The Principle of First

The Principle of First

James DumontBy James Dumont4 Minutes

One scripture that was a major turning point in our life and ministry is Proverbs 19:21 (NKJV) “There are many plans in a man’s heart, Nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand.”

Before graduating from Bible College in 1981, my wife and I prayed that the Lord would direct us to our assignment. We decided we would not discuss this matter until we had both prayed and heard from God.

When we met to discuss our results, I shared how the Lord had clearly communicated to me the city of our assignment. She then shared how she had a witness in her heart of the state to which we should move.

That is how we landed in Erie, Pennsylvania. We literally spent our first few months in Erie living in a tent on a creek bank. From there our life and ministry has grown and the Lord has blessed us greatly.

Any success we have enjoyed in life and ministry we attribute to God’s faithfulness to sustain us when we chose to obey His directives. Without realizing what we were doing, we were following a Biblical directive called, “The Principal of First”.

Matt 6:33 says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

The Principal of First means that what we do at the beginning sets the direction for all that follows. An experienced architect once told me to pray and ponder before placing a pen to paper because the first line will influence the direction of the project.

God illustrates The Principle of First in the story of Israel conquering Jericho (Joshua Ch. 6-7). This first city was to be set aside exclusively for the Lord’s purposes (Joshua 6:19). When they failed to obey this command, Israel “. . . could not stand before their enemies”. Their strength and divine assistance hinged on putting God first.

It is also important to remember our decisions to put God first affect others.  Jesus said, “And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth” John 17:19. We can enjoy relationship with God and blessings because Jesus chose to live close to the Father. When Satan offered him quick fame and success, he stayed razor focused on putting God’s plan first.

The most powerful decision you can make is to obey the charge of Romans 12:2 (CEV). “Don’t be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to him.”

The world says, “To succeed, do it your way!” Unfortunately, doing things our way often ends in heartache and failure. God’s ways are higher but not hidden to those who seek Him with an attitude to put Him first. Why not do it today?

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