Heather Cofer WRITES:
This is a great question, and one that I believe every Christian needs to pray and think through. How this is lived out in each of our lives won’t look exactly the same, but the principle behind our lives will be the same — to love and know God and live for His glory in all we say and do.
I have talked with a number of women who are wrestling through the practicals of what it means to make Jesus first in everything. Does this mean we have to give up every single activity that doesn’t directly involve something “spiritual” like reading our Bible, praying, or fasting? Does it mean that we are being sinful when we watch a movie with our family, or have a conversation about clothing with a friend? Or do all of these things go back to our heart — our motives in every word and action?
1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Eating and drinking are some of the most basic, “non-spiritual” tasks you can do, but they are an essential part of life. We can certainly eat and drink in ways that are not for God’s glory, like gluttony or drunkenness (see Proverbs 23:21). But if we are seeking to put things into our bodies to keep them healthy for all that God has called us to do, this is done for His glory.
To make God our “All in all” means that every single sphere of life is rooted in and aimed toward one thing — Jesus and His glory. This doesn’t mean cutting out all the neutral arenas of life (like eating, sleeping, studying, being with friends, etc.). It means laying every one of those things before God and allowing Him to show us exactly what place they are to have in our lives.
So, when we are wondering how a particular aspect of our life is supposed to look, we can ask ourselves, “Is this going to bring glory to God? Does this fall into alignment with what He is calling me to?” Some areas become clear right away, and other things take more time to wrestle through. Sometimes God calls us to put certain things away for a season, and other times He asks us to set them aside completely.
For a personal example, I have played piano for many years. There was a time when I thought I would probably go to college and pursue a music major, but God clearly led me away from this. However, He provided other opportunities to use this gift, like teaching missionary kids and leading worship. A couple of years ago, I could sense that God was leading me into a season of cutting back significantly in this area, particularly because of motherhood and other ministry commitments my husband and I felt God was calling us to. Even though this was hard, I have seen God’s wisdom and purpose in it as I’ve been freed to focus on those things that are priority in this season. Even though leading worship seemed more spiritual on the outside, I knew that if He was asking me to set it aside to be more focused on training my children, or being faithful with household tasks, then that was absolutely the most “spiritual” thing I could be doing.
If God is asking you to lay something aside, then don’t hesitate — obey right away. But don’t put things aside just because it might feel like it’s more “spiritual.” Trust that as you are seeking God, He will make these things very clear. Don’t live in constant worry, wondering if you should or shouldn’t be doing this or that. This takes our minds off of God and turns to legalism. When He gives us something “extra” like using a hobby to bless others, time with a friend, or playing games with our family — the most glorifying thing we can do is thank Him for it and enjoy it to the fullest.
God might be prompting you to go to bed earlier so you can wake up earlier and spend time in His Word. He might be asking you to set aside your dream job and go overseas as a missionary. He might be leading you to let go of your plans for the day to encourage a friend who is struggling. He might be making you aware of a need that can be met with the money you’ve been saving. He might be asking you to humble yourself and ask forgiveness for those cutting words you spoke. Whatever He is leading you to do, do it with a heart of ready obedience and joy in knowing that you are bringing glory to Him, the One who gave all for you. You will not regret giving all for Jesus!
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