Column — Place God above all things

Published 8:00 am Saturday, January 2, 2021

With a new year just around the corner, we need to hold on to God above all things. From bad habits to past failures, personal wants to wrong ways of handling thing, stuff we own to people we love — we need to hold on to God above all things.

We have missed this over the years. The more valuable the treasure, the tighter our grip, and the more difficult it is to release. Whether it be possessions, vocations, dreams and interests, even our relationships — we have placed stuff ahead of God. We hold on to items or people more than God. Now, some of these things are important and we need them. They’re valuable and treasured, and there’s nothing wrong with them until we cling too tightly and sacrifice too much to attain and retain. All of them can threaten to compromise our relationship with God if we treasure them above Him.

What we put ahead of God, God will ask us to release. God knows exactly what treasure has captured our hearts. God knows exactly what priority you have placed HIM. God knows exactly where worship and time spent growing in Him with others stands in our lives. Jesus teaches that we cannot serve two masters and said, whoever wants to be His disciple must love God over and above anything, including, money, family, relationships and even our own lives. God wants us to regularly check our hearts and loosen our grip on anything we are treasuring more than Him.

Corrie Ten Boom said, “I’ve learned that we must hold everything loosely, because when I grip it tightly, it hurts when the Father pries my fingers loose and takes it from me.” Missionary, Jim Elliot three years before being martyred wrote, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Whatever we put ahead of God, God will ask us to release — but whatever we release, God will replace with something or someone far more valuable. The biggest tests of faith often deal with trusting God and obeying Him in releasing our hold of something.

God. Comes. First.

In Mark 10, Peter told Jesus, “We have left everything to follow you!” Look this story up in Mark 10:17-31 and see Jesus’ response. Anything we have placed ahead of God, anything which we feel we must let go, God will bless us with something to replace it that is far better. As this new year approaches, I pray we prepare our daily walk by placing God first above any and all things. I pray we get out of our own way. I pray we surrender all to Him alone!

Rev. J. Cameron Bailey is pastor of Kenbridge Christian Church. He can be reached at jamescameronbailey@gmail.com.