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What is my priority?

March 29, 2010

Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness

Really struggling at the moment.  Its an unusual time in my life with few established patterns.  New to my home, a new type of work, new church and some very big questions around what I will do in the future.  And yet I have this sense from God that something really big is about to happen, and that my job is to prepare for it, to draw as close to Him as possible.  This is why I journey deep into God’s Word so that I can be challenged, to grow in my faith and draw closer to him.

And not only am I struggling with all the newness that comes with finishing a role and moving countries, but right now the attacks of the enemy are massive, attempting to push me off course.  And I know this means I am travelling in the right direction, I know something big is about to happen and I am certain that when it does, the enemy will absolutely hate it.

The key is that I don’t give in to the enemy, that I don’t pursue my own will, but only the will of God.  And the reading today is a stunning help in this.  When I check out the greek behind the English I discover that But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness is saying that before I do anything else, as an absolute first priority, I should seek out, utterly desire, completely strive for God’s power and authority, so that my life is driven by God not by me.

And I need God’s power in my life. So as I face these struggles, I seek you Lord as an absolute priority.  I want to spend more time praying, more time reading your awesome Word, more time dealing with my sin.  I expect God to act in these next few weeks!  You Lord are my priority. Praise God in the highest!!!

God bless,

PS I started a new Facebook page yesterday after breakfast and before church called: I Expect God to Act!! It already has nearly 18,000 fans!! Check it out by clicking here.

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  1. Larry permalink

    Awesome. I went to the new page you created and it was like a continual praise page. The people were streaming praises to God. It seemed almost every minute this was happening. All praises. I even commented to my wife 12 hrs later. That’s how much this page was needed. Expecting God to act requires trust. Trust is preceded by obedience and then praise. The devil knows that God is using you. Keep going brother!

  2. Patti McLaughlin permalink

    wow it’s so funny you’ve shared this..I have felt the same way…the struggles..and knowing God has a plan and to keep on going! it is so nice sometimes to hear others are experiencing the same is somehow comforting and encouraging.

  3. Brenda P permalink

    It is so very interesting that you have a man named George (forget the last name), and he comes onto your new site and disaparages folks who are seeking God. Keep the faith, Mark, because God is using you to reach this man, maybe others. I felt the hurt and resentment that God did not help him when he needed help. There is an awful response to him from a professed Christian. Your heart should show in all things, as it does in this blog. I am grateful to be a Fan.

  4. sheryl permalink

    Dear Mark,
    I feel we are walking on the same path. I too am struggling right now with job.Im taking on a new role in my career and its scary! I can only do it with Gods help. I open your message & see God talking to me through you.. That is the question for me today, What is my Priority? I feel the enemy all around me. However I;m trying to focus on God & expecting him to act.I went to my church yesterday for the first time in a long time. I felt the power of God, as I do in your messages. I am planning to attend Church on Friday & Sunday. Trying to put God first again, & focus on him instead of the problems. Although I consider myself a born again Christian, for over 25 years, I am so busy with life chores & raising kids, sometimes I dont know the right way to pray, Thanks for sharing your prayers & thoughts.& giving me the right words to pray & contemplate on.

  5. Paula Reeves permalink

    Brother Mark thank u for sharing theses
    wonderful messages! Struggling is something we ALL face! I expect great things to come!

  6. Elizabeth Flaharty permalink

    This is good, sometimes in the midst of disarray we must remember to focus on God’s Will, remember that God has a timing for everything, he planned our every movement before we were born, my favorite chapter is Psalms 139, it was my grandma’s favorite and when I’m not sure of what’s going on, I read that, it reassures me that God has a plan, it may not be what I WANT at the time, but it is His Will that matters! have a great day.

    • Pearl Watson permalink

      That is my favorite Psalm as well.

    • Sister Pam OP permalink

      Add me to the favorite Psalm 139 fan club. This psalm changed my life with the help and blessings of Jesus, Holy Spirit and some awesome Christians.

  7. Adrienne permalink

    Thanks for being such a blessing. God is truly using you in an awesome and profound way:)

  8. Maryann permalink

    Wow it is awesome how God speaks! I am going through the same as you Mark. I do expect something is about to happen and I am trying to not be anxious for anything. Knowing what God has done before in my life and how big that was something even bigger is going to transpire in the Mighty Name Of JESUS! I trust and stand on His words What the enemy meant for evil God (my God) will turn it for good! No weapon formed against us shall prosper! with God before us who can be against us? The enemy can only try to trip us up and we will if we ALLOW him but greater is He in us than he that is in the world.We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! We have have the victory in Jesus! Praise God and thank you Mark for following the Holy Spirit!

