I John 5:21 Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.
It is so easy to get involved in things that become more important to us than our relationship with God. We get preoccupied with life and tend to put the Lord somewhere down the list of priorities in our lives. We don’t do it intentionally, but it happens often. Unless we are very diligent about our relationship with Him, the Lord is crowded out as the focus of our lives.
In order for the Lord to remain as the number one priority in our lives, we must diligently work at keeping Him there. We must not neglect our time in the Word or go to it as almost an afterthought in our lives. It takes time to discover the treasures of God’s Word. It takes time to think seriously about the things we read. It takes an open heart and mind to hear God speak from its pages. It takes time to comprehend what God is saying. There is no greater investment of time than to take the time we need to unravel the treasures of God’s Word. False doctrine plagues those who take God’s Word casually and give it only a nominal amount of time in their lives.
We also must take time to pray. If you don’t have the time to pray, your life is way out of whack. Prayer is an absolute necessity in order to keep the Lord number one in our hearts. We must get alone with God. We must spend time to worship Him as we pray. We must take the time to let Him examine our hearts and lead us to repentance. We must take the time to pray for others and the church.
We must take the time to serve. Our living must always be governed by the Lord. We must see life as a relationship with the Lord. It is good for us to have Jesus in mind as we go about our daily living. It is important for the health of our souls that we seek always to honor Christ in what we do. It is good for the soul to think often as we live about the Lord being with us always.
In order to keep away from those things which would keep the Lord away from the throne of our hearts, we must not neglect our great salvation. We must discipline ourselves and always stand guard over our walk with the Lord. We will never live in victory if we let the Lord off the throne of our hearts. He must always be the number one priority in our passions. He must be in our thoughts as we go about our daily living. We must temper all we do in light of our relationship with Him.
Staying away from anything that may take God’s place in our lives takes work. It takes purposeful living. It takes a determination to guard our souls against everything that would crowd the Lord out. God is a jealous God and He demands His rightful place as Lord of our hearts.