Priorities; October 27, 2019


Proverbs 21:21 He who pursues righteousness and love
finds life, prosperity and honor.

It’s interesting to me how many verses in Proverbs bring to mind Jesus’ famous statement in Matthew 6:33. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” If we seek things according to God’s priorities, then we gain what we think we want on top of that. The Japanese here says “sincerity” rather than “love,” and “righteousness” rather than “prosperity,” but the impact is the same. Our minds and bodies think we need and want all sorts of things, but if we choose to make the things of God our first priority, it’s amazing how things straighten out. That’s a good thing, too, because our physical and emotional desires are clearly temporal, affecting us on this earth, whereas the things of God are eternal, valid for this life and the next. David rightly recognized that God’s love is better than physical life itself, (Psalm 63:3) and we do well to remember that ourselves. Advertising is designed to generate feelings of need, and the devil is a master “ad man.” Just as succumbing to commercial advertising can bankrupt us financially, succumbing to the devil’s “ads” will certainly bankrupt us spiritually. In both cases it takes a clear mind and heart to choose what is real and good, and let go of everything else.

This certainly applies to me as much as it does to anyone else. I am uninterested in a lot of the stuff the world chases after, but I am just as human by nature as anyone else. I’ve got to choose to have Jesus’ attitude, as Paul tells us so powerfully in Philippians 2:5-8. I am to seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness on every level, not allowing myself to be distracted by all the glitter – or the trials – the devil tries to use to get my attention. I have tasted enough of the goodness of God that you would think I would be immune to other things, but that’s sadly not the case. I am daily dependent on the Holy Spirit to guard and guide my heart and mind. If I fail to remember that, I am at risk of going wildly astray, and I certainly don’t want that.

Father, thank You for this reminder. I need it more often than I realize. As Cathy’s dream in the night demonstrated, we are very much at war, and our enemy never “plays fair.” Help us both put on and keep on Your whole armor, (Ephesians 6:13-18) and stay submitted to You, so that the devil may indeed flee (James 4:7) and Your kingdom be established, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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