  9. Thank u for reminding me that..
    God Bless

  10. Mirriam permalink

    Wow!Mark,I am also struggling.The enemy is attacking worldwide(I am in South Africa).I learned to see it as a compliment when Satan attacks coz that means I am a threat to his kingdom.A compliment from God coz He lets me go through what I go through coz He knows with Him by ma side I can!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Imlimeren Jason Yaden permalink

    Thank you for sharing this.Just got reminded.

  12. Eventhough you are in a new place, new work and new church or even new people around you, but i know deep inside you there you can find the OLD precious strong FAITH which makes you draw closer to God. Praise God for using you to be our eye opener to our life.God bless you Sir Mark! Take care!

  13. Glory to God! The Lord has called me to out for a mission and the enemy is not thrilled at all! Brother just as you said in not the exact words but its time to be about our fathers business with the least distractions possible!I. am no longer convinced!I am persuaded!Keep the banner up!

  14. Katrina Robinson permalink

    I expect God to Act_the trials I’ve seen are book worthy but jus like spring God has renewed me n mind n spirit_I got baptized for the first timew yesterday @24 yrs old n after I left church I got in a car wreck_this did not disturb me or shake my faith because “I EXPECT GOD TO ACT!!” The prayer of Jabez is in affect read 1 chronicles 4:9-10

  15. Enid permalink

    Seeking God”s Kingdom first is such a HUGE challenge. First of all because it is very hard to die the old man and make way for the new man, when we’ve become accustomed to the things and ways of the world. We live in one of the worst times. In a world full of so many different circumstances, temptations and emotions. And surely enough, when we pursue a Christian life, satan will rise against us and will tempt us with what he knows is our biggest struggle. Nevertheless, we walk with a Powerful Giant, who is faithful and will never leave us even when we stumble and fall…Praise God!

  16. tammy permalink

    Thank you for those words of encouragment. I am in a difficult sititation that requires me to stay with my husband or leave with my kids. I just pray that god answers in time before I make my own decision. I’m so deperate now, and I need god to step in immediatley!!

  17. Katrina Robinson permalink

    1 chronicles 4:9-10

  18. The permalink

    Also don’t forget your Spiritual Armor/ The 1st part of it is: Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. NKJV So don’t try in your own strength but in God’s strength and might, not only for your future, but for attacks on yourself. The battle belongs to God, let Him fight for you and direct your steps in all that you do. Remember some plant, some water, and God gets the increase and vengance belongs to Goe, so we are free to love our enemies as Jesus commanded, praying for them, giving them “food when they are hungry, drink when they are thirsty, heaping coals of fire on their heads.” (From Rom. 12:19 & 29) God is going to use you mightily, blessing others and racking up jewels for your crown. Never lose hope, never lose faith.

  19. Pearl Watson permalink

    Sorry, somehow my name was deleted from the name field putting only ‘The’ in it,

    • Pearl Watson permalink

      I think my whole comment got deleted. LOL

  20. Coker pamppossa permalink

    How do u spend ur palm sunday,as 4 me was great

    • Sister Pam OP permalink

      My Palm Sunday was fabulous. We shared Holy Eucharist in the evening with good friends, followed by a contemporary Middle Eastern meal with kabobs, hummus, Israeli salad,Esau’s Pottage, figs, dates, grapes, olives and sherbet. We had plenty of palm branches so we took some to place in a vase at home. This was a memorable Sunday. I’d like to hear what others did also.

  21. Carol Steegman permalink

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for being the vessel for God’s word to flow through. I woke up today and needed encouragement and here it is!!

    Amen and keep pushing!!

  22. Katheryn permalink

    I also am struggling in all of these ways. I also am trying to have my family keep te faith it’s really hard when people surrounding us are taking trips to wonderful places and we can’t even go for a drive right now. It’s hard for me to focus and I feel like an outsider in this world. I am always focused on what’s right and what God wants. At the same time I have lost all happiness and joy. I know that I am being attacked but this has been going on for a couple years now and I can’t get the happiness back

  23. Miki Savoie permalink

    Thank you, Mark, for sharing this with us. Sometimes I feel that I am alone in the struggles of life. I get too bogged down with the everyday things that I sometimes forget to focus on what God has planned. Thank you for being an encouragement to fellow Christians. Have a great day!

