If his offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he shall offer a male without blemish. Leviticus 1:3

I have a lot of things that I intend to do one day. One day, when I have an afternoon off, I’ll fix that trim along the bathroom floor. When I have time, I’d like to get together with that friend I’ve not seen for a while. I’ve got some costly projects that I’d love to do – when I have a pile of cash sitting around. I’ll probably never get to any of these things though, because they simply aren’t priorities. When I have an afternoon off, I never have nothing to do. So, I’ll never get to that trim until I put it at the top of my list. If I wait until I have a weekend with nothing going on, I’ll never get together with that friend, because I’m always busy. And I’ll never start on those expensive projects if I wait until I have money to burn. If I don’t make these things priorities, I may intend to get to them, but I never will.

I’ve treated my faith and recovery this way as well. As my opiate use spiraled out of control, I realized that I needed to get sober. One day I’ll quit. Eventually my appetite for drugs will burn out and then, when I feel like it, I’ll stop using. I even prayed, asking God to take away my appetite. God, if you make me hate drugs, I’ll change my behavior. God told me to first do whatever it took to change my behavior, and then he’d transform my appetite. I told God I’d get around to it when I felt like it. One day . . .

In today’s passage though, God taught that he must be the top priority in his people’s lives. When the Israelites brought an animal sacrifice to God, they weren’t allowed to pick from the weak or the sick among the flock. Rather, they were to bring God their finest. They weren’t to offer God the scraps and leftovers of their lives, but rather, they were to give God their best. The only way they would experience the blessings God intended for them was if they made him their top priority.

God first. Everything else second. That’s the lesson. I can’t wait until my head hits the pillow at night to turn my thoughts towards God. By then I’m simply too tired. Rather, I must get up early and point my life at him. I can’t wait until I have extra money to put in the offering plate. Who has extra money? Rather, I must give to God as soon as I get my paycheck. If I want to experience the blessings of authentic faith and recovery, then I must daily make God my priority, putting his will above all. If I don’t, just like with that bathroom trim, I may intend to get there, but I never will.

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