Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.
—2 Corinthians 5:9
As we consider the First Commandment—“You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3)—let me ask you an all-important question: Is God central in your life?
Pastor and author Bill Hybels once asked three penetrating questions to help you determine whether or not God is central in your life. Let’s consider them today.
Question number one: what or whom did you find yourself thinking about in your free time? When you’re alone driving in a car, at night before you drift off to sleep, when you’re listening to the pastor preach, in your free time what do you find yourself thinking about? You know how a compass works, a magnetic compass. You can shake it and that needle will flutter all around but when it settles down it always points to what? True North. You know what? When everything settles down, where your thoughts finally land will be on what you’re really worshiping in your life. Your thoughts will always, always be directed toward your god, whatever that god is. Whom or what you find yourself thinking about in your free time?
Question number two: who are you trying to impress? During the Reformation one of the battle cries was Coram Deo—“before the face of God.” What gave Martin Luther and those reformers the courage to face persecution and even death for their faith was the realization that they were living their lives before the face God, who was watching. He was evaluating and one day He would judge them. The truth is, all of us are living our lives to try to impress somebody. Who are you trying to impress: a mate, a friend, an employer? Maybe you’re just trying to impress yourself by reaching certain goals you have set for yourself. You see, again, the answer to that question—who are you trying to impress?—is going to reveal who God is in your life, what you really worship. A person who truly has made God central in their life will have, above all, a desire to impress Him. Remember 2 Corinthians 5:9: “Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.”
Question number three: what are you living for? Like the old soap opera says, we all have only one life to live. Into what are you pouring your energy, your time, your finances? What are you really chasing after: to be wealthy, to be well known, to be admired by other people, maybe just to have a good time in life? What are you chasing after? A person who has made God central in his or her life will have as his objective to discover God’s will and to accomplish it. Either you’re at the center of your life, or God is at the center. It’s one or the other; it can’t be both.
If God is truly central in your life, then your thoughts will automatically turn to Him. Your desire in life will be to impress Him. And your goal in life will be to discover His will and to do it with all of your heart.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “God’s Top Ten” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.