  24. Lupe meza permalink

    Thank you for sharing. This has blessed me this morning. I am also struggling….My flesh gets in the way…. Bless you Brother.

  25. Leigh permalink

    Thank you for your inspiring words…I too have been knee deep in some of the biggest struggles of my life and my daily…uh hourly…uh no minutly communication with the Lord is what gets me through…I was kicked in the butt to go to Church yesterday (yes, by God, I believe) and it was amazing that it was words that I was SUPPOSED to hear ! Thank you for reaching out to people !!

  26. Sara permalink

    This so blessed me. I am in the exact same place in my life. Thank you for sharing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. Rhonda Hathaway permalink

    so good, struggles will always be as long as we are on earth. Maybe the Amish have something, with the simple life that aids them w/ keeping their eyes on Jesus. But most of us are in the reality of this life and dealing w/ everyday issues, read, pray and trust is the best we all can do. When we fall and we all know we will just get up and start all over again, He is forgiving, Praise His Holy Name, and that I count on.
    Keep looking for His return. And keep up the inspiring word, you have supporters because people are seeking real answers, comfort and friendship. Appreciate your anointed words.

  28. Cheryl permalink

    Wow! I am so blessed to have found this. I too am struggling right now. We just got foreclosure papers on our home. I am recovering from a drug addiction that almost destroyed my life. I was saved fourteen years ago and fell really hard due to my own choices. The enemy has had me believing that I would never gat back what he has taken and that I deserved every bit of what has happened. I am very familiar with God’s word, I just need to believe the truth more than the lies. Thank you so much and I am looking forward to having this as part of my journey. One of my favorite scriptures is Revelations 12:11 ” They overcame him by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” I believe it is important to share or to give the firstfruits of what he gives us and I mean the firstfruits of his word! I was given that this morning and I must immediately give it away. Thank you Jesus!

  29. May God bless you as you go through this season. You’re an inspiration!!

  30. Shannon permalink

    Thanks so much for sharing! I was just thinking about how I wish I could start over and be new again because I’ve made my share of mistakes. But then I realized that I can! And I do every time I talk to Jesus really heart to heart. He gives me a clean slate. But I’ve been “busy” lately and haven’t really gotten around to spending much time with Him. Thanks for reminding me of what needs to be numero uno en mi vida. Que Dios bendiga!

  31. Eric permalink

    I used to struggle and got bossed around by the adversary. I really didn’t know what it was to be a Christian. So I just settled in and did what everyone else, claiming to be a Christian, did. I was lost in this way of thinking for my whole life until the day my father died. That was the wake up call for me. I turned away completely from everything that I grew up being taught in the church. However, I never let go of my belief in God. It wasn’t until I was in total darkness that I finally saw the light. I now have a peace and understanding that I never had as an orthodox Christian. I now believe in something that is impossible to unbelieve. Where I use to try to go on “blind faith” everything now is logical and makes sense. God is real to me and I have no power whatsoever. I do not have to try to do God’s will because God’s will is the only will (Ephesians 1:11) and no matter what I do, God is behind it all and has been since before He created the world and I can do no wrong in His sight. (Ephesians 1:4)

    This give me peace and a sense of love from God that I had never known before. I trust in Jesus more than ever now because I know that his work on the cross was not a failure and that every man, woman and child has salvation. (1 Timothy 4:10). God is in complete control of the adversary (Isaiah 45:7). Therefore, Satan is doing Gods bidding, so that His will be done, and Satan can never triumph over God. I realize now that everything that happens with me is just as God has planned and I give over everything to Him.

    • Miki Savoie permalink

      I love what you share here. The message that you give is one that is an inspiration to fellow Christians. Thank you for reminding me that whatever happens in my life is EXACTLY what God had planned! God bless!

  32. Lorrance permalink

    Hello all n God bless! I thank God for u all n the strenght to continue on. He will is perfect and true. I am grateful for this word today. I understand how so many of u feel. I have felt the same but be encourage to seek him. It may seem like ur losing ur mind, hope, faith, joy etc. But know that the Devil is a lier. God will Never leave or forsake u. The path he set u on is worth staying on. You can get ur joy back by praising him while going thru. A simple thank u lord is all it takes. Stay strong ppl and pray our strength n the lord. I luv u all. The bible says that we r our brothers keeper so lets pray for one another. Have a blessed day all.

  33. I could have written that blog!

    I’m going through a lot of the same things right now. I recently moved across the country. New house, new town, new church… Two of my children remained with their father. So there is so much to adjust too right now. I’m really struggling with my faith, and your blog & the FB page is helping me remain aware of God working in my life.

