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God and Priority Lists?

(by “got worship?” contributor Justin Mulder)

checklistI have been asked to speak at a camp on worship and making God the top priority in our lives, but it got me thinking. Should God be first in our lives, or should He be the center? and is there even a difference?"

When we think about God being first in our lives, we usually have a list in mind. We put God first because it’s the right (religious) thing to do but is it true? Surely the amount of time we spend on something is a reflection of it’s importance and the priority it actually holds in our lives.

If that is true and we are honest with ourselves then God doesn’t come close to first on my priority list, work would most certainly be first as I spend on average 10 hours a day at work. That poses a real problem for me as then I can’t fit in my neat little box.

Here’s another problem I have with the priority list. I have a tendency to check this off my list, so I start at 1 and do that and then move onto 2 and so on. So when it comes to God, is it right to check Him off your list? That sounds weird but how often don’t our devotions end up like that, by 11 am what we read is a distant memory.

As I have thought about the problem I think it is caused by our "Western" habit of compartmentalizing our lives, placing each area of our lives into a neat compartment where it is safely contained, under control and not touching any other area. Makes me think of the Titanic with all those compartments in her hull which we supposed to keep her afloat, and yet she still sank.

So let’s look at what I believe to be a possible answer to this question, making God the center of our lives.

If you have ever been in the room of a baby you will have seen one of those mobile’s hanging above the bed or crib. At the center is the motor that makes everything go around, while little dolphins, teddy bears, elephants or other bright and cuddly toys dangle from arms which radiate from the center.

sunOr what about our galaxy, for years humans thought the world was the center of  our galaxy, which later turned out to wrong, it was in fact the sun. The sun fills our galaxy with light is the defining factor in our little suburb in the solar system.

What happens when we place God at the center of our lives and as Charlie Hall says wrap our lives around Him. For one thing there is no compartmentalizing of our lives as each areas is allowed to receive it’s full share of the sun. It speaks to me of allowing God to directly touch and influence every area of our lives.

Another idea I had was one about control vs priorities. When we allow God to be the center of our lives we are giving Him control and the right to change things up. Whereas when we just make Him the 1st on a list of priorities there seems to be a sense in which we reduce Him to a religious activity or task and still retain control over our own lives.

Anyway that’s what’s going on in my head, how about yours?

I am a worship leader in South Africa. I currently head up the worship ministry for a Vineyard church plant called The Edge. I was in the ministry full-time for 9 years, which also included planting a church in Southern California. Currently I am tent-making, teaching I.T. at a private Christian school. I am passionate about worship especially when it touches every area of our lives, when we take it to the streets. Lastly I am also a drummer and played with a legendary group of people called "The Benjamin Gate". Eventually I left them because the law of averages says that "eventually all drummers will spontaneously combust or fall victim to a bizarre gardening accident." Ha ha…