First Things First

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I wake up worrying. 
It never fails. 
My alarm goes off and the first thing I’m already thinking is, “Did I get enough sleep?” 
“Well, what if I’m grouchy the rest of the day?” 
“I should’ve gotten more sleep, this is going to affect my health.” 
“Wait, did I do that thing I was supposed to do by tomorrow?” 
“Man, now I’m going to have to do that sometime today. But what if I don’t have time?” 
“What about all the other things I have to do?” 
… Anyone else feel like this? 
Some days I just wake up smiling and the world couldn’t feel more peaceful, but to be honest, most of the time I find myself worrying about the silliest things. 
And here’s what I’ve noticed . . .
Worry robs us of the life Jesus has given to us. 

We were not created to live a life filled with worry and fear, rather we were created with a purpose and a plan – which we can never fulfill if we are constantly concerned about all these other things going on in our lives. 
Jesus says in Matthew 5:16, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” 
This is what’s at stake when it comes to our worry: when we are defined by worry, the light that is within us is veiled
And because it covers up and consumes us, others cannot see the work that Christ has done and is doing within us.

Worry reveals misplaced priorities.

This basically means that we have a “lordship” issue. Who’s in charge of your life? 
If Christ is in charge of your life than worry will not be your issue; however, the minute you try to take control of your own life worry will always be your master. 
Paul says in Matthew 6:25, “Therefore do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” 
Jesus gives this to us as a command
He says, ” … do not worry … ” 
He knows what we need and will always provide for us! We don’t need to do this alone – and quite honestly, we can’t. I can attest to that.
He is telling us to trust Him because He knows what we need. 

Hardships will happen.

If you are governing your life alone you have every reason to be worried. But with Christ you have an advocate – someone who already knows the bigger plan and exactly what you need. 
The problem we face is successfully rejecting the thought that, “This is my life,” because it’s not. This life is not my own – it’s God’s. He gave me life – He created me – so therefore, is not my own.
Jesus explains this more to His disciples in Matthew 6:26-27, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” 

We don’t understand how valuable we are to our Creator.

Jesus goes on to tell us how special we are to our Creator in Matthew 6:28-30, “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will He not much more clothe you – you of little faith?” 
Jesus loves us! I think that we too often forget how much He truly loves and cares for us! So much so that He sent His only Son to die for our sins – for our imperfections. 
Because we are sinful and therefore imperfect, we cannot be mixed with a perfect God – because the result would be imperfection. But because He loves us so much He sent His Son, Jesus, to die on a cross to pay for our sins so that we would become perfect and be able to spend eternity with Him. 
Although Jesus isn’t saying that it’s wrong to sow and reap and store away in barns, because the early bird positions himself to have provision, but what we need to grasp is that He’s saying that but it’s not based on our effort, but His provision. 
This is where the arrogance creeps in. 
We start to think . . . 
“This is my life” 
“This is my doing” 
I’m achieving” 
I’m accumulating” 
I’m succeeding” 
“So therefore I’m the lord of my life and I can handle this.” 
But what we need to understand is that all of our provision comes from Christ. 
When we recognize this we find incredible freedom! 
It’s tremendously important to surround yourself with people who are like minded and encourage you to seek the Lord. 
Remember that saying, “Birds of a feather flock together?” 
If you have worrisome people in your close circle you will become worrisome. 
And likewise, 
If you have encouraging, Christ-like people in your close circle you begin to rest in Christ.

First things first puts worry in its place. 
I think what Jesus is really trying to say in Matthew 6, is “first things first,” put worry in its place. 
Worry has no place in your life. 
“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” – Matthew 6:31-33
If we truly seek Him first, then nothing else will matter! How great is that?? 
Although it’s hard sometimes to fight through our habits of trying to take over and do it our own way, it’s so important to remember to put Christ first. 

Today, I encourage you to start praying and seeking Christ first at the beginning of your day so that worry will have no place in your life and so that it will not veil the light and the joy you have in Christ Jesus.