Torch, Summer 1991

- -------------- The Life That Puts God First by Pastor John Street 'II do anything to get my wife back! " His eyes filled with tears . I could sense the piercing agony of a young man crying out for help. The air in my office was heavy with despair. This man had been married less than two years. Without warning, his wife had walked out while he had been at work. She took with her their one-year-old son. Now he was reaching out to me for help. It was not the time for a lecture on priorities. Or was it? Living in today 's society is like wandering in a snow– storm. People have no idea where they are going. Most have lost all hope of finding their way out. They have stared into the blizzard of moral confusion so long, they cannot see. My counselee is a classic case in point. Similar situations have been reported by other pastors and counselors simply because they occur often. The young man desired guidance to a spiritual shelter. As he envisioned it, coming out of the storm would mean the return of his wife, the restoration of his family . He was willing to live with this goal in mind, and he waited for my agreement. Some pastors long for a counselee with that type of willingness! Imagine his surprise when I told him that I disagreed. He sat stunned! I could tell he was thinking, "I can 't believe the pastor said that! " "Are you saying God wants us to get a divorce?" he questioned in a broken voice. "No, I did not say that," I responded. "Are you saying it is wrong for me to want my wife and son back?" he quickly pursued. "No, I did not say that either. Your first priority is to be God 's kind of person. Nothing else is more important than that. Whether your wife comes back or not, God wants you to put Him first. Are you doing that in your life now?" I asked. He confessed, "No, I know I am not living for Him." I continued, "Did you make Him first in your marriage and your home?" "No," he replied, "it is clear I have never done that." Twenty short minutes later that desperate young man gave his life to the Deliverer. Pleasing Jesus Christ is now his first priority. Any attitude or statement that implies "I'll do anything in order to ..."suggests our desires are paramount to living life God 's way. Nothing, however, is more important than living life God 's way. Our human nature, corrupted by sin 's deceitful desires , seems to toss us in the wrong direction every time God interrupts our life with a bulldozer. We view trouble, trials, and tragedies as circumstances we must escape, not as crises that will teach us the sufficiency of God 's awesome grace (2 Corinthians 12:9). We become so focused upon getting life back to normal that we throw all caution to the wind. Thoughts of pleasing Him are abandoned for thoughts that are consumed