GOD FIRST

 

Matthew 6: 33 -- But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Everything that you need to live a joyful, more than abundant life shall [absolutely] be added unto to when you keep the true God and Father of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ FIRST in your life. Seek anything else first, and everything will be subtracted from you.

Did you know that if you are not adhering to this Scripture, you are practicing idolatry? What do you think of first when you wake up in the morning? Do your thoughts turn to God . . . . . . . or maybe to your cell phone? How about your SUV? It probably turns to your job. Do you turn on the television or do you turn on to Godís Word? We have been so conditioned to think on worldly things, that most of us hardly give God a thought, let alone study Him, which is His Word. WHAT WE DONíT KNOW and the devil himself never wants you to find out is that we were DESIGNED TO LIVE BY GODíS PRINCIPLES. Hereís a Scripture that might shock some people:

Ecclesiastes 12: 13 Ė Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear [reverence or respect] God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole dutyof man.

We were designed to live by Godís Word. However, when we donít, by our own free will, we become a society of copycats and parasites never making free will decisions because Matthew 6: 33 is just words to us and not reality. Do you want to be an individual making your own decisions, not influenced by the God of this world? Then you must STUDY AND APPLY GODíS WORD each and every day. It is yourday by day decision. I can share Godís Word with you Ė I CANNOT believe and ACT for you!

Maybe the most important and ignored principle in the Word of God is the following:

II Timothy 2: 15 -- Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. [emphasis added]

I mentioned to you that the devil is presently the god of this world. He doesnít own the world, but he controls it. Donít take my word for it.

II Corinthians 4: 4 -- In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

But if you know and apply Godís Word to this situation, what is the outcome? The outcome is victory. You win.

I John 4: 4 -- Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

Most people, Christian and non-Christian, do not study Godís Word and therefore cannot apply what they donít even know. All their decisions are influenced by the world and not the Word and their actions are dictated to them by a counterfeit god. Eventually, everything will be subtracted from them. It is truly a shame that this state of affairs exists and that is why I am teaching this to you. You do not have to fall into this category and if I reach just one person, my purpose for God will be accomplished.

The Word of God has always become more living and real to me when applied to everyday situations. Here is a good example of not being able to make free will decisions due to the worldís influence and a lack of knowledge of the true God Ė not keeping God first.

If you are walking with the true God, many people, even strangers, will open up to you and share their hearts with you. They sense the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation and they will trust you.I had conversations with some people that concern making free will decisions. I often bring up Scriptural principles to them.I often witness to people when they donít even know that I am teaching Biblical principles. Witnessing is an art Ė it must be developed.

Many people say things like the following:ďI really want to sell this car, or I really want to change this part of my business.But I never do it?!!!Ē

Oh, I know what some of you are thinking. "We all do that. So what?" If so, this teaching or this web site is not for you.

Many of us want answers in this life as to WHY we do what we do. God wants you to know the score. It bothers people as to why they never really do what they really want to do. THAT IS NOT THE WAY GOD WANTS US TO LIVE and possibly, to your surprise, God states this clearly in His Word in the book of Romans. But first, I want to cover another important subject briefly that was mentioned in the third paragraph and this concerns the subject of Ďidolatryí. Letís go to Godís Word to get a clear understanding of what this means.

I John 5: 21 Ė Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen

Many people believe that an idol is something made of stone or wood that people may pay homage to. But an idol can be an image in the mind such as dwelling on sexual matters most of the time. THAT IS ONLY ONE FORM OF IDOLATRY. This imagery can become so dominant in your thinking that the image becomes like a god in itself. A person can dwell on their job or career most of the time. It could be a hobby or a sport whereby people may become obsessed.

Anything that stands in the way of you KEEPING GOD FIRST IS IDOLATRY in its least common denominator.

I have a note in my Bible next to I John 5: 21 that says that idolatry is: "Seeking any help, guidance, or instruction from any other source other than our Heavenly Father."

James 1: 5 Ė If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all menliberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

God will give you this necessary wisdom WILFULLY WITHOUT A SECOND THOUGHT. All we need to do is ask. Do you ask God in prayer for help, guidance, and instruction in specific circumstances? Or do you watch what the neighbors do and follow suit? That is why we must study Godís Word every day so that we know what God has made available to us and THEN we can ask Him for it. As James 1: 6 states, we must then BELIEVE without a shadow of a doubt that God will answer that prayer. The more of Godís Word you know, understand, and apply, the greater you can believe.

Romans 10: 17 Ė So then faith [pistis Ė believing] comethby hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Once again, an idol or practicing idolatry entails ANYTHING that HINDERS YOU FROM KEEPING THE TRUE GOD AND FATHER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, FIRST IN YOUR LIFE. The Word of God has a GENUNE lifestyle for you and the world has a very deceptive COUNTERFEIT lifestyle for you. One is the way of life and the other is the way of death. Which one have you chosen? You have free will. You need to be strong-willed in this day and age. The world gets worse and worse every day. The enemyís time gets shorter and shorter and he wants to take as many people with him as possible. YOU HAVE A CHOICE. MAKE IT. There is no gray area. You are either with God or against Him. You must keep Him FIRST. Second doesnít cut it. Second place is the first loser.

