Putting God First


Psalm 27:1 NIV
Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain.  Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.

Did you know that in 1800, Congress approved the use of the just-completed capitol structure as a church building with worship services to be held each Sunday?  President Thomas Jefferson not only attended the services but requested that the Marine Band play at the services. By 1867, this church was the largest church in Washington D.C. with up to 2,000 people attending weekly.  Our founders understood that the Lord had to build the house of our nation and unashamedly allowed the worship of God in our federal buildings. They put God first.

Our own homes can be built by God this way, too. Joshua 24:15 is a great scripture to consider: 

And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” 

When we decide that “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,” we are allowing the Lord to build our house. But how do we do this? Do we become shut-ins that can’t interact with the outside world? That doesn’t sound appealing to me. No, this scripture simply means to allow God to be a part of all you do. Include Him in your daily life. As we put God and His word first in our lives, He shows us the balance. Our priorities will become more clear. He’ll begin to show us better ways to spend our time, and perhaps areas of our life that aren’t as profitable as we once thought. He’ll give us shortcuts and creative ideas. He’ll bless our relationships and help us love others well so we won’t waste time with strife. He’ll simply guide us and build the foundations of a godly life around us. 

Laboring in vain simply means doing things our way. I’d rather let the Lord build my house than work in vain…it’s exciting to live in a house that the Lord builds!

Action steps

  1. Read - Re-read Psalm 27:1 and Joshua 24:15
  2. Think - Ask yourself if there are any areas of your life where you haven’t put God first. Any area where you still do things your way.
  3. Write - If you discovered some area that are still primarily under your control, write about how that area of your life could be transformed. For example, do you “barrel through” making decisions without considering connecting with God about it first?
  4. Pray - Ask God to show you where you haven’t let Him in as much as He would like.
  5. Take away - It is a choice to build your life God's way.  Throughout the day stop and ask yourself who's building your life right now, and take the time to connect with God.
God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? ... Without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel.
— Benjamin Franklin – signer of the Declaration of Independence