Do you want to be remembered for years to come, even after you are no longer here? Do you want to make sure your mark on this world will last long after you’re gone? To leave a lasting legacy?
Then it’s time to start putting God first in your life. Find out why in this article. We’ll explore the reasons that’s so important and how it can help you make an impact.
In a nutshell, if you want to make an eternal difference in this world, you must put God first, since the quality of your relationship with Him defines the impact you will have on the world. Jesus taught his disciples, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”
It was only when they followed this commandment that they stopped being afraid and started following God’s plan for them.
Let’s delve into why putting God first will help you achieve your goal of leaving a legacy.
While proclaiming the Good News in Corinth, the apostle Paul was threatened and harassed, and he became afraid for his well-being. One night, God spoke to him in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you.” Paul trusted Him and so stayed in that city for another year and a half to teach God’s Word.
Because Paul put God first, God took care of him and showered him with love and peace.
I, too, have experienced God’s love and peace when I put God first.
One year in my previous company I got the opportunity to do a fun but complicated project: to produce a video that showcased our top technologies in biotech development. With the help of a professional video producer, we had to write a script, shoot footage at six different sites in Europe, and edit the piece—all within two months. It seemed like an impossible mission, and at first, I felt overwhelmed.
But then I decided to put God first. I prayed to Him and offered up the project to His glory. He came through for us in a big way. At the Rome airport when the airline stopped us for transporting many lithium batteries, God intervened, and the security agents miraculously found a compliancy loophole that allowed us to board our plane. In Bordeaux, God opened the sky for us to shoot our footage, providing us with the only sunny day in two months. Moreoever, at two sites, we were able to obtain special authorization to fly our camera drone next to airfields. I smiled and thanked God for all these miracles.
Long story short, the video was a success. And despite the many stressful situations we encountered, I experienced a profound peace and felt God was with us every step of the way.
If God gave me such deep peace while I was working on a small video project, imagine how much more love and peace He will bestow upon you as you embark upon your life mission.
Luke, the author of the book of Acts, does not mention how the disciples were feeling as they waited in the upper room for the Holy Spirit to arrive. Those couple of days probably felt like an in-between time, full of uncertainty.
Then, after the miracle of Pentecost, the believers put God first by going out and proclaiming God’s Word to all who would listen. Afterward, they gathered in the upper room again, and this time Luke uses many emotional words to describe them: “They received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God.” They were full of joy because “The fruit of the Spirit is […] joy.”
As I read this passage from Acts, I get the urge to sneak in and join the disciples’ party. You can tell they had a good, joyous time because they put God first and proclaimed His Good News.
Many years after Pentecost, Peter wrote in his letter to the believers in Asia Minor, what’s today Turkey, “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.” When you put God first, you will find supernatural joy.
Jesus came into this world to create a movement of radical followers. He poured years of His life into training twelve young men.
If you had seen them when they were first chosen—fishermen, revolutionaries, and even a tax collector—you might have suggested that Jesus find better-qualified trainees. Fortunately, He paid less attention to the believers’ outward appearances than to what was inside their hearts.
Each of them moved Jesus to the top of his priority list and, as a result, Jesus made their lives count. He equipped them to participate in the greatest rescue mission the world has ever seen. Jesus gave his followers the power to heal the sick, cast out demons, and raise the dead.
In an age when many people never left their home villages, the disciples traveled all over the region, spreading the Good News. Historical documents show that Thomas went all the way to India. In ancient times, such a trip was like going to the moon.
Likewise, God invites you to go on a journey with Him. He wants to make your life count, too. In the past, you may have accomplished lofty goals that benefited a small segment of society.
God is proud of you.
But God wants you to do even more.
To make this happen, He invites you to up your commitment. If you put Him first with all you have, He will make your life count in ways you can’t imagine.
Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” In other words, if you put God first, He will give your life purpose and meaning, and these two ingredients will make your life fulfilling.
Because as journalist Studs Terkel reported after interviewing hundreds of people in a variety of professions, “Most of us are looking for a calling, not a job.”
We want our lives to count.
When we invite God, He will direct our path. And when we let Him do that, He will guide us to unimaginable places.
On Pentecost morning, the disciples were sequestered in the upper room. According to the Bible, “They were all together in one place,” which was passive and small. But when the Holy Spirit came upon them, they hurried into the city and spoke to the crowd in many different languages, spreading the Good News. They went from being passive to being energetic. Through God’s guidance, the community of the first believers became vibrant, and miracles happened.
How do you feel about your life?
Do you wish it had more meaning and purpose?
Remember that Jesus has a mission for you, just as He had one for the disciples. If you feel lost or unsatisfied, ask Him for guidance and He will show you how to make a true difference. Also, if your life has become overly busy with work or family life, know that Jesus’s invitation is waiting for you, too. He is calling to you, saying, “Follow me and I’ll make you a fisher of men.”
He wants you to use your talents, skills, resources, and career to help build God’s Kingdom here on Earth.
Or perhaps you feel unqualified to do God’s work, or you think you’ve made too many mistakes for God to use you. Remind yourself that Peter messed up big time by denying knowing Jesus and doubting His resurrection. And yet Jesus told Peter, “Feed my sheep.” God selected the imperfect Peter to build His church.
As John C. Maxwell, the American author, speaker, and pastor said, “God created you for a purpose and He designed you to make a difference.” All you have to do is to invite God to show you the way.
In Proverbs, it says, “In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.” This means that if you want to be successful, God invites you to let Him steer your life. His definition of success may differ greatly from yours.
But be assured that His ideas for your success will far exceed your own. You may have had much success already and have built an impressive career.
Perhaps people call you the new trendsetter of the industry. Or maybe you are earning much more than you ever dreamed of. Or perhaps you successfully invested in the stock market, cryptocurrencies, or real estate. Good job!
But God wants to give you more. Not necessarily more money. God wants to show you how to increase your impact to help more people.
Maybe you have dreamed too little until now. Perhaps you have focused more on the immediate return on your investments. In His economy, you’ll need to adopt a long-term view because if you do, I guarantee that your return on investments will impress you. Success may include peace of mind, joy, health, strong relationships, meaning, rewarding challenges, money, and much more.
To become unstoppable and create a legacy, you first must build a solid spiritual foundation—a launchpad—that starts with improving your relationship with God.
Because when you put Him first, you begin your journey of making an eternal difference.
The more intimate the relationship you develop with God, the greater impact you will have.