The Podium of Your Heart

Who has first place on the podium of your heart?

Or should I say what has first place on the podium of your heart...

Many of us say that God has first place in our lives, that He has first place in our hearts, in our minds, and in everything we do....
but does He?
 
I know I question myself often on this subject. I wrote in the back of my Bible a while back:
"Who/what is on your podium?"
Above this question for pondering I sketched a little podium with a question mark on each place.
To discover who/what really has first place on the podium of our lives, we have to find out first who/what qualifies for the podium in the first place.
A few questions to ask yourself before immediately coming up with automatic answers like, "My family, God, friends" are these:
 
- What/who do you spend the most time with/on?
- To what/who does your mind wander to when you're bored?
- What/who preoccupies your mind?
- What/who do you dwell on?
- What/who do you spend the most money on?
- What/who do you tell others about?
 
Everyone's answers are different, but when I examine myself I find that the following are often applicable to those questions:
- the computer
- dolls
- games/books
- my friends
- my family
- school
 
I know that honestly, I'm putting other things before God. Instead of having my time with God first thing in the mornings, I push it aside and say, "I'll do that after I finish my schoolwork." But after school, what do I really do? I read, I draw, I take pictures, I play with my dolls, I call friends.... I do a lot of things, but hardly ever does it consist of spending time with God, who should be my best friend. None of the things that I really spend my time on are eternal - friends don't always last (though I know of several friends that I hope do last forever!) forever - but God does. He's waiting for us to spend time with Him.
 
We have many podiums in our life - social podiums, podiums of our minds, podiums of our hearts, podiums of our time.... these podiums make up the podium of our lives. The first-place winners of each podium fight for places on the podiums of our lives.
The social podiums often consist of the following: friends, social media, family, people, popularity, etc.
The podiums of our minds are awarded upon what we think about, what we store in our minds, what we dwell upon, what we read, see, hear, and heed.
Our 'heart podiums' are often stolen by people, emotions, or speech.
The podiums of our time are the easiest to award- the winners aren't always bad things, but even good things can turn bad if not used/taken/had in proportion. If we eat too much chocolate - even healthy chocolate (hehe, as in dark chocolate), it's still bad for us. Reading isn't necessarily bad, but if we let reading take over our lives and our time, then it can turn bad (it's also dependent on what you read).
 
So how can we really let God have first place on the podiums of our lives? Of course, the easiest way to put Him first overall is to put Him first in each smaller podium.
 
Let's begin with the social podium. For me, emailing, chatting, and calling friends are the easiest ways for me to fill up my social podium. I'll have the urge to run and check to see if my friends have replied to my emails or comments, and I have to resist that temptation. I have to really cut back on doing that - it's a really big temptation for me.
When we cut back on doing the other things on our social podium, it's much easier to let God rise to the top. I'm trying to take Sundays off the computer and spend more time with God (though currently it hasn't been working - I'm trying harder each Sunday not to go to the computer out of habit). Starting this week, I'm trying to only check my email three times a day (believe me, that's a scale down of my current rate). To have a social podium in the first place, you have to communicate. We can communicate and spend time with God just like with any other friend - just talk to Him. We don't have to call and leave a message, we don't have to wait for the computer to load to send Him an email - we can just talk to Him! Anytime, anywhere...
 
