Putting God first

March 4, 2024 | 27 comments

How do you find time for God when there’s so much to do? is a common refrain voiced by busy people who believe in God but find few moments to pray. Other commitments take priority. How to earn a living, please a boss, empty the inbox, pay the bills, raise a family, nurture relationships, relax a bit after a hard day’s work, and start all over again, leave little room for cultivating spiritual mindedness and feeling close to God, so it would seem. How to lead a God-centered life and still meet the demands of daily living, is a challenge for many.

One solution for incorporating more of the sacred into a daily routine is to understand the blessings that come from knowing God. That God is not a sideshow in life to be entertained or ignored. God is the Main Show! God is the sum and substance of all true existence. Mary Baker Eddy writes, “All reality is in God and His creation, harmonious and eternal.” To understand God, is to understand reality. It is to know what is reliable and certain. She continues, “That which He creates is good, and He makes all that is made” (S&H p. 472). Like a traveler following a map to find a destination, knowing God is the route to all that is good and true.

Jesus Christ understood the benefits of putting God first. His singular devotion to God did not cause him to fall behind in meeting daily demands but gave him mastery over them. Through his steadfast reliance on divine Mind’s intelligence and wisdom, he was able to manage a large group of followers, heal sick people, find food for the hungry, manage threatening weather, pay taxes, protect himself from murderers, and more. When asked what goal was most important to pursue, he answered, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind” (Matt. 22:37, NLT). For Jesus, putting God first was not a distraction from more important activity. It was the most helpful activity.

After graduating from college, I launch into a demanding career and busy personal schedule that leaves little time for spiritual study and prayer. Before long, it is apparent that something is wrong with the course I am pursuing. I end my work week feeling exhausted. I am unhappy with my career choice. I feel stuck in a place I don’t want to be.

To seek out a better life, I examine my priorities and ask some probing questions. “What is going to be most important to me in the long run? Is farming more acres, growing more apples, and earning more money going to make me happy? When I’m ninety years old, and look back over the decades, what will stand out as being most important to me? Will it be material things possessed?” My heart protests “No!” I am longing for something more than mere material goods and worldly success could deliver.

I looked to Jesus Christ for direction. He was a master of the earthly experience. He did not let material demands of the moment pull his thought away from knowing God’s power and presence. He was always in tune with God, always listening and hearing divine direction to know what to do. He gave us a workable model to follow to do the same. He instructed, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need” (Matthew 6:33, NLT).

I saw in Jesus’ life that putting God first does not lead to material lack, but to spiritual abundance. For Jesus, the most important gain was not money or things but spiritual substance coming from God in the form of inspiration, understanding, dominion, ideas, truth and love. He showed that when you have the substance of Spirit, you have the most important substance of all, and your human needs are met too.

I yearned for more spiritual substance in my life.

I was successful in the human endeavors I undertook, but they weren’t bringing me genuine fulfillment. A life filled with spiritual inspiration and heavenly joy is what I wanted—the riches of Spirit that are never lost or left behind.

To gain a happier experience, I take a hard look at Jesus’ words, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me” (Matt. 16:24, NLT). I examine my routine and see an overload of activities crammed into a tight schedule. I need to revise my priorities and make space for quiet time with God, I decide.

To adjust, I drop membership in a club that requires too much of my time. I accept fewer musical gigs. I free up evenings and weekends for hours to spend in prayer. I reduce my material commitments so I can increase my spiritual devotion.

The rewards were monumental. I feel more peace. I feel lighter, and more buoyant. I am happier. It is easier to pray and feel connected to God. My prayers bring quicker healings. Opportunities to pray for others and bring them spiritual healing appear. I soon meet my future wife who proves to be the right match for me. I see my way out of a job I didn’t like, to a career that causes my heart to sing and soar, and still does decades later.

Looking back, what I gave up materially to make room for God, did not lead to the loss of anything I miss later. It allowed me to grow in my understanding of spiritual truth and gain greater spiritual joy and freedom than before. And I never lacked for meeting human needs over the years, as Jesus promised.

If one is looking for groceries, they go to the grocery store. If one needs gas, they drive to the gas station. The same rule applies to finding reliable happiness. If one wants joy that sticks and stays, God is the place to find it! God is Truth. God is Love. God is the source of all enduring goodness.

If facing temptation to seek fulfillment and happiness through the accumulation of material things and worldly success, it’s illuminating to understand that any effect from them is temporal. Money is here today, gone tomorrow. Fame flees. Sensual pleasures evaporate. As the great preacher in the Bible says about seeking success through material means, “Everything is meaningless, completely meaningless! What do people get for all their hard work under the sun?… I observed everything going on under the sun, and really, it is all meaningless—like chasing the wind” (Eccl. 1:2,3,14, NLT).

When seeking the goodness of God above all else, we avoid spending our days “chasing the wind.” Through hard work, we may build an impressive resume and portfolio over the years, which is fine, but when knowing God is a priority, we gain something far more valuable than material accumulation can ever deliver. We gain real spiritual substance—life filled with love, peace, comfort, inspiration, and an understanding of God that leads to eternal life.

Eddy writes, “When we realize that Life is Spirit, never in nor of matter, this understanding will expand into self-completeness, finding all in God, good, and needing no other consciousness” (Science and Health, p. 264:15). To know God is to know goodness, for God is all goodness. There is no higher knowledge to gain, no more inspired consciousness to enjoy. No better place for thought to be.

