Hold That Thought!
Luann Prater

"Another disciple said to him, 'Lord, first let me go and bury my father.'" Matthew 8:21 (NIV)

In the movie Bolt, a self-centered Hollywood agent constantly tells his child star, "We'll just stick a pin in that." He holds an imaginary push pin in the air and pretends to shove it into an invisible cork board as he says it. He's claiming he'll save that thought/question/request until later and revisit it. But what he really means is, "Get out of here with that request! Not happening!"

The disciple in today's key verse says basically the same thing to Jesus, "Uh, master, hold that thought. Love what you're doing here, want to be a part of it, really I do. Just need to step over here and handle this task first. You understand, right?" The three telling words in this passage are "first let me…"

We are busy, aren't we? If I tell you how busy I am maybe you won't ask me to do something else. Maybe you will think I'm super spiritual because I have so much going on in my life. Don't.
When I am the busiest I really am the most self-absorbed. I'm just being honest here. When there is so much to do often the most important things get shoved to the side or don't make the list at all.

Have you ever said this, "Once I get _____ done, then my life will calm down"? You are not alone. It's an easy habit to develop, but a hard one to break!

Hi, my name is Luann and I'm addicted to activity. Embarrassed to admit it, but got to have a real moment with you. God makes a simple request in my life and yours: "Follow Me." But all too often those four words, "first let me _______," slip past my lips. You can fill in the blank with whatever you put before what Jesus is calling you to. Instead of Jesus telling you, 'let the dead bury their own dead,' maybe He's saying:

"Follow Me, and let the kids wait a minute."
"Follow Me, and let the phone ring."
"Follow Me, and let the dishes sit."
"Follow Me, and reschedule the appointment."
"Follow Me, and let the Facebook and Twitter friends wonder where you are."
"Follow Me, and put everything else on your to-do list after Me. Deal?"

It's time to stop putting God on hold. It's time to stop using everything in our life as an excuse not to do "first things first."

Hold that thought …first let me drop to my knees and pray that God will give me a yearning to put Him first.

Dear Lord, I'm sorry that anything has taken first place in my life besides You. Forgive me and teach me this day to begin with You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?

When a Woman Meets Jesus: Finding the Love Every Woman Longs For by Dorothy Valcarcel

His Princess: Prayers to My King by Sheri Rose Shepherd

Spend Saturday afternoons with Luann on Encouragement Café

Intimacy with God: Establishing a Vibrant Quiet Time and Prayer Time by Tara Furman

Application Steps:
Get in the habit of putting Jesus first by spending quiet time with Him before anything else happens in the morning. Beginning in John, read one verse a day and ask God to reveal something new to you. Then write down the first thing that comes to mind.

What is the most important thing in my life?

When do I put Jesus on the list?

How can I stop putting Jesus on hold?

Power Verses:
Matthew 6:33, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." (NIV)

Luke 9:62, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God." (NIV)

© 2010 by Luann Prater. All rights reserved.

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Blogger Emily Kane said...

My favorite time of day is my "first things first" time with God in the morning befoe my family is awake! I am also praying that I will put God first during the day as I care for my familyand home - so that all my words and actions come straight from God!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW! Hit the nail on the head for me. I have really put God on hold AGAIN. I want to do the right thing, but I always seem to put HIM last above all things. I think today is recommit day. Thanks for the devotion. I needed this once again.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you...a painfully good reminder...Sometimes if I listen closely I hear that still small voice calling me to come and spend time--first thing in the morning...

I am like the guy in the Bible.."first let me..." It brings tears to my eyes to think that I am putting other things first...before the Lover of my soul.

There is a quote that I heard a while ago that is applicable (not sure who wrote it) "Beware of the barrenness of a busy life." Which goes along well with "Seek first the Kingdom and all these things will be added unto you."

Learning to trust that when I put God first--all I need "will be added"....

Thank you for the reminder and the application points. God bless you...

Anonymous Cathy said...

Can the opposite be true? My husband feels I am too busy serving our church and lately I'm inclined to agree with him. Three church meetings this week and loads of planning time at home are getting in the way of my family time and duties. How can I make sure I am being a God-pleaser in ministry and not just a people-pleaser?

Blogger Familyof6inTX said...

Thanks for this message. I have been getting bogged down in avoiding doing what I feel called to do because I am a working mother and there are others who don't have a full time job, 4 young kids, and a house to keep up. Thanks for reminding me that God will provide the time for everything that is important if I will follow His schedule and His plan.

Blogger Jumpforjoy said...

Busy is still busy, whether it's cleaning the house, spending time online, or serving our church. I think what this devotion is talking about is putting God first and foremost in our lives on a daily basis.
Setting aside quiet time to spend talking and listening to God is what He wants most from us. It is only in this way, along with reading scripture that we can truly know God's will in our lives. Along with that knowledge comes peace, contentment and less of a need for busy-ness, even if we are busy "for the Lord".
I, too, used to be too busy serving in many different ways to really stop and listen to what God had to say to me. When I made it a priority to first pray and listen God showed me that it was okay to say no to some things - to free up more time to spend with Him, to preserve my sanity and to make the serving I did more effective.
Change doesn't happen overnight. I pray that you will find more time to spend with God, as well as wisdom and discernment to know which activities you can let go.

I really needed that today! I've been pushing God off and pushing Him off and pushing Him off. I was in the middle of doing dishes a bit ago and was so happy that my 4 1/2 month old was sleeping peacefully and then started to feel that nagging feeling that dishes are not what that time should be used for. Then I did a Google search for a daily devotional for moms and guess what I found?

This is such an conviction/encouragement! Praise the Lord!

Anonymous Lorna said...

Luann, your words are very encouraging. Earlier this week I had the same type of thoughts with that same exact scripture. Almost wrote about it on my blog but your version hits the nail on the head.


Blogger Karyan said...

Thanks for your thoughts and words today! It was EXACTLY what I needed to hear. AS the wife of a youth pastor and mother of three children -- all under 4, life is insanely busy! Sometimes I try to get up early to spend some time with God in quietness, usually one of my daughters wakes up with me. Lately, I'm not getting much sleep. I can come up with reason after reason why I don't have time or opportunity to spend time with God. I was going to do other stuff online while I was nursing but decided to read today's devotional instead. Thank you. You reminded me that not only does God deserve to be first, command us to put Him first, it can be in small ways. I guess I think I don't have time to sit down and study my Bible and pray in quietness for an hour. But I can start each day with a quick prayer and a single verse. I can pause throughout the day to prayer or reflect on God. I feel really empowered to develop an intimate walk with the Almighty! Thank you!!! Now three sick wee ones really need their momma!

Blogger Tara said...

This hits so close to home! I think one of the best lines is "When I am the busiest I really am the most self-absorbed." I have noticed this in myself and I abhor it. Humbly seeking God's face to get this sin out of me.
Thank you for this today.


Whooooo! Deep! Thanks for this!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is a practical note that helps me to keep my mind focused on my devotional time. It never seems to fail but about the time I sit down to read the Word and pray, that I begin to think of all the things I need to remember to do that day. So, I keep a notepad and pen handy, if a "to do" thought comes to mind, I write it down, forget it, and go on with my devotions instead of trying to store the thought in my mind for later as I am also trying to meditate on the Word. ^_^

Anonymous R. Davis said...

Wow, I was actually just thinking about this. Always spreading myself way too thin...too thin for anything. I skipped our weekly married couples Bible reading last night, because I was just "too busy" for it. This is a good idea to put God first in the morning, because I definitely need it! Thanks for this post. (-:

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