    Thanks for being so open!


  34. I am struggling in my faith. I believe in GOD almighty, I pray, I go to church, I attend a women Wednesday prayer meeting, I look at the Word Network, TBN, and I also listen to the Gospel Chanell, but when I come to work why is it that my attitude toward the children at the job makes me react. The children are a handful maybe two handfulls, sometimes when I answer the phone and if I don’t understand the other caller I immediately get all worked up, it’s like I am saying to myself why not take a class in English, or why do I have to talk to this person. There are times when some people tell me that I am an inspiration to them when I tell them my thoughts and I leave so many GOD phrases in my status box on facebook. I sing Gospel songs in my head in the morning they just pop in there and I would love to keep that feeling all day. I know that the devil is very busy, being that I am trying GOD now, I know he wants the people that is on the LORDS side, but I refuse to let him attack my character and get me. Release me satan for that I am going to serve GOD the almighty at all times.

  35. Thank you Rev. Mark, I have also relocated, although not another country, just another state. I have left my church (I know the Lord moved me)the Brooklyn Tabernacle, Pastor Jim Cybala, a praise and worship the Lord church…It’s so hard to stay put and wait on the Lord…(sometimes). I was so crying last night this moring because I know the Lord is telling me to sit and wait at a church where he has place me….yet I would rather be somewhere else. But I love the Lord and obedience is the key of showing my love to the Lord…I know He has something big for me to do…I also am a missionary and ordain Pastor. Your word so encourage me this morning….Thank you.

  36. Erica J. Simpson permalink

    I am thankful to The Father for sending me to see your commentary on FB, via my mobile. I am in a “blue” place, not depressed, just seeking GOD’s face very quietly for the past 5 days. I have sought the Word to set myself free, even witnessing to others to stay focused…no matter what. Right now I know that the journey I am on is sooo powerful that the attacks are becomg even more challenging to deal with. However, I say all of this to say, that your words and the comments of others DO help to shine GOD’s powerful light in. Keep building your faith and our faith…as we KNOW “iron sharpeneth iron!!!” In JESUS’ Name…we stand strong, in our weakness…and we wait…!!! GOD Bless you Mark and your readers! 1 Love! Peace!!!

  37. What if “the kingdom of God, and his righteousness”, we are to seek first and foremost, are self-effacing aliases of the eternal name of Jesus Christ, viz.: “I Am Who I Am”, whom we are called upon to know firsthand and intimately strictly as prescribed in the gospel?

  38. Barbara permalink

    Thank you for reminding me why I’m in a storm and that I need to continually praise God and seek Him first! I really needed to hear this today. Life has been quite difficult for some time and now I have been reminded of why.

  39. Jae permalink

    Mark, like yourself and many other people in the world, I am facing struggles also. But I remain in the word of God and keep pushing onward. Thank-you for your encouraging words, and may God continue to bless you.

  40. Randy permalink

    Thanks for this Mark….so timely in my life also. It was no accident that I was led here to read this!

  41. Lydia Reyes permalink

    From the comments I’ve read so far there seems to be alot of struggling with the flesh, but fear not for God is with us. Mark, I know, with all you are going thru in waiting for the great things he has for you, I guess you don’t realize that God is doing a mighty thing right here and now. I can’t imagine how many people are coming to a closer relationship with God in what you are doing in this site or rather what God has you doing. You continue to hear his voice, which I know you are by staying close to Abba in all you do . I will pray for you and all that God wants to accomplish in your life. It’s going to get tough because the evil one does’nt like what God is doing in you, but Stand tall for God is with you. You need no better armor than that . LOVE to ALL

  42. thank you so much for sharing,it,s sometimes in the trails and prosecutions that we learn the most valuable lessons about who GOD is ,but also who we truly are in CHRIST.I,ts like Dawid said it,s in the difficult times that he learn ,t to trust in GOD.I can truly feel and confirm everything that,s been said here,it is truly a time of great prosecutions ,but also a time of a lot of miracles in the children of GOD,s lives.A time in which GOD shows HIS faithfulness and protection to such a extend that you can,t help but draw close to HIM,seek HIS KINGDOM first.