Putting God first is not about ignoring human needs and risking material want. It’s about knowing God’s goodness that best meets those needs. What we receive from God is the most important gain of all, and it’s ours to enjoy forever.

27 thoughts on “Putting God first”

  1. Such a strong affirmation of the true substance of our being…very many thanks…for this and all your posts. Much gratitude!

  2. Wow! What a wonderful way to start the week with this inspiring and very useful message, Make God number One in our lives and let everything else fall into place naturally and imperatively.

  3. Dear Evan how wonderful to read of your spiritual journey and how grateful we all are for the path you chose!! Your daily messages are an inspiration in teaching us to put God first. Thank you. X

  4. Being 1st Reader for many times, brings such fulfillment, such joy…exactly what you speak of today, Evan. Thank you for expounding on ‘Putting God first’.

  5. Thank you so much Evan. What an uplifting read ! I love the phrase that God is not a sideshow…..He is and must become the centre and circumference of our daily experience.
    Thank you so much for Spirit View and all the spiritual inspiration it reveals.❣️

  6. Thanks Evan, I agree it’s awe-inspiring as I see consequent unfolding goodness when I ask God what I should do. Lovely conversations. Ruth Hilary.

  7. Thanks Evan, I agree it’s awe-inspiring as I see consequent unfolding goodness when I ask God what I should do. Lovely conversations. I’m a different Ruth. Ha ha! Ruth Hilary.

  8. Thank you for this strong affirmation.
    Thank you too for the Spurit View bookmark.
    It’s all Good❣️

  9. Thank you so much for this message/testimony. I definitely needed this today and will share with my friend who also needs to hear this. Thank you too for the Spirit View bookmark.

  10. Such a beautifully inspired SpiritView. Thank you, Evan. Putting God first puts us in a position to see right through the mirage of error into the Truth of being.

  11. Just thinking about this very subject this morning…….putting God first. Thank you so much for this beautiful and inspiring post.❣️

  12. Wow, what an inspiring post today. Clear explanation about putting God first in life. Thanks you so much, Evan

    1. Thank you Evan for sharing your Love-impelled passage,—for the impeccable example you set for us all, and for the many lessons we learn from you. Your post today reinforced my resolve to listen for and obey the nudgings of divine Truth and Love, and to seek first the kingdom of heaven within. God bless you.

  13. Thank you, dear Evan, for taking the time to write such an inspirational and powerful
    message of your demonstration of putting God first. So many wonderful points you
    have mentioned for us all to be aware of. Thank you, also, for including all of us in
    your Spirit View posts that start our day off in the most beautiful and God First way.
    So much appreciated!

  14. Thanks thanks Evan for the Eternal idea, eternal Presence
    Eternal reminder, that is Ike Eddy states, sometimes “ the narrow way to go and understand our spiritual blessings “
    like yu remind us today :”God the One Main show !”

  15. Good subject, thoroughly covered, beautifully told, and ready for publication in the Sentinel or Journal where it will bless even more!

  16. Inspiring, with very practical advice and direction. It’s easy, for me anyways, to sometimes get side-tracked with other thoughts; but things really are calmer and easier when putting God first and aligning thoughts with Him. The core of this site really is all about truth and love, which is what Christian Science is all about.

  17. Thank you Evan! There is a related editorial in the current March 18, 2024 Sentinel “Can we Undistract our Prayer Time?” by Tony Lobl.

  18. Many people make the mistake of thinking that they must somehow find that quiet time to commune with God or there will be no communing. Of course that is very important and desirable, but we can also commune with God WHILE doing all the things mentioned such as paying the bills, doing our work, tending to family obligations, relaxing etc. If I bring God into all these things they are less a chore and more a constant conversation or companioning with Spirit. He wants to be part of everything we “do.” Then maybe we can see we are not the actual doers but the vessel for God’s doing, and that removes a feeling of burden. As Jim so aptly said above, “Make God number One in our lives and let everything else fall into place naturally and imperatively.”

    1. I love your concept, Rose. I had a vet appointment I was required
      to do today and all went well, because along with my sweet dog,
      I also took God’s Love. : ) A fiesty bulldog tried to disturb our peace
      at first but calmed down when my pooch ignored him totally, while
      he was causing a commotion in the front lobby. My wonderful vet,
      who is a really kind soul is always so compassionate and empathetic
      and altho is part owner of the business, doesn’t try to talk me into
      things he knows I don’t want and is very understanding with my way
      of thinking.

    2. Thank you Rose for your insight and sharing. I appreciate being reminded that “we are not the actual doers but the vessel for God’s doing,” God is the doer and our job is to listen to him. I agree with your comment about Jim’s comment which was very well put. And thank you Evan, for sharing your story of putting God first and listening to His directions at all times and communicating with Him in all parts of our lives, no matter where we are in our journey to understanding Him Spirit View is such a blessing.

  19. Dear Evan, I am deeply grateful for this very helpful and wonderful testimony of you in today’s SpiritView. I love to put God first! When I am excited what to do next I sit still praying and listening quietly to God`s advices. In Facebook there was advertised a device to save money for electricity. I was keen to buy that, but I knew very well I had first to listen to God’s advices. And after a while I knew clearly not to buy that device. I can save electricity also without such a costly device. I said deeply thank you dear God! And I say thank you dearly for SpiritView and for Christian Science!:)

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