I just have to go over an amazing Scripture that will assure you that God will guide you in every way when he is respected and obeyed as He should be. He created lifeÖÖÖ.do you think He knows how to live it?! The Bible is our blueprint for living.

Hebrews 4: 12 Ė For the word of God isquick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and isa discerner [a critic] of the thoughts [emotions] and intents [logic] of the heart.

In time, God Almighty will show you what you should be doing with your life. The Word will discern the thoughts and intents of the heart. That should comfort the heart of any believer.

Before going to an Old Testament record regarding Ďblameí, as promised, we will look at three (3) Scriptures in Romans that will make you want to jump for joy. It will seem like a dream Ė like it is simply too good to be true Ė BUT IT IS TRUE and it is available to you right now. Just do your best and God will do the rest. Here we go:

Romans 7: 15 -- For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

Literal: I do not even acknowledge my own actions as mine, for what I do is not what I want to do, but what I detest or hate, this I practice.

Before moving on to verse 16, lets study Galatians 5: 17:

Galatians 5: 17 -- For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

When you are serving sin, you cannot think straight and you walk in confusion. Instead of doing what you really want to do with your life, your life is controlled by the sin that dwells within you and rules over your life. As you continue to renew your mind, which is your key to a powerful walk with God, any bad habits in your life will eventually disappear. You are free in Christ but you must study by your own free will. And this is not a bummer -- it is a blessing. Just don't let your guard down. Keep moving and keep working the Word.

Romans 7: 16 -- If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it isgood.

Literal: But if what I do is against my will, it means that I agree with the law and hold it to be right or admirable.

It appears that even though a person is not doing what they really want to do, they are not blaming the law for that problem in their own lives.

Romans 7: 17 -- Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

Literal: Now then, it is no longer I who performs the action, but sin that dwells or lodges in me.

These Scriptures are self-explanatory. I once heard a teacher say that his idea of the more than abundant life would be to go through every day doing exactly what he wants to do. By keeping God first, this is an available reality.

The problem here regarding the cause as to why we never achieve this standard of living set by Godís Word, is due to rationalization and shifting the blame.

If you are not keeping God first, who is at fault?

Finally, let us study a fascinating record in I Samuel, Chapter 15, that deals specifically with rationalization and SHIFTING THE BLAME. This will also be a good lesson in the rightly divided Word of God from the Old Testament which is written forour learning. It is not written directly to usin our present Age of Grace Administration [see "The Seven Administrations"]. This record teaches a lesson about shifting the blame and rationalization like none other in the Bible.

**Please read verses 1 and 2.

Samuel was a great prophet Ė a man approved of God who offered guidance to Saul. Saul was told by Samuel in Chapter 15, verse one, that he, according to Godís Will, was to be king over His people, over Israel. As you will see later in the record, because of Saulís disobedience to God, he was actually the first king of Israel whose monarchy was later overthrown. BUT THE MAIN POINT IS HOW HE WOULD NOT ADMIT THAT HE DID NOT KEEP GOD FIRST. Many believers who are actually Ďunbelieving believersí fall into this category Ė rationalization [a devil spirit], and shifting the blame becomes their excuse.

Now watch what God told Samuel to tell Saul to do in verse three (3):

I Samuel 15: 3 Ė Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.

We clearly see what the Will of God is in this situation. [When God tells you to do something, never do more and never do less. Do exactly what God wants done and stop.]

**Please read verses 4, 5 and 6.

Now watch carefully the next three verses:

I Samuel 15: 7 Ė And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah untilthou comest up to Shur, that is over against Egypt.

So far, Saul is following Godís Will to the letter and that is very important. NOW WATCH WHAT SAUL DOES IN VERSE EIGHT (8).

I Samuel 15: 8 Ė And he [Saul] took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all of the people with the edge of the sword.

Whatís wrong here? What was Godís Will in verse 3? Read it again. NO ONE WAS TO BE SPARED. But yet Saul took it upon himself to spare Agag. Either we do Godís Will or we donít Ė there is no gray area. Thatís how important and accurate, to the finest detail, revelation from God is to be carried out. It gets worse in verse nine (9).

I Samuel 15: 9 Ė But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that wasgood, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that wasvile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.

Under the leadership of Saul, they not only spared Agag, but the best of the sheep, oxen, fatlings, and lambs and all that was good. They were going by their five (5) senses, not by Godís revelation. GOD SAID IN VERSE THREE (3) "UTTERLY DESTROY ALL THAT THEY HAVE". Why did God say this? Because God knew that ALL the spoil, without exception, was infiltrated with devil spirits. Thatís why. God was trying to protect Saul, but Saul had other ideas. God never oversteps a manís free will. When things go wrong, it is because we CHOOSE not to listen to God Ė not to keep Him first. Thatís what Saul did.

As a result of Saulís disobedience, God went to speak to his man of God, Samuel, because He knew Samuel would listen to him.

