Like many people, I have health goals: to walk daily, avoid refined sugar, get enough sleep. This month, I have been able to exercise every day. I've really enjoyed seeing the change of season come to the flora in my area, breathing in God's beautiful creation each day, and marvelling in it. It's been rewarding to feel my body getting healthier and stronger. I'm really proud of myself!
But other goals — morning devotions, daily prayer, writing daily, even healthy food choices — have been neglected. "It seems to take all my energy to do just one of the things that I really want to do!" I lamented to a friend. As I said those words, the following verse came to mind:
Matthew 6:24 – No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. (NIV)
Does that mean that I'm off the hook for dealing with all but one bad habit at a time, since God tells me here that I can't expect myself to focus on two things at once? No! But it does mean that I need to ask myself who or what I am serving with my goals and to make sure that my relationship with God is my main focus.
I know that God wants me to live a healthy life and to have a healthy physical body, a temple for Him, so that I can serve Him more fully. But when I really look at why I've been able to get out to exercise every day, I'm embarrassed to admit that it's not God but vanity that's got me out the door — vanity and an app on my phone that gives me free reward points for the number of steps that I take each day.
I've created a second master, another master which has taken priority and pulled me away from my relationship with God. I haven't reached the point where I despise God, like today's Scripture describes, but I have certainly been neglecting Him by not doing the things daily that build our relationship. As I focused on health first, I have been walking further and further from God.
"What would happen if I placed God back as my Priority One?" I asked myself. I meditated upon that this morning as I walked, instead of listening to a podcast or music. So, each day, I turn my walk and my day back over to God, to fill and to use as He sees fit. All my goals, including my health goals, need to be motivated by being the best person that I can be to serve God to the best of my ability.
So, in our daily walk, let's ask God to help us to set all our goals, health or otherwise, with His purpose for our lives at the centre of each.
Prayer: Dear God, we confess that we get distracted by this world and by our own ideas and goals, and allow You to get bumped to second place. You are the only Master that we want to serve. Show us the other masters that we've allowed into our lives, and give us the strength to put You back into Priority One in our lives. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "My Saviour's Love" (Lyrics)