re on your own. Or maybe you feel God could never be pleased with you as His child because you never pleased your parents while growing up. You raised your grade in math from a C to a B and their response was, “If you really applied yourself, you could get an A.”
3. Make The Correction
Whatever it is, the lurking lie often leads us to sin. We believe the sin tempting us will give us an outcome different than what God’s Word says it will bring. Our value is all wrong. Much like an artist who begins a painting with the wrong values, all the color in the world will not fix it. The artist may try fancy brush strokes and applying advanced techniques, but without correcting the core value the painting will never be quite right.