What comes before obeying God?

Question:  “What action is needed in most of our lives before we are able to fully obey God?”

Bible Answers

The reason most Christians are not obeying God is that they have not prioritized the major components of their lives.  If asked, most Christians will say that God is most important in their lives, but the sad truth is for many, their top priority is whatever is on their mind at the moment.  It may be their job, or family, or sports, or God, or an addiction. Without clearly prioritizing the concerns of their life, the most important area keeps changing and whatever is most important at the moment becomes their God.

Is God the most important priority in your life

Answer the following two questions.

1.  What is predominately on your mind the first thing when wake up and the last thing when you go to sleep? Are you thinking about God and thanking Him for His blessings or are you thinking about money, your job, your home, kids, spouse, favorite foods, body weight, jogging, a new car, a particular person, activities, your favorite sports team, video games, pornography, gambling, drinking, drugs, a better job, higher wages, etc. Too often, these topics become all-consuming, and thusly top priorities in some people's lives.

2.  When an employer, spouse, or friend ask you to do something that you know is contrary to the ways of God, do you succumb to the pressure, giving them priority, or do you put God first?

Our lives are controlled by our priorities, giving the most attention and loyalty to what ever is at the top of our list. For many, especially men, they perceive their job of providing for their family as who they are and what they need to excel in while giving no attention to including God in their job. Rather than looking at ourselves as the provider, we need to look to God. And my God will supply every need… (Philippians 4:19). This is trusting God to take care of us and to bless all that He has given us.  When our priority list is wrong or non-existing, we are worshipping what ever is the most important area of our life and failing to honor God as our Lord and Savior.

Lets take a quick look at Scriptural Priorities for our life


You shall have no other gods before me (Exodus 20:3). Whatever is most important in your life becomes your god.

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might (Deuteronomy 6:5).

No one can serve two masters, for 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 God and money (Matthew 6:24).  There is nothing wrong with money until making money becomes more important than obeying God.

Rather, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you (Luke 12:31).

We need to have a priority list so that we will remember that God is first and foremost the most precious and important person in our life.


If you are married, then your spouse is the second most important priority in your life. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh (Ephesians 5:31).


Children are a precious gift of the Lord in which we are to raise them in the admonition of the Lord.  Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).

Whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me (Matthew 10:37). Clearly God has set a priority.


We are to work to support our families, but we need to remember that it is God who provides. God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

Most put their time and efforts to earning an income ahead of God. It is not what we are supplying, but what God is supplying our family through us that counts.  We often forget that God is helping us and we are not doing it all by ourselves. Through the day, ask the Lord for His guidance and how to do your job better and easier.


Deuteronomy 5:16 tells us, Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you … But we are to love God more than our parents.  Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me (Matthew 10:37).

However, there may be times when one’s parents should be the fourth priority and our job should be the fifth priority.


Clearly, our priorities should be - God first, then spouse, then children, then job, and then parents. When we know our priorities, we know who comes first.

Putting God First

We are told, And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength (Mark 12:30). But we cannot love God with all our heart if He is number three or four in our life. We need to recognize God’s priorities and make them our priorities. It requires an act of faith and love to want God to be the Lord of our life.

Many maintain extremely busy schedules, but those who love the Lord, insist on spending time with Him and His Word, because they realize that spending time in God’s presence is part of God being the primary priority in our lives and provides the key to understanding His will for our life. God provides joy and blessings to those who follow His will, but those blessings do not flow to those who do not obey Him.

Scripture is very clear; God it to be first in our lives. He says that He should be the most important desire in our heart. But how can He be the most important if we put job, spouse, or sports first? We often complain, why isn’t God blessing my life, but why should He bless us when we are not blessing Him but have relegated Him to second or third or fourth importance in our life.


The answer to what comes before obeying God, is for many, prioritizing the components of their lives in a way that pleases God and that encourages an avenue of obedience. Clearly we cannot obey God if He is not first in our life and it is hard to keep God first in our life until we have a clear priority list for our life.

Next Section - What are God’s commandments for me?

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