As we begin a new year, our priorities are a good thing to evaluate. In business, success or failure can truly be traced to establishing or neglecting to establish priorities. For example, if customer service is not the highest priority in the retail business serious problems if not total failure is on the horizon. The amount of time it takes for me to get through line at Wal-Mart when I see several closed cash registers is certainly discouraging me from shopping there unless it is absolutely necessary. It causes me to seriously question if customer service is really a priority there.
How much more important is the establishment of priorities in living life! Jesus tells us what the highest priority is to be, Matt. 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;” Of course heaven is the ultimate goal we should keep in view but in speaking of the kingdom of heaven Jesus usually was emphasizing the Holy Spirit’s work in the human heart. Luke 17:21 “behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” The relationship between the heavenly kingdom to come and the kingdom within is vital. We can only be prepared to live in heaven when we have the Holy Spirit within.
Is the reception, and transforming work of the Holy Spirit a real priority in your life? Or do "minor matters" occupy most of your attention? Notice the following: “Wherever the need of the Holy Spirit is a matter little thought of, there is seen spiritual drought, spiritual darkness, spiritual declension and death. Whenever minor matters occupy the attention, the divine power which is necessary for the growth and prosperity of the church, and which would bring all other blessings in its train, is lacking, though offered in infinite plenitude.” Acts of The Apostles p. 50 We have a confusion of priorities if meditation and prayer for the Spirit individually and corporately are missing.
One Christian author summarized the issue of priorities well when he said, “I often think: ‘A life is like a day; it goes by so fast. If I am so careless with my days, how can I be careful with my life?’ I know that somehow I have not fully come to believe that urgent things can wait while I attend to what is truly important. It finally boils down to a question of deep and strong conviction. Once I am truly convinced that preparing the heart is more important than preparing the Christmas tree, I will be a lot less frustrated at the end of a day. -- Henri J.M. Nouwen in the New Oxford Review (Nov. 1986). Christianity Today, Vol. 35, no. 15.