Being an Overachiever Day 5: Priorities Put Into Perspective
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:33, ESV)
Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done. (Luke 22:42, ESV)
I’ve hinted at this topic over the last few days, and it somewhat overlaps with the previous days. As I’ve already mentioned, I’m quite a fan of to-do lists. It makes me feel productive to have a long list of tasks checked off by the end of the day. But sometimes, the things at the top of the list are not even close to the most important. (I will admit that sometimes I throw things like “eat breakfast” or “take a shower” on the list to start the day off feeling good about it.) Let’s dive deeper into things that truly should be a priority for us each day.
We have daily responsibilities, including homework and school assignments, and tasks at work. But an absolutely essential item is spending time with the Lord. Matthew 6:33 says: “Seek first the kingdom of God.” It doesn’t say seek second or third—God’s Word makes it very clear that we must place Him as our number one priority. If you write to-do lists, try writing Him in as the first “task” for each day. If He is the top priority of our day, I believe that most everything else will fall into place.
We can spend time with the Lord by reading His Word. There isn’t a time requirement or a time of day this needs to be done; our schedules are vastly different and some people are naturally early risers or night owls. Find a time when you can focus and won’t be interrupted. Some of you may find that more difficult, but try to close yourself in a room and, if necessary, leave any electronic device in another place. I am quite guilty of starting to read a devotional on my phone (She Reads Truth is one of my favorites!), then finding myself distracted from a notification, and I wind up off-track for a time. If you have the self-control to read on your iPhone, laptop, or iPad, that’s great, and I encourage you in that. If you’re a little more scatter-brained, like me, you might want to stick to reading a physical copy of the Bible and using various study books.
We must keep God in the center of every day by not only reading His Word, but spending time with Him in prayer. Even on a particularly busy day, God is with us in all of it. When we wake up, we can thank Him for the day He has blessed us with. When we drive to work or school or run errands, we can talk about the needs of those around us and our own personal needs as well. When we are busy with a task, we can ask the Lord for wisdom and guidance as we think through the project at hand. God is interested in the details of our lives, and communicating with Him throughout our day is a tremendous privilege. As we do it each day, we develop a habit, and we find ourselves turning to Him in every situation.
Looking to Christ’s life in Scripture, we can see that He always had His priorities straight. There was never a wasted second in His life. If only that could be said of you and me! Christ lived a perfect life, and even when He was facing the cruel cross, He said, “Not my will, but yours, be done” (Luke 22:42). What powerful words—He completely set Himself aside and instead focused on obeying the will of His Father. The very Son of God had the cross of Calvary ahead of Him, yet He remained obedient to the Father until the work was accomplished.
Becoming too busy can hinder us from keeping our priorities straight. Let’s not become so bogged down with our daily tasks that we push aside things that will benefit us throughout eternity. Let’s each remember that the number one priority on our list each day should be Jesus. We will never regret spending more time in His Word and in prayer.