“If putting Jesus first uncomplicates our life, why do we struggle to do it?”, the podcast interviewer asked me the other day, what has become a familiar question.
It does seem curious, that we wouldn’t run to a clear remedy for a pain point in our life.
But that, itself, is the answer to the podcaster’s question – we struggle to do something we don’t fully understand. If we grasped how much better our lives could get, I dare say a lot of us would be living Jesus-first lives.
If my own desire for a simpler, less complicated life that thus far hasn’t been solved in closet cleaning and calendar streamlining has taught me anything it is this: it’s not a bad thing when substitute saviors don’t work out like we want. Because our wants sync up with God’s plan when that other way of doing life fails us miserably. And it is then that the real, good life can begin.
The world will scream differently, but the world isn’t a trusted, proven source. The trusted, proven source of the Bible, though, tells us there is but one way to the good life: with Jesus in first-place.
He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. And He is the head of the body, the Church; He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy. — Colossians 1:17-18 NIV
The Creator of the Universe — the same Creator of our modern day lives — didn’t create without thoughts of us in 2020. We were fully on His mind when He set the system of order to be Him in first position, with us and all things under that Supreme, protective covering. This remains the perfect design. Things go woefully awry when anything interrupts that order, so it is no wonder so many of us live crazy, complicated lives.
Though He is unwaveringly over everything by His very nature, we still have personal free will for how we give Him access in our lives. And it does not come without personal benefit. Giving Jesus back His rightful spot in our lives is handing ourselves back the settled, steady life we crave despite a world swirling madly around us. Based on the conversations I have with so many folks who feel painfully out of sorts, there is an urgency to this re-ordering.
I love the Latin phrase, Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi – in summary it means that as we worship, so we believe, so we live. What/who do we worship? Our Netflix shows? Our phones? Ourselves? Do we believe Jesus is enough? More importantly: what does our life say we believe?
Too often we beg God to help us in the midst of a mixed-up priority order and wonder why He doesn’t or our life still seems a mess. Where would we were to put Him over all things in our lives, a myriad of complications would fall away. If you’ve ever done this for one thing, you know what I’m saying is true.
There’s a ripple effect of peace, joy, love, and hope with Jesus at the helm.
And, yes. Our life will in some ways be a journey of practicing this principle. Flesh constantly fights to be in the first-place position that belongs to Him.
And the world preaches a me-first message, on top of it. We are not only supported in our flesh to be the master of our own lives – we are chided if we do not operate with that mentality.
But we also have truth and proof of practice on our side. The great irony of that worldly message is the sheer ineffectiveness of its hopeful claim. The more we have tried to master, the more it’s mastered us. The more we’ve sought to be first, the more we’ve felt misunderstood, left out, disregarded and unloved. Jesus preached the upside-down Kingdom of Matthew 6:33 (Seek first the Kingdom of God) and in that Jesus over everything lifestyle that is at odds with society’s humanistic message that would suggest it is too great a loss to us, we gain everything we really want. We choose to be holy over being free and as a byproduct of holiness, become more of the right kind of free. We choose to be honest instead of hiding from our truth by numbing out, deflecting or lying, and our life becomes much simpler and less complicated by living full and clean.
The list goes on. This is the life we want. It is the life we can have.
Often, we just need better understanding to get us going in the right direction. Maybe we haven’t yet connected the dots. If your life has felt complicated, let this be the tip-off to check your priority list. There is direct correlation between where Jesus is and how disordered your life has become. The priority of Jesus brings order to the chaos of our lives – a job only He is big enough to do.
Will you let Him do it?
Here are some simple suggestions to start.
- Read Colossians 1:15-18 on Biblegateway.com. Read it in several different translations. Note the references to “first,” and write down all the reasons why Him being first is wildly to your benefit. Pray about putting Jesus first, in a new way.
- Make a list of the things that have sometimes been a “substitute savior” in your life. (Some examples: phone, social media, Netflix/tv, shopping, food, alcohol, relationships) Ask yourself honestly if they’ve helped you, long-term OR if they’ve complicated your life. If the latter, write down what complications they’ve led to.
- Take a FREE, 2-3 minute quiz to find out what habits/go-to behaviors you have been leaning on that may be complicating your life over at lisawhittle.com/joe. Order a copy of Jesus Over Everything book and get a FREE Get Over It Guide to help you move past these specific behaviors to live with greater freedom and influence!
Written for Faith.Full by Lisa Whittle, author of Jesus Over Everything.
* * *
“There’s a ripple effect of peace, joy, love, and hope with Jesus at the helm.” It doesn’t have to be so complicated! Let Him lead! Come share your thoughts with us on our blog. We want to hear from you! ~ Laurie McClure, Faith.Full