“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Mark Twain

Who's Number One? (Part 5)

This time, I can tell you for certain this is the last blog in this series, since, once I’ve written this one, I have covered every verse in this stanza of a wonderful poem from the August 7 devotional from Streams in the Desert (click on any of the actual verses below to read my thoughts on it). I hope you have been as blessed (and perhaps as challenged!) as I have during this series, and that you will perhaps explore the rest of this poem in this wonderful devotional.
1Has He purified you with the fire from above?
2Is He first in your thoughts, does He have all your love?
3Is His service your choice, and your sacrifice sweet?
4Is your doing His will both your drink and your meat?
5Do you run at His calling with glad eager feet?
(Streams in the Desert, L. B. Cowman, August 7)
When I first opened my eyes this morning (if you consider 4:30AM morning, that is), my first thought was: “I so do not want to be awake right now.” I’d had a long day yesterday, and I knew I needed sleep. So, I closed my eyes for a minute and then opened them again an hour later. This time, I had a different thought.

“Sounds like Andrew is poking around. Better get moving.” So I did.

This was hardly atypical for me. The first thoughts I have each morning are often, for lack of a better term, mundane. I may think about my need to use the restroom, how thirsty I am, how badly I’d like to go back to sleep, or maybe how pleased I am to be the first one awake.

Or how about my first thoughts when I come upon a crisis? Or when I get good news? Or when I finally get a moment to myself? Or when the phone rings? Again, my thoughts often start out focusing on the mundane, the practical.

Yet, I am a resident of the Kingdom of Heaven. Heaven is my home: not my tiny Michigan town, or my lovely two-story with the finished basement. The only part of me that should be fully in this world is my body. My mind, my emotions, my soul, my thoughts should all be focused primarily above. GOD should be the first thing I think of in every instance, and His unseen kingdom (not my own pleasure, benefit, or will) should be my primary focus.
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2Corinthians 4:18 NIV
So, when a difficult trial slaps me in the face, my first thought needs to be prayer instead of panic. When I get good news, I need to praise God first – not the circumstance. When I’m alone in my house with some time for “myself,” I need to seek Him first, instead of my own selfish priorities. And the next time I wake up at some ridiculous hour, instead of whining and grumbling, I will pray—and perhaps pray myself back to sleep. But even if I don’t, I will know it is His will that I stay awake, because I am seeking Him first.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33 NIV
Once I put God first, He’ll take care of the rest. And there’s nobody more trustworthy to take care of “the rest,” is there?

Heavenly Father, I know that, more often than not, You are not first in my thoughts: that I put my own worldly needs and desires ahead of Your Kingdom. Help me, Lord, to keep you #1 in all I think, do, and say. Teach me the blessing of making You top priority, and help me to make your supremity a reality in every aspect of my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen


  1. Amen to that. Ouch. I think this was meant for me. Thanks for sharing!

  2. This is the sort of thing that God has been impressing on me lately, too. Thanks for sharing.

    Betsy Markman

  3. Words straight to my soul, dear one.

    So, when a difficult trial slaps me in the face, my first thought needs to be prayer instead of panic. When I get good news, I need to praise God first – not the circumstance.

    Straight to my heart and soul...

  4. What an excellent reminder message for today. Thanks, Joanne.


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