Before and In

I chose "Before and In" as the title of this post because I get really excited about prepositions sometimes, but mainly when it comes to the following passage of Scripture:

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And 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, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
Colossians 1:15-20

This passage magnifies Christ, saying that He is the only one we need. There is a lot here, but I want to zoom in to verse 17: "And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together."

What does your morning routine look like? Do you always brush your teeth before breakfast? Do you even eat breakfast? Do you shower in the morning or at night? Do you make your bed, or is that not a priority?

Some people are more routine than others. Like my Dad, for example. Every morning he does the exact same thing - even on the weekends, although he allows himself to sleep in one extra hour. He starts his coffee pot, works out, showers, eats breakfast, and studies God's Word. Every. Single. Morning.

Sometimes I get annoyed with people like this because I like to change things up a bit. Sometimes I shower at night, sometimes in the morning, sometimes both. Sometimes I brush my teeth before breakfast, sometimes after. Sometimes I work out in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon. And usually that's okay.

One thing that I've noticed, though, is that my time with God, if it doesn't happen before all of that, doesn't usually happen.

You see, God is worthy of the first place in our lives - before all things. Before work, play, or anything in between. When we place Him before everything else in our hearts and in our day, we are saying to Him (and reminding ourselves) that He is supreme. And when He goes before all things in our lives, He holds it all together. It is only in Him that all things are held together.

I've noticed a pattern that when I spend time with God first thing in the morning, the rest of my day is more productive, and I experience more peace and joy throughout the day. If I put God off until later, I am usually more negative, anxious, or lazy.

You could say this is a placebo effect, but I know it's not. The presence of God is real, and His Word is living and active, and when I arm myself for the day with these, I am much better prepared for battle.

This doesn't mean that God won't go with you if reaching for your Bible isn't the first thing you do when you roll over in the morning. It does mean, however, that there is something very special that happens in our hearts and in our relationship with God when we truly place Him first.

Let me offer a few action steps for different types of people as we seek to put Christ before all things:

  1. Morning people: Good for you! If you are awake and alive in the morning, sit down with the Lord, listen to Him speak to you through His Word. Be still in His presence. If you're not used to this, start by getting up just 15 minutes earlier than usual to put God in the first place of your day. I think you'll find that after awhile, you'll want to increase the time.
  2. Morning people with chronic sleepiness: This is me. I am more of a morning person if you leave me in my natural habitat. However, I can fall asleep in almost any situation, like closing my eyes to pray, for example. If this is you, try talking out loud to God. You can even pace while talking to give you that movement to help you focus and stay awake. If this is not an option for you (example: others are still sleeping), try working out first, then having your devotions. I find that once I've got the blood pumping and muscles moving, I am better able to focus and stay awake during prayer and Bible reading.
  3. Not morning people: If it is truly difficult for you to get up early and still be a kind and Christ-like person throughout the day, try simply reading one verse or a very short passage before you start your day. It will take less than two minutes, but you will give God's Word a chance to take root in your heart before any other messages confront you. You can choose to meditate on that verse throughout the day, as well. Make sure that you do take time out of your day to sit in God's presence, refresh, and recharge. This could be right before bed, right after dinner, or in that small space of time between getting home from work and when all the chaos sets in.
If your family/roommates are not allowing you the time or space you need, consider finding a quiet place at work (an abandoned back staircase, your car) where you can get away with God during your lunch break.

Believe me, I have not been a model of this principle, but I know that when I put God first, and when I choose to take time out of "my agenda" to seek Him, He is always ready to meet with me and fill me up. I know He is waiting for you, too.

Share this:


Hello! I'm Faith. I'm a verbal processor who wants to love the Lord and love people with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. I write to think and think to write. I don't drink coffee. I am a dogless dog lover. I enjoy hosting large parties in my home, and I enjoy being alone. Join me in looking to Him and pursuing A Radiant Face.


Post a Comment