Your Relationship with God – It may sound generic but just think about it. We spend time with our co-workers, friends and even family on a daily basis and yet none of them will have a greater impact in our lives than God. It’s amazing that so many of us will go through an entire day and won’t even give God a mere thought. I’m guilty of this myself, especially when I’m overwhelmed with “stuff” of life. It’s the “stuff” that ends up being the best tool of the devil because that’s where he creates chaos in our hearts and minds.
The irony: God constantly tells us to remain calm, still and have peace in Him OR the opposite of chaos. When we bring God into our daily thoughts, decisions and conversations then we not only have the power to calm the storms but the “stuff” of life takes on new life and no longer becomes your burden but instead your opportunity to see how God can work in you to change your attitude of the highs and lows of life. Matthew 6:33 says “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you”. ESV
- Your Relationship with your Spouse – Another Cliché right? Wrong? If you want the devil to wreak havoc in your life then just let him build a wedge between you and your spouse. Remember he’s always trying to ruin your life and I believe that his biggest tool to accomplish his goal is to turn marriage into mayhem. He uses our past, our parents’ marriage, our personalities, our fear, our anxieties, our habits, hang-ups and hurts. He uses tools like Facebook, friends, media, money and even our own children to create the “problems” in our marriages. Here’s the deal…Satan has launched an all-out war on your marriage – yes your marriage! When you fight in a war with Satan, the way you win is to follow #1 above (Your Relationship with God) and constantly engage the enemy with one thing he has no power over – Jesus Christ! Not to say that Satan doesn’t sneak in the occasional sucker punch but remember we’re at war here and the enemy is going to sting you when he can but it’s so important to not let him win the War especially when you are on the winning army! For Reference read Eph 5:22-33 – Good stuff on how to work together to win the war.
- Your Relationship with your Kids – This is one of those suggestions that we all agree upon and yet very few do that good of job of. However there are some that actually take this one and place it above #1 and #2 above which causes other issues that can affect our children’s lives in negative ways. That’s for another blog! I’m really addressing the parents who have made their kids a third of fourth priority in their lives and didn’t even try to. It’s a more common issue than you might think and for years some of the worst culprits have been pastors. Yeah – the same people who preach God and Family first…go figure! I probably can’t nail down all the reasons this happens but I think one of the biggest reasons is that our energy and passion will go to the things that bring us the most satisfaction, glory and confidence. With kids, we often have mixed satisfaction, very little glory and high and low confidence cycles. This is unstable and I believe hard to always want to pursue. We want to feel successful, appreciated and confident don’t we? As a parent, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt like a total failure. Now on the other hand, as a pastor you can get a lot of satisfaction, praise and confidence boosts from church attendees. In fact, I would say that most pastors feed their desire to stay in ministry from that very source. I think in general people often get a lot of satisfaction from all kinds of outside things like their job, their recreational sports, their friends, their hobbies, their media, their interests, etc. All of those things are great but they can’t leave an impact or legacy like your kids can. In addition, none of those things are going to love your kids as much as you do so give your kids the devotion they deserve and what God expects us to give them. Check out Deuteronomy 6:4-9 for reference.
Love God and Love Others but make sure that certain others (Wife and Kids) are a priority.
By the way, I’m preaching to myself here so if you’re all good on the above info then please never mind me and keep on keeping on!