Put God First

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Paula White

No request is too large for God, but let’s first let Him know how grateful we are to Him.
January is a very important time for all of us in the body of Christ. My family, all the members of Without Walls International Church and I recognize the first month as a holy month.

Although many people think of it as a post-Christmas kind of month, we use the time to reaffirm, refresh and recommit ourselves to the Lord. After all, doesn’t it make sense to start off the new year by giving credit where it’s due, to Him who is the firstborn over all creation (see Col. 1:15)?

People groups and cultures all over the world celebrate their own new year in a variety of ways for a reason. It’s as if we all instinctively know that a new season means a new beginning for each of us.

In the body of Christ, we need to take it further than another list of resolutions and promises to ourselves. We know that without our awesome Creator, absolutely none of those lists will mean anything.

So before we start writing them, we need to turn to our wondrous God and say: “Thank you, Father. Thank you, Lord Jesus. Thank you, Holy Spirit. It’s all about You this month because I want to start this year off right!”

After praying this way, we need to follow through. We need to start every day with a special prayer of dedication and thankfulness to our Lord.

We need to remember every morning, first thing, to ask God to bless us as we begin sowing seeds for those things we want to accomplish and believe Him for.

I encourage you to recognize Him daily in a new and special way and offer up your best, knowing that He gives only His best in return.

In my family and throughout our congregation in Tampa, Florida, January is a time of prayer, fasting and giving our best.

The entire month is devoted to re-examining the Word in fresh ways and looking for opportunities to reignite our own spiritual callings and anointing. It’s a time of making God the center and focus of all we do during this first month of the year.

For most of us, it also means recommitting on a daily basis to put God back in the driver’s seat of our lives as we embark on confronting some of the challenges we face. Some of those challenges are as old as we are. That’s OK. The fact that it’s a new year doesn’t mean we aren’t going to be dealing with some of the same old stuff.

But if we got caught up, dragged down, or just plain bowled over by it while trying to handle it alone last year, now is the time to give it back to God—turning to Him first, praising Him and remembering that He’s going to be the One to guide us through it.

Want to be blessed this year in your finances? Put God first! Crave better communication in your relationships? Put God first! Need to improve your health and wellness or quit a bad habit? Put God first!

No request is too small or too large for our God, but let’s first let Him know how grateful we are to Him.

In making the main thing the main thing, we’ll also be blessed with the gift of closer communion with our Lord. In the flurry and hustle of the holidays, a season that should be dedicated to the joy of the Lord, we are often left tired, depleted of energy, and not as close to God as we want to be.

Taking the month of January to settle down and concentrate on the main thing—God—is like taking a vacation from everything else. It’s like a refreshing, monthlong spa in the Holy Spirit.

Paula White co-pastors Without Walls International Church in Tampa, Florida, with her husband, Randy, and preaches extensively throughout the United States and other countries. She is the author of He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not (Charisma House) and Deal With It! (Thomas Nelson). For more ministry information, visit www.paulawhite.org. To read past columns in Charisma by Paula White, log on at www.charismamag.com/white.

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