First Things First

A rule for life.

So teach us to count our days that we may gain a wise heart.
Psalm 90:12 NRSV

Ordained order.

Photo by William Warby on Unsplash

God, from the beginning, ordained an order to creation. Not only an order of creation, but an order for His creatures to live by. A way to order our lives. number our days. make them count.

When we recognize His ordained way. His order, under His authority, we bring order to our lives. It begins on the inside and works its way into our daily living on the outside.

Coming under His authority helps us determine priorities and ensures peace in the living out of our days as we find rest in His order of doing things.

By letting God establish the order of our days we are sure to number them rightly.

First things first.

In the beginning, God created man and established relationship with him. He placed him in a garden where he would live and work, have abundant life, as long as he kept the one rule: Eat from all the trees, but NOT from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

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The first order of all things, man’s relationship with God.

Next. God saw it was not good for man to be alone. Even though he was with God and many animals, he didn’t have one of his own kind for company. Instead of beginning again, with a new mound of dust, God made a companion for the man from his rib. Someone to come alongside him as one.

God provided woman. A wife for the man. The two together — male and female — making one whole person. And family became second in the created order.

After being made male and female, then God gave man a mission. Go forth and multiply, fill the earth, and rule over its creatures. The business and ministry of God came third in the order of things.

An established order for life. peace. rest.

An order repeated. 

It’s an order for life He established to be repeated over and over again by His people as we live out our days.

I watched Him establish this same order in my life as my relationship with Christ grew. The establishing of order setting clear priorities for the numbering of my days.

First, He captured my heart. In a moment I was no longer mine but His. I entered covenant relationship with the Father through Jesus by way of the Holy Spirit. A way of life.

As I came to know God, made Him first in my heart, He set about reordering my relationship with my husband. He knows it’s not good for us to be alone, and at the time I began walking with Him I was married with three children. 

In the tumult of my marriage and the busyness three preschoolers create, this stay-at-home mom got a lesson in the proper order of life. With God first, He showed me my relationship with my husband came next. A relationship God uses as a picture of His relationship with the church (Ephesians 5:22–33).

Finally, as I lived in this ordained way of life — God first, husband and family next — He then introduced opportunities for ministry. Began to lead me into the work He planned for me.

An ordained life in Christ finds its order in relationships. First God, then spouse and family, and finally the work God provides.

Temptation to dis-order.

There is always temptation to dis His order. When we believe the things we do are more important than who we are in relationship to one another. When we think God doesn’t understand how much time and energy it takes to do what He’s called us to and our roles at home must be put on the back burner. 

These temptations come from disordered hearts. 
Hearts blind to their first mission field: home. 
Hearts trusting in their own understanding and wisdom.
Hearts believing they don’t really need Him to direct their days. 
After all He trusted us with important work! 

In dissing His order, neglecting the priorities He established in the beginning, we bring disorder and chaos, division and stress, into our lives and the lives of those around us.

His ordained order, I believe, is for all His people. It is reliable wisdom with which to number our days.

Wisdom to live by.

When I recognized this order He established in my life, I came to rely on it as my rule for life. 

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Whenever opportunities or choices arise, the first thing I ask: Is this what God wants? Will this disrupt my relationship with Him?

Next, I see where my husband and family fall in line with the decision being made. Asking my husband if he is alright with me stepping into something new. Consider whether it is something which may take too much time from family and home.

Then, whatever ministry or work He brings into my life, I set it firmly in third place.

But it is interesting how quickly “work” tries to move up the list, vie for second or even first place, rather than be content in third.

I made a decision to set my role as small group leader firmly in the third place spot. So, when my husband’s birthday landed on a night we were to meet, I chose to spend the evening with my husband and asked someone else to lead. 

Sounds like an easy, reasonable choice to make, but guilt crept in as I spent time honoring my husband. These feelings based on lies caused an internal battle. Another choice to make, I rested in God’s plan, the order He set for life in the beginning.

Affirmation of my choosing His way came in the form of an email from my small group. A blessing and encouragement I probably wouldn’t have received if I had disordered God’s way. I praised Him for His work in my life and in the group.

Trust His way.

When we choose to order our days according to His plan it ensures peace and rest. Peace in making decisions less difficult and rest in knowing His way is best.

Will there be battles from time to time?
Yes.
Will they be worth the fight to keep His order?
Absolutely.

He established order in the beginning. Our coming out from under His order set the world on a course hell-bent on destruction. Let’s put order back into our personal worlds. stop the chaos. bring a way of rest into your life.

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Putting first things first. We are sure to number our days aright, make them count, and gain a heart of wisdom.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV


Do you have an order for your days? What is it? How do you set priorities?

Do you experience peace in the numbering of your days?

Are you at rest with the decisions made in establishing priorities?

Un-rest and dis-ease are signs of a disordered life. Compare your way to His. Consider reordering your days. Ask Him to bless you with a heart of wisdom to move toward His ordained way of life. Amen. Let it be so.

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