I thank God every day that I work for a company where, on Monday mornings, our CEO has allowed for a short time of worship and devotional to help start our week well. Imagine that—we're actually getting paid to worship God!
While many might see this as a tremendous blessing and privilege—which undoubtedly it is—it is also a reminder of our obligation to keep God No. 1 in every area of our life. It is an ideal that has taken me a lot longer to embrace than I care to admit.
I've worked at Charisma Media for nearly 3 1/2 years, and it's only been in the last couple of months that I've begun to come to Monday morning worship on a regular basis. It took the prompting of the Holy Spirit—and our publisher Dr. Steve Greene—to remind me that any work I may have is secondary to honoring God. Any deadlines I may have will keep. God won't.
It's all about priorities, Dr. Greene says with conviction.
You don't have to tell me 100 times—maybe only 99.
Although I may have gone to church the previous day, it's always a blessing to praise and worship God more on Monday. I've now made it a priority to attend, and my obedience has paid off handsomely as my Mondays do not seem so overwhelming.
Chances are, if you're reading this, you're like me in that you want to experience God's love, peace and joy every day and to walk and live habitually for Him. But what does that look like?
Joyce Meyer tell us that, "the key to having God's 'abundant life' is keeping Him in His rightful place in our priorities." According to Genesis 17:1, we are to "walk and live habitually" before God and be blameless, wholehearted and complete.
We can do this by establishing daily habits of prayer, worship and consistently spending time in His Word. We can do this by recognizing the distractions and idols in our lives. Idol is a blunt word, but anything that comes before God is an idol, according to the First Commandment. The sooner most of us—including myself—realize this, the sooner we can enjoy God's "abundant life."
I don't wish to use a draconian tone, but we need to eradicate the idols from our lives and stop chasing the quixotic things of this world.
My dear sister in Christ and our senior editor, Jennifer LeClaire, wrote recently that she heard the Lord say: "Millions die and go to hell every day because My people who are called by My name are not about My business. ... I am looking for those in this hour who will look up instead of looking back; who will cry out; who will press in; who will determine in their hearts to see My kingdom come and My will done on the earth—in your cities and families—as it is in heaven."
Unlike us at Charisma Media, most of you are not afforded the opportunity to worship God during work hours. But there is an alternative. Commit to God the first fruits of your week by praying and worshiping Him before you go work each Monday morning. Do a shorter version every morning. As you live to please God, He promises to bless your life.
I'm sure many of you have heard this many times before. But I speak from my heart when I say that nothing in this world, not even your family, can fill the emptiness that exists when God is low on your priority list. "Draw near to him, and He will draw near to you" (James 4:8).
And as I always like to say, "there is that."
Shawn A. Akers is the online managing editor at Charisma Media. He is a published poet and published a story about Dale Earnhardt in NASCAR Chicken Soup for the Soul. You can read his blog here. To sign up for his newsletter, "Step Out of the Boat," and other Charisma newsletters, click here. You can also listen to his podcasts, the Javelin Sports Show, on the Charisma Podcast Network.
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