What Is First With You?

Written by Frank Jamerson.

The attack on the World Trade Center September 11 has provoked many Americans to re-evaluate their  priorities

While recently traveling to some gospel meetings with my wife, I read an article entitled “American Workers Rethink Priorities” in USA Today (October 4, 2001). Concerning the priorities of American workers since the September 11 attacks by terrorists, Stephanie Armour wrote, “Americans are back at work, but something fundamental has changed.” She explained that the attacks had “jolted people around the country into re-evaluating choices they’ve made about their jobs, family, and career choices.” Some specific cases, based on interviews, were then described. Quotations from employers, employees, religious leaders, and grief counselors appear in the the article.

The writing of human history and the experiences of all of us verify that human beings do sometimes have to be jolted back into reality. It is the age-old story of what happened to Israel, after she came into a land handed to her with all the blessings provided by God (Deut. 6 and 8). Even after the Lord’s warning that she not forget the Lord as the Giver of all benefits, she still departed from him. The prophets repeatedly deal with the same development.

Riches somehow lull us into spiritual stupor. Power makes us feel invincible. Leadership stimulates us to forget God as we focus on self. The same three avenues that were used by Satan to lure Adam and Eve away from God are still heavily traveled by people today, with Satan still leading the way (1 John 2:15-17). He also tried the same kinds of attack on the Son of God, but in him he found no reception (Matt. 4). With him the will of the Father came first!

     Whether sent by God or simply used by him for our testing, the events of recent weeks ought to wake us all up. The spiritual indifference that has plagued our land in recent decades must end if God spares us from destruction (Prov. 14:34). Just as the Lord sometimes sent partial judgments (destroying 1/3 or some part of the land of crops) on ancient nations or cities to alert them to the need to repent, so he might be trying to gain our attention.

The priorities of American workers before the attacks and after them do say something, if not enough, has changed.

Before Sept. 11               After Sept. 11

1. Career                        1. Family

2. Heart                          2. Heart

3. Wealth                       3. God

4. Health                        4. Health

5. Family                        5. Country

6. Home                         6. Home

7. God                           7. Career

8. Country                     8. Wealth

Careers have certainly come more into proper perspective, haven’t they? Family is now more important, as it ought to be . Wealth has also changed for the better. Observe, however, that the improvement of God’s ranking is not nearly good enough. He must have first place if anything else is going to fit into its proper place (Deut. 6:4-6; Matt. 6:33). Apart from the right ranking of God, nothing will ever be right. Whatever rules our lives becomes our God, whether family or career; nothing deserves the place of God except God! When he is in his rightful place, all will be right with the world.

Do you see yourself in these two comparative sets of priorities? Where? Has your judgment in such matters improved in recent weeks? Where does God come with you? Really?

-Written by Bobby Graham, in Biblical Insights, Sept., 2002.

Note: I do not believe that God sent or willed that evil men carry out such a wicked deed on innocent people, but He may well use those events to bring people to their senses. We can become self-sufficient and even think that we control our destinies, but when some tragedy comes, we realize just how helpless we really are. Human nature has not changed. Men have learned no new ways to sin, the devil still works in men who do not respect God, and material prosperity still causes men to feel self-sufficient.

We should use spiritual awakening as an opportunity to present Christ to man.

© 2013 - - All Rights Reserved!