First Things First

by Linda W. Rooks

When the world thrusts a new challenge of monumental proportions in our path, and we feel unprepared to deal with it, what is your first inclination? Usually for me, it’s to try to figure out all the angles, so I can understand it better. But if we’re in crisis, with no prospects for immediate solutions, our minds spin in confusion. How do we make wise choices when we can’t understand what’s happening? Where do we go? How do we start?

Do we do a Google search? Call a friend? Visit the gym to work off our anxiety? Go to bed and sleep, hoping it will all go away?  Try to numb our minds through alcohol or drugs?

What do we do? Where do we start?

In our marriage classes, I often sit with women whose marriages have spiraled out of control. They have no idea how to even begin to make good decisions. As I’ve gone through the lessons with different groups through the years, surprisingly, many of these women have landed on the same verse to help them start to find direction:

Be still, and know that I am God. Psalms 46:10 (NIV)

Yes, the first thing that helps to steer them in a new direction is stopping to look up to the Living God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth. Once they grasp hold of the one thing they know to be true and real and lasting, they can move forward, because they know our loving Father God is near.

This revelation was given to me one morning long ago while still a teenager, and it changed my life. I was experiencing a time of heartache, and as I opened my Bible and read Matthew 6:33, God revealed the answer to my yearning and the secret to the new beginnings I needed. “Seek FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and ALL THESE THINGS shall be added to you” (NKJV). The words jumped out at me and came alive in my spirit. I knew God was speaking to me, telling me to seek Him first, to come close to Him, and then I would find what I was looking for. That scripture became engraved on my heart. From that day forward, I began to see Him unfold good things in my life as long as seeking Him has remained my priority.

If we first seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, these other things come to us in His timing and His sovereignty. We might be surprised at the good things He has in store for us when we let Him direct our paths.

Our Father God is the ultimate reality, the only truth we can always depend on. When we start with Him—when we are “still” and acknowledge that He is God—He will lead us along paths of victory.

If you are struggling for answers and need direction, grab hold of Jesus’ hand, so He can lift you up. Let your mind be taken captive by the Word of God. Seek His wisdom and ask Him to show you the next best step and then the next. He will show you the direction to take. He is your loving Father. And He knows the way. Acknowledge Him as your Lord and Savior who saves you out of all your worries.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Psalm 46:1-3 NIV

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

linda rooks

About the author: Linda W. Rooks has a ministry of hope for those in broken marriages. Her award winning book, Fighting for Your Marriage while Separated, and her (life-changing) earlier book, Broken Heart on Hold, Surviving Separation walk with those in the midst of marital breakdown to bring hope and practical guidance to those desiring reconciliation. Linda writes for both adults and children, and her stories and articles have appeared in numerous publications including Chicken Soup for the Soul, Focus on the Family and Today’s Christian Woman. She and her husband reside in Central Florida and thank God for the many reconciled marriages they witness through their ministry and the classes they lead.

Join the conversation: How has God directed you out of a challenging situation?


2 thoughts on “First Things First

  1. Linda, what a timely message. Sometimes our plans are the obstacles. They are keeping us from hearing from the Lord. So helpful. Thank you!


  2. So essential, Linda, thank you. Surrendering to whatever God wants, even if we don’t know what it is, opens our hearts to be able to hear clearly.


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