And Samuel said to all the house of Israel, “If you are returning to the LORD with all your heart, then put away the foreign gods and the idols from among you and direct your heart to the LORD and serve him – I Samuel 7:3
God is very interested in keeping his promises, and God is also very interested in the disposition of your heart. When God made promises with the nation of Israel, He said, “You are to love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.” What God is saying to Israel is, “If you’ll do that – if you’ll put Me first in everything you do – if you’ll put Me first when you bring in crops, and you put Me first when your livestock multiplies. If you’ll put Me first when you have children, if you’ll put Me first when you go to battle.” God said, “If you put Me first in just the smallest ways – if you’ll put Me first in your life, I will multiply blessing upon blessing behind you, as long as I’m first.”
All throughout history, God has always called his people to make a decision about who’s going to be first in their life. One of the problems that we find was happening in the nation of Israel is that they were in no way, shape, or form putting God first in their life. What they did think was that they could put God in a box and take him out whenever they needed him to benefit their own agenda. They began this pattern of thinking that, “Well, listen. God’s in a box in the ark. I’m gonna go do whatever I wanna do, and then when we need God, we can bring God in a box, and take God out of the box, and then God will do whatever we need Him to do.” How many of you know you can’t keep God in a box? We know we can’t do that, but I think maybe sometimes today we still try to put God in a box.
We probably would never articulate it that way. And we may not even realize we are doing it, but how many of us have made decisions and choices to do life our way, and then when things crash and burn, we say, “God, where are you?” Without making a conscious choice to do so, we seek to put God in this box of religious activities, then when we need Him to save us, we can pull Him out and ask for His help and blessing.
the Bible makes it really clear that there will always be competing desires in our heart. The desire isn’t the issue; it’s what you decide to do that makes a difference. Honor is a decision, not a desire. A lot of people say that they want to do something, but they never do it. A lot of people say they want to stop something, but they never stop it. A lot of people say, “I wish,” but they never do. The things you choose to honor are the things which will carry the most weight in your life. The things you honor are the things in your life that you value, or consider important. Choosing to love God first and highest in your life will inevitably demand that we make other things second.
You may find yourself at a crossroad, faced with a decision on any number of things; family, relationships, money. What you honor first demonstrates what you love the most. If you love God with all of our heart and soul and strength, it will be reflected by the choices that you make.