The podiums of our minds is a tricky one, especially for me.
You see, I have a huge imagination.... and I mean h.u.g.e.
It's really hard for me not to let my mind wander (even during school) to stories I want to write, blogposts I want to post, pictures I want to take, books I want to read, things I want to try.... again, this goes back to time. The more time we spend doing each of the things that our mind preoccupies itself with makes it easier for our thoughts to drift toward that thing. The Bible says in Philippians 4:8,
"Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things."
Sometimes our minds drift to very unwholesome things. I have to ask God to help me not to think about some things that are in this world (that I wish weren't here).
How is it that I can read a book, listen to an audio drama, or watch a movie once and then be able to memorize and quote lines from it? It's so effortless that my mind can recall large portions of the book dialogue and bring it to mind, and that I can almost hear the movie playing in my head. The more I watch that movie, the easier it is. Each time I re-read that book, the easier it is for my mind to quote it. Right now, for instance, I can quickly quote Light of the Last or Cloak of the Light (by Chuck Black). I can even remember distinct scenes of The Inspectors episode that we watched several weeks ago.
While those things that I read and watch aren't necessarily bad, they definitely can become a distraction from my school, my time with God, and just plain life. Now that I really think about this, I admire my sister even more for taking the stand not to watch The Inspectors during the school week (even on movie nights) because it's so easy for our minds to think about that instead of what we should be thinking about it.
So what would happen if instead of leaving copies of other books to read whenever we have spare time, we leave copies of the Bible on our tables and shelves? I know that even if I look at the cover of a book, I can quickly recall the entire storyline (I have a pretty good memory...).
Our thoughts can also be contaminated by other thoughts that creep in- thoughts of greed (like when you're in the mall, or in my case, at the AG store or looking at a catalogue), thoughts of selfishness and self-pity, thoughts of anger and hate towards others, thoughts of resentment...
That's why I love the National Bible Bee. If I spend hours memorizing and studying Scripture, it's much easier to refer to that and think and dwell on that instead of movie lines or book plots. 
"Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You." - Psalm 119:11
No matter how many times we hear/read that verse (I've heard/read it a lot), it's still applicable.
 
As a young lady, it's the world's way to 'be swept off our feet in love'. That's why even at my young age (I most definitely should not be swept off my feet in love - that would be insanely ridiculous and inappropriate) I've given my heart to God. My heart will always be His first. No matter how old I am, my heart is still His - it will always belong to God first.
We have to fight emotions that creep in to try to steal our hearts from God. But,
"And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
I'm trusting that the peace that God gives will guard my heart and my mind from many things.
 
All of the above podiums contribute to the podium of time. This is a tricky one. Everyone, sometime in their life, has to learn how to manage time. It's so, so, so easy to be caught up in something and completely waste hours on it (the definition of Youtube: time waster, black hole of time). It's even easier to lose track of the time and forget all about what we should be doing. There is a wonderful way to spend time that never wastes it - spend time with Jesus. It's almost funny that out of all the school subjects that I trudged through today, even before writing this very time appropriate (no pun intended) devo, I really thought that I would have to sludge through Bible too. I kept putting it off. But now that I am feasting on the Word of God and spending time with Him and writing this post, I've spend nearly an hour and a half on it and it seems like just a few minutes. This morning, when I did Grammar & Composition for half an hour, it seemed like hours and hours of time spent on punctuation. :)
 
It's so easy to make God a part of our lives, but it's even easier to push Him out of our lives. I for one, tend to give Him control of my life only to yank it back a few hours later. Then, I'll give it back to Him, but as soon as I stop acknowledging that He is in control, I take it back.
It's the same with the podium of everything else. I award first place to God, and then strip Him of it and hand it over to the computer, or friends, or school, or even family. We wouldn't dare do that to anything else... would we?
 
We have to. Today, I challenge you (and myself) to strip the current first place winner of your (and mine) social podium, mind podium, heart podium, time podium - and most importantly, the podium of your life.
It's hard, no doubt. It's hard to make other things relinquish their throne over your time, your mind, and your heart. It's hard to fight off the temptation to 'temporarily' allow those things back into first place.
But believe me, there's no award wasted on God. He's an amazing manager of your time, your thoughts, and your life. You won't regret it.

Maybe if you're like me, you need to tell God that He has first place in your life. If you'd like, you can say the little prayer that I just did:
"God, thank you for being willing to forgive me for taking back first place. I know that somewhere in the future I'll probably have to say this again and recommit my life but I hope that it's not for a while. God, take my life and don't dare give it back. Don't let me take my life back. Help me to be fully yours, and yours forever and first. Please help me not to be distracted with my social life, but help me to shine for You no matter where I am or who I'm with. Please preoccupy  occupy my mind with You. Help my heart not to be taken with anything or by anyone else. Help me to mange the time You've given me the way You want me to, and please let me serve You in whatever I do."
~ Light4theLord
To God be the Glory!
 
 
 
 
 
 


Comments

  1. Wow, just wow.
    Well said! I have been feeling I need to be spending more time with God for a while and after reading this I took a nice long hot shower and prayed. You have no idea the impact this post has made on me.Thank you!
    -Anna
    P.S. I love the new blog design

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad God gave me the words to say. I thank Him that I'm able to! I need to spend more time with Him to. You have no idea how much that encouraged me! Thank YOU!
      ~ Light4theLord
      P.S. Yay!

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