(Excerpt from the book Ten: How The Commandments Set Us Free)
Occasionally, it’s important to step back from our lives and evaluate whether or not God is our true hub. Is He really first—not in the sense that there are other things on our list but in the sense that He’s the center of our existence? Someone made an acrostic out of the word “first” that might help us evaluate our own lives according to the first commandment: “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3).
FOCUS —What is your focus? What are you thinking about? What are you watching? What are you listening to? In Colossians Paul says to “set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:2).
INCOME—How do you spend your money? We tend to pour our dollars into things that are meaningful to us. Jesus put it this way: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6: 21). If someone were to evaluate what’s important to you based on your checkbook register or your online bank statement, what would that person conclude?
RELATIONSHIPS—Who influences your life? Who is in your inner circle? Who do you go to when you need some counsel? Perhaps an even better question: Who are you trying to please? Or this: Who are you trying to impress?
SPIRITUAL FOOD—Describe your spiritual diet. What place does the Word of God really have in your life? Are you regularly feasting on God’s Word? The apostle Peter said, “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk” (I Peter 2:2).
TIME—how do you spend your time? We all need time for relationships, for work and for play. It’s amazing, though, how many hours we can spend doing things that really aren’t that necessary or important. Then, when it comes to the things of God, we say, “I don’t have time for that”. Scripture says, “Be very careful, then how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil”. (Ephesians 5: 15-16)
When I ask myself these questions, I quickly realize how often I fall short. Here’s my prescription: Simply run to Jesus.
Instead of feeling guilty and burdened by your sin, confess your sin and remember God’s promise in Romans 8:1 – “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
But don’t stop there. Take the next step and ask God to help you make some changes. If you know Christ, then the Holy Spirit lives within you, and the Holy Spirit doesn’t just convict you from the outside, He also helps and empowers you from the inside. Remember, the Ten Commandments are meant to enrich you, not to enslave you. You can yield to the Holy Spirit and begin to make God your only God. That’s the path to true freedom.