Put God First

By Mark D. Roberts

May 10, 2017

“Do not call conspiracy everything this people calls a conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it. The LORD Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread.

Isaiah 8:12-13


A knotted rope with a heart shaped knot in the middle.As Israel faced the imminence of a foreign invasion, all of their attention was focused on their enemies, rather than on the Lord. They were understandably afraid and filled with dread. Yet, Isaiah called the people to put God first in their lives, fearing him above all else. In fact, they were to focus on the holiness of God most of all. And so are we.

What does it mean to regard God as holy? In part, it means that God takes a special, exalted place in our lives. As we recognize his unique “set-apart-ness,” we honor him with our worship, obedience, and devotion. We offer up our praise to God’s name, telling others of his greatness. And we live our lives for his matchless glory. And we don’t let our fears get in the way of our adoration of and service to God, no matter how tempting this might be.

In a world of competing loyalties, we often feel torn. Who gets our primary commitment? Our company? Our country? Our political party? Our church? Our family? Isaiah reminds us to put God first above all. When we do, the rest of life will fall into its rightful place.


What fears do you have that might get in the way of your devotion to God?

What place does God get in your life?

What might it mean for you to make God holy in your daily life?


Gracious God, how easy it is for me to proclaim your holiness with my words. But how often I fail to make you holy in my life. You deserve my primary attention and allegiance, set apart from all competitors. Yet I can readily dethrone you out of fear, or selfishness, or simply bad habits.

May you and you alone take first place in my life. May I reverence you above all else. May I seek your will and your glory. No matter where I am, no matter what others might think, may you be holy for me. Amen.


Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online commentary.

Mark D. Roberts

Senior Strategist

Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders,...

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