Posted by: mikenicholsblog | March 20, 2014

first priority

Do you ever feel that words like faith, prayer and trust are great for church, but lose relevance in your daily routine? You may have accepted Christ as your Savior, but somehow your practice isn’t matching your position. For you, living by faith has become wishful thinking, and praying is more from obligation than from faith. You are not alone, and a look back through history would reveal that your struggle is probably more the norm, than the exception. However, it doesn’t have to be this way.

In a great little book that I have read and re-read, Secrets of the Vine, Bruce Wilkerson explains that all believers are destined for fruit. Our lives should bear witness (fruit) of a life change. Even so, there will be times when our passion and faith seem to weaken. Mr. Wilkerson, like you and I, went through a season where his passion and faith hit a crisis point. But he did something about it.

Henry Blackaby, in his book Experiencing God, shares a story about a 19th century pastor who saw God’s people discouraged, not living by faith and weak in prayer. Sound familiar?!

“George Mueller was a man who determined that God could meet his needs, and lived like it. Accept his journey as an example of what you can experience.  When Mueller felt God leading him to undertake a project, he prayed for the resources needed but told no one of the need. He wanted everyone to know that God had provided for the need in answer to prayer and faith, not in response to fund-raising. During his ministry in Bristol (England), he started the Scriptural Knowledge Institute for the distribution of Scripture and for religious education. He also established an orphanage.

By the time of his death, George Mueller had been used by God to build four orphanages that cared for two thousand children at time. In all, more than ten thousand children had been provided for through the orphanages he started. In addition, Mueller had distributed more than $8 million that had been given to him in direct answer to prayer. Yet when he died at ninety-three, his possessions were valued at only $800.”

Wow!  Mueller had a simple faith. He believed God would answer prayer. He obviously made the Father his first priority. Two centuries later Bruce Wilkerson also made a decision that God would be his first priority. And by the way, Wilkerson then wrote a book that literally helped encourage millions of people. You know it as The Prayer of Jabez which was published several years ago. What worked for Mueller and Wilkerson will work for you. The place of first priority is not where God fits into the lives of most Christ-followers. How about you? If you are in a season of weary faith and unanswered prayer, you can do something about it.

I can absolutely promise you … make Him your first priority and your life will change. God has poured the blessings of heaven on men like Mueller and Wilkerson down through the ages. He wants to do the same for you and me. But the choice is ours! Will He be our first priority, or just another part of our already crowded agenda?  Our Lord wants to answer your prayers, build your faith and give you joy. Don’t make Him a priority; make him your first priority!

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Responses

  1. A message to “take to heart” for sure. I’ve studied the words of both writers you mentioned, Wilkerson and Blackaby. My husband and I just finished studying “The Secrets of the Vine” which we both had studied several times as well. God’s timing and His Spirit’s leading are perfect! The works of these men have richly enhanced my life in Christ. I appreciate your works in “Journey onWord”. It is a most enjoyable trip! The “experience” of “abiding” in Jesus and getting to know what pleases God most….helps me to understand Paul when he said “to live is Christ…to die is gain”. Put simple in today’s words; “it just keeps on getting better!”


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