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Beyond the Chase: Seeking Yahweh First in a World of Distractions

DALL·E 2024-05-11 01.22.08 - A professional African American woman in her mid-30s, dressed

Image courtesy of : PierceDesigns

Devotional by J.Pierce

Prayer:

 

"Heavenly Father, Yahweh, as we explore the wisdom of Your Word, guide us to recognize where we may have placed worldly pursuits above our devotion to You. Teach us to rely on You as our ultimate provider and to seek Your kingdom above all else. Strengthen us in humility and help us to avoid the pitfalls of pride. In the name of Yeshua, Amen."

Introduction:

 

In our daily lives, it's easy to become absorbed in the pursuit of material wealth, career success, and personal relationships. However, these pursuits can lead to self-reliance and pride, overshadowing our dependence on Yahweh, the true source of all blessings. This devotional explores the importance of prioritizing Yahweh and the transformative power of humility.

Scripture Exploration:

  • Matthew 6:33 - Emphasizing the priority of seeking God’s kingdom and His righteousness.

  • Psalm 37:4 - Encouraging delight in Yahweh as He fulfills the desires of our hearts.

  • Philippians 4:19 - Reassuring us of Yahweh’s provision for our needs.

  • Proverbs 3:5-6 - Advising trust in Yahweh above our own understanding.

  • 1 Timothy 6:10 - Warning against the dangers of prioritizing money.

  • Proverbs 16:18 - Highlighting the destructive consequences of pride.

  • James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5-6 - Promoting humility as a virtue that attracts Yahweh’s grace.

Deep Dive: Exploring the Scriptures in Depth


1. Matthew 6:33 - Prioritizing the Kingdom of God

This scripture teaches us the importance of seeking Yahweh's kingdom and righteousness as our primary focus. When our priorities align with divine purposes, our earthly needs, such as financial stability and relationships, are met in Yahweh's perfect timing and manner.


2. Psalm 37:4 - Finding Delight in Yahweh

Encourages us to take joy in Yahweh, who fulfills the true desires of our hearts. Often, we seek fulfillment in achievements and acquisitions, but true contentment is found in our relationship with Yahweh, who knows and provides what is best for us.


3. Philippians 4:19 - Trusting Yahweh’s Provision

Reminds us that our needs are supplied by Yahweh's riches, not by our own efforts. This challenges us to rethink our pursuits of financial security and career success, emphasizing trust over toil.


4. Proverbs 3:5-6 - Trusting in Yahweh Over Our Own   Understanding

Advises us to lean not on our own insights but to trust in Yahweh’s wisdom. In our careers and personal plans, such trust directs our paths more fruitfully than relying solely on our judgment.


5. 1 Timothy 6:10 - The Pitfalls of Prioritizing Money

Warns of the moral and spiritual dangers of making money our focus. It’s easy to be consumed by financial pursuits, but they can lead to ethical compromises and personal turmoil.


6. Proverbs 16:18 - Warning Against Pride

Highlights how pride precedes a fall, especially relevant when we achieve success and begin to credit ourselves instead of acknowledging Yahweh’s hand in our lives.


7. James 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:5-6 - The Virtue of Humility

These verses extol humility, promising that Yahweh gives grace to the humble and lifts them in due time. They serve as a counterbalance to the self-exaltation often seen in personal achievements and societal status.

Application in Common Pursuits

 

  • Financial Security: Instead of endless striving for more, trust in Yahweh's provision as stated in Philippians 4:19.

  • Career Advancement: Seek Yahweh’s wisdom and guidance in your professional life, as encouraged in Proverbs 3:5-6.

  • Relationships: Let your relationships be guided by the righteousness and love of Yahweh, focusing on godly virtues over worldly attributes.

  • Health and Wellness: Remember that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, and maintain it with respect and care, trusting Yahweh for health and strength.

  • Education and Knowledge: Pursue learning but acknowledge Yahweh as the source of all wisdom.

Relatable Scenario

Imagine Tayaka, a driven and ambitious marketing director at a leading tech firm. She has dedicated the better part of her decade to climbing the corporate ladder. Her daily life consists of long hours, constant email notifications, and a relentless pursuit of the next big promotion. Tayaka's hard work pays off, leading to a substantial salary, a high-end apartment, and recognition among her peers. On paper, she has it all—success, status, and financial security.

Yet, despite these achievements, Tayaka feels a growing sense of emptiness. Each promotion brings more responsibilities but less satisfaction. She begins to question the meaning of her relentless pursuit when her health starts to decline due to stress, and her relationships suffer because she has little time for anything beyond work.

One rainy evening, while working late in her office—a common occurrence—Tayaka receives a call that her elderly mother has had a mild stroke. Rushing to the hospital, she's struck by the fragility of life and the stark realization of her misplaced priorities. Sitting by her mother's bedside, Tayaka reflects on her life choices and the things she has sacrificed in her quest for career success.

Over the following weeks, as her mother recovers, Tayaka spends more time at home, caring for her and rediscovering the peace found in slower, quieter days. She picks up her long-neglected Bible from the shelf, finding solace in the words she had forgotten. A particular verse strikes her deeply, Matthew 6:33, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Tayaka realizes she has been chasing after 'these things'—money, prestige, and career achievements—without first seeking Yahweh and His righteousness.

Motivated by this revelation, Tayaka begins to reevaluate her life’s direction. She starts to pray regularly, seeking Yahweh's guidance on how to balance her career with her spiritual life and relationships. Gradually, she makes significant changes—cutting back on overtime, engaging more with her community, and mentoring young professionals, emphasizing the value of balance and purpose over mere success.

As months pass, Tayaka finds that her life is richer and more fulfilling. She feels a sense of peace and joy that her career alone never provided. Through turning to Yahweh and prioritizing His will, Tayaka discovers that true fulfillment comes not from climbing the corporate ladder but from living a life aligned with divine purpose.

Reflection & Application:

  • Reflect on your own life: where might you be prioritizing earthly resources over your relationship with Yahweh?

  • How can you apply the scriptures to realign your priorities, cultivating a mindset that seeks Yahweh first?

Practical Steps or Challenge:

 

Identify one area of your life where you have been self-reliant and make a conscious effort to seek Yahweh’s guidance. Perhaps replace time spent on worldly pursuits with time in prayer, scripture study, or service to others as acts of humility and trust in Yahweh.

Closing Prayer:

"Lord Yahweh, thank You for Your endless provision and for the wisdom of Your Word that guides us. Help us to seek Your kingdom above all earthly treasures and to live lives marked by humility and reliance on You. Grant us the grace to trust in You fully, knowing that You will provide for all our needs according to Your riches in glory. Through Yeshua, our Savior, Amen."

Further Study:

Haggai 1:5-9 


"Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD. Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house."

Colossians 3:1-2 


"If then ye were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are upon the earth."

Concluding Thoughts:

By shifting our focus from worldly achievements to seeking Yahweh, we open ourselves to a life of true fulfillment, peace, and joy that only He can provide. Let this devotional be a reminder to keep our hearts and minds set on divine priorities.

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May 12

God's way and God's time, "great encouragement"

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