I Samuel 15: 10, 11 Ė Then came the word of the Lord unto Samuel, saying, It repenteth me [God felt sorry for the people] that I have set up Saul to beking: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the Lord all night.

Do you see how much God loves His people? He is always trying to help us if only we would listen and keep Him first.God said that Saul turned his back on Him. Look at the effect on Samuel. He cried unto God all night. Isnít this amazing? I have people that I poured my heart out to with Godís Word and they did the same to me. I remember how many sleepless nights I had being filled with grief for people that were tricked into turning their back on God. Anymore, when God tells me ahead of time about someone who will blow hot for a while and then blow cold, I am ready. I donít get hurt anymore. Believe it or not, you only get hurt when you ALLOW yourself to be hurt. Donít forget that. What happens to those people? Eventually everything gets subtracted from them.

** Please read verse 12.

When it comes to keeping God first, many times we lie and we deny any guilt as Saul did in verse thirteen (13).

I Samuel 15: 13 Ė And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed bethou of the Lord: I have performed the commandment of the Lord.

You cannot fool God and you cannot fool a true prophet of God like Samuel.

I Samuel 15: 14 Ė And Samuel said, What meaneththen this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?

The commandment of the Lord was to "utterly destroy all that they have" (verse three), yet Saul clearly disobeyed God. Saul tells Samuel that he obeyed God, yet Samuel can hear the sheep and the oxen! God never makes us do anything where we will appear foolish, but we can surely make ourselves look foolish.

So what is the first thing we do when we are not keeping God first?

1.We deny any guilt and try to justify our actions.

I Samuel 15: 15 Ė And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.

Saul is telling Samuel that this was done "for a good reason" (to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God). So Saul is trying to belittle the error. Can you imagine how Samuel felt having to listen to all of Saulís nonsense?

So what is the second thing we do when we are not keeping God first?

2.We belittle our error and again, try to justify our actions.

** You need to CAREFULLY read verses 16 to 20.

In verse 16, Samuel told Saul to sit down because he wanted to have a heart to heart talk with Saul. Saul was more than willing. In verse 17, Samuel reminded Saul that when Saul was a young man, God appointed him to be head over the tribes of Israel and king over Israel. Samuel was trying to get to Saulís heart and possibly solve the problems, but to no avail. In verse 18, Samuel once again reminds Saul of the mission God had sent him on Ė to utterly destroy all the sinners and the Amalekites. In verse 19, Samuel confronts Saul and says, ĎWhy didnít you obey the voice of the Lord?í ĎInstead, you took the spoil and did evil in the sight of the Lord.í

Now watch what Saul says in verse 20:

Saul answers Samuel and says: ĎI have obeyed the voice of the Lord and destroyed the Amalekites. He does say that he brought Agag, the king of the Amalekites. You can get out of fellowship for so long that you start believing your own lies! Saul knew that he was to also destroy Agag and yet he told Samuel that he obeyed Godís voice. Saul was still trying to make a futile attempt to deny any guilt. Watch what he tells Samuel in the next verse:

I Samuel 15: 21 Ė But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in Gilgal.

So what is the third thing we do when we are not keeping God first?

3.We shift the blame to others.

I Samuel 15: 22 Ė And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as greatdelight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey isbetter than sacrifice, andto hearken than the fat of rams.

In essence Samuel is saying, Whatís more important to God? Going to church on Sunday morning and sneaking a smoke in the back lobby, or studying the Bible and applying it in your life? Itís best to do Godís Will than to follow menís traditions.

I Samuel 15: 23 Ė For rebellion [against the Word of God] is asthe sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is asiniquity and idolatry. Because thou has rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee [Saul] from beingking.

I Samuel 15: 24 Ė And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.

Now I want you to watch this carefully. Saul finally admits his guilt BUT it was because he "feared the people." Give me a break. But I must admit that many people will not keep God first because they do Ďfear the peopleí. They fear what the neighbors may think, what their fellow-workers may think, what their family may think and on and on. Fear, in itís least common denominator, is the believerís only enemy.

So what is the fourth thing we do when we are not keeping God first?

4.We admit the guilt BUT "because of others."

** Please read the remainder of the Chapter.

You will see that Saul wanted his sin pardoned, but God wasnít about to fall for it. God knew Saulís heart and did not take him back. Also, Samuel, by revelation, knew that Saul was lying. God had taken the kingdom from Saul and given it to another "better than thou." In verse 31, Saulís heart was still not right and his prayer to God was not answered. In the meantime, Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before God. God was sorry for the people that he had made Saul king over Israel, but now all that was changed.

So there we have it, the four (4) main reasons that we use to not keep God first in our lives. Do you fall under any one of these categories?

Letís close with a few of Godís 900+ promises and remember: When you want to keep God first, YOU MUST ACT FIRST, then you will see results.

Jeremiah 7: 23 Ė But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.

Surely to live by Matthew 6: 33 is obeying Godís voice and results in walking in all the ways that God commands resulting in the manifestation of the more than abundant life.

Matthew 6: 33 -- But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

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