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As we begin Day 22 we are going to uncover how we should prioritize our life. Some reading this might feel that this is a pretty radical change in their life. In life, no matter the age, you have priorities, meaning you have things that you place a greater importance on than others. This could be family, relationships, careers, school, or sports, but everyone is different depending on what you value the most in your life currently. In different seasons of life, our priorities do change, but specifically when we accept Christ in our lives, there is a calling to reprioritize what we value most.
From the beginning of time, it has always been about God. He wants to be the number one priority in our lives. God created us, and as we have learned, He desires us to be in fellowship with Him. If we go back to the Old Testament, we can see this very clearly.

Exodus 20:3  "You shall have no other gods before me."

Deuteronomy 6:5  "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength."

Just from these few passages, we can see there is a call for humans to have this "complete devotion" to God. Since we know what scripture says, how do we know what is required by the believer? That is what I want to dive into next.

Idols In Our Life

What are idols? An idol is a pagan and material effigy that is worshiped as a representation or instead of a deity. So in simpler terms, an idol is anything we worship and place a higher value on over God. This could mean pagan idol(s) or as the bible references it the "gods" of this world. In Deuteronomy 6:14 it says, "Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you."  This is speaking directly to the world religions.
I think it's important to note that within this same line of thinking, sorcery, and fortune-telling would also need to be considered idol worship. Deuteronomy 18:10-11 "Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead."
In addition, I want to make you aware that this would include astrology. In Isaiah 47:13-14 it says, "All the counsel you have received has only worn you out! Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you. 14 Surely they are like stubble; the fire will burn them up." This verse is referencing a judgment being passed against those who practice this type of worship.

The last point on this topic that I want to make is we can make idols out of anything in our lives. Whatever we give the most value and credibility to can be idols. As an example:

- When a mother makes her children her world and nothing else matters.
- The athlete who places a priority on perfecting that sport to a point where he drowns out all distractions in his or her life.
- The man who values his worth by the money he makes, and places his focus and attention solely on his bank account.  
- The musician that plays and practices, he or she eats, sleeps, and lives music.

I already know what you are thinking, "Some of these things are not that bad," and you are right. If these desires are rightly prioritized within us, they are not bad. It is not bad to be a great mom and love your family well. It's not bad to have a desire and passion to play a sport or music and be amazing at it. There is nothing wrong with providing for yourself and your family financially. We just have to make sure that these do not become idols in our lives. The sinful nature tends to place everything but God in its rightful spot. Remember, it is God who gives us the ability to have and care for our children. It is God who makes us healthy enough to play sports or music, or to make money. It is all His anyway! He created all these things, so be careful not to worship the gifts that the gift giver gave to you. I encourage you to be very careful in what you worship in your life and place your Savior, our God, at the top of the priority list.

A Radical Commitment

I would ask you to please read Luke 14:25-35 at this time.
Luke 14 is a strong call that might make you question Jesus on what He is saying. I wanted to bring this scripture to you now, so later in your journey with God you won't be caught off guard by it, and we can process it now. To really follow Jesus takes a radical commitment. This scripture points out the reality of the following ideas:
  • Your love and commitment towards God should not have any equals,
  • There is a cost to truly follow Jesus. 
  • We must constantly gauge how we're prioritizing God in our lives.

The biggest thing that caught my attention when I first read this was the word “hate”. At first, I didn't understand why Jesus would use such strong language, especially towards the family. It honestly caused me some confusion. Over a period of researching and asking questions about why the word "hate" was used, I gathered two important takeaways. First, I truly believe Jesus wanted them to have a deep sense of "introspection.” Introspection means examining one's thoughts and feelings, or "soul-searching." This forced not only His disciples at that moment, but the crowd as well to look deep inside, to see if their loyalty was to God or man. It purified their hearts' attentions toward God and made them examine if they were really "all-in.” To this day, Jesus's words from this passage still have the same effect on us today. It puts a pause within us, to reflect on our commitment to Him.
Secondly, Jesus is using the word "hate" to show a strong separation between our earthly relationships and our relationship with God. Our love for God should be on an entirely different level than our current love for family, life, and material possessions. Also, you will be able to love those around you like you never have before. You will see them through the lens of Christ. The same goes for your life and possessions as well. Through radical commitment, a real transformation takes place within our mind in how we view God and life. When you have a radical commitment, you are trusting Jesus above all things, and nothing holds a higher value in your life. For most people, there are four main priorities: family, friends, career, and possessions. Shouldn't these things come secondary to the One who gave you all these wonderful gifts in the first place? Following Jesus is a true sacrifice, but in return, we will have life, and we will experience it to the fullest (John 10:10).


Ephesians 5:8-11
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

Today's Questions

Additional Resources

Book - Shepherds Notes: The Cost of Discipleship
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer : Click Here