Wednesday, July 8, 2015

3 Nephi 13:32-33 -- On Putting God First

"For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you."
3 Nephi 13:32-33

Our needs, quite often, are the loudest things in our minds.  We need relief from pain or we need love or we need to be able to pay the rent or know how to help someone.  We need to know what to say or how to cope with things that we've never encountered before.  We might need help with some of the basics, like food, shelter, clothing.  And then there are other things that most consider optional, but which we believe we need for whatever reason.  For instance, we often feel we need to fit in, or that we need to be popular or get a promotion or raise.  We feel we need recognition or approval.  We might feel that we need more excitement or variety or relief from the pressure of valid responsibilities.  And all of these things are shouting in our minds.  We don't even know a lot of the time what exactly we need, we just feel a lack... a need... a hole that needs to be filled.
When we come upon one of those holes, sometimes we feel desperate.  We try to fill the hole with anything that is around... sometimes in extremely unwise ways, just to get some temporary relief from that gnawing desire for... something.  We'll try mostly anything... drugs, sex, alcohol, food, or anything else.  And since it lessens the pain a little, we try it again and again, until we're addicted... not even to whatever it is always, but to the feeling of temporary pleasure or at least muted pain.
These verses are interesting in terms of that fairly universal experience, because they suggest a solution that will really work permanently rather than temporarily.  Instead of prioritizing our needs and cravings over everything else, we can instead prioritize God.  And if we do, he knows exactly what we need and how best to fill those holes, and he can help us solve every single one of our problems.  But he can't do it unless we listen to him and do as he asks, which is essentially what we are agreeing to by making him our top priority.
Today, let's seek God first, and place him at the top of our lists.  If we can stop worrying about our needs and start doing as God asks, we will be happily surprised that he will fill many of our needs and help us to realize that others aren't that important.  As we talk to him about our lives, we'll find that he will make our burdens easier to bear and that he will raise up friends for us, and solve problems for us that we could never solve alone.  Instead of diving yet deeper into our own very flawed addictive cure-alls, let's look to God and trust that he will help as we seek him and put his will first.

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