  43. Sister Pam OP permalink

    Father Mark, your comments are especially meaningful today. Many of us are in similar situations with life changes and strong temptations of Satan. I agree the God is planning something big in the lives of Christians. I pray that we are ready for it. I see God working in my church. It is exciting, but also frightening for so many of us are not ready. I thought about this last night after celebrating Palm Sunday. We know that Jesus payed for our sins with more than his life. So little is asked of us in return, faith. Yet, we struggle to walk the way of the cross. Today, I pray for your leadership and for God’s mercy on all of the world. The Bridegroom will return and we do not know the time or place.

  44. Delia Rodriguez permalink

    Hello Bro Mark, may God continue to bless you and your family. I love the heart that you have to seek God’s will and not your own. God is using you in a mighty way to help others in their daily walk with Him. Praise God! I pray blessings over you and your family.

  45. Sarah permalink

    Wow, reading this message helped me alot. Knowing that I am not the only one struggling at this moment has give me hope again. I am a university student and during this time of final projects and final exams, i usually struggle alot, but after reading this I felt really good and I believe that i can do it. Thank you very much Pastor Mark to share this with us. God Bless you.

  46. We all go through some type of struggle at one point or another in our lives but the good thing about it is, that doesn’t stop us from seeking the face of God;that’s the time when we seek Him more fervently so be encouraged Rev.Mark,God has great plans for you and He’s taking you to the right path.Be blessed.

  47. Mary linardis permalink

    The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and He delighteth in his way. Psalm 37:23 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: fir the Lord upholdeth him with his hand. v:24

  48. This is awesome I too find comfort in the word, when everything else fails his word strengthen the deepest soul… Please pray for me and my family god bless and keep you amen..

  49. Veronica permalink

    I pray you stay encouraged & stay the race. Keep focusing on the great move of God that’s coming.

  50. Nana permalink

    This is a great blessing for me because I learn that when I’m on the right track, the enemy’s attack become more aggresive and more real. Thanks for sharing this bro, God bless you. 🙂

  51. I am so struggling right now. I love God and fell so blessed that the Lord pulled me out of my river of sin. But I need and ask everyday that God please help my fiance’ to find a job here where I live. We have been apart for five years and it is wearing on me. I need God’s grace to pull us together. And that we can serve the Lord together as a couple. I am so afraid and feel so weak and I am so tired. Please God fill me up with the love of your son Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Help me to follow in his foot steps.

  52. Madeline permalink

    Well thats crazy!!! Good crazy…awesom Crazy…I too am under Seige and i am moving house on the 15th of April because i feel that God has called me to the place i will be living. And deep in my spirit i know God is preparing me for something. The enemy is trying his upmost to send me off track!

    The timing of this message is awesom…and so so so encouraging!

    Thank you Father for your messenger and bless him in a mighty way and keep him ever discerning and aware of Satans tricks like me as he is so sublte at times.

    Bless you Lord now and forever xxx

  53. Twila permalink

    Just would like to share what the Lord shared with me today: we don’t have to “deal with our sin” ….Jesus is the cure for sin. But there is a fight (hindrances to faith) The only fight Christians are called upon to fight is the fight of faith. 1Timothy 6:12 There is no need to fight the devil; Jesus has already defeated him. Your faith will grow as your understanding of God’s Word grows Romans 10:17. Know where to put your energy..give yourself to the study of the Word. Grow and develop spiritually. Keep your focus there. 🙂

  54. Christie permalink

    Thank you so much for writing this and being so frank about the struggle. A lot of times people tend to speak on the beginning and the end and forget to talk about what happens in the middle. In the middle of struggle, having your faith be challenged and walking away believing that God does care and is listening. That He is acting on our behalf. I’m believing Him, and I just chose to believe Him again. It’s hard but the struggle is polishing us is hard.

  55. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not to thine own understanding; In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He will direct thy path!”

  56. Just Kevin permalink

    I saw that you and several others in response to what you wrote are seeking prayer and guidance. Just before I read this I posted a what’s on your mind I am considering a ministry and waiting on God’s answer. Please assist me in praying it up. Take care and God bless. Just Kevin.

  57. Robin permalink

    I’m sensing in the Holy Spirit God calling us, the church, to step up higher in Him and die to the flesh to make way for more of Him. Am also sensing this worldwide, churchwide struggle is because God IS calling the church to purification and sanctification because HE is getting ready to do something in the Body of Christ. It’s not just a move He is doing personally in us. It’s a rising of His kingdom, and the true children of God will hear, heed, and follow His leading. We will, together, be a part of something big and awesome!!

  58. johnson permalink

    thanks for the inspiration of youe word .God will continue to use you to bless us in Jesus name amen.once again am saying thank you and be lifted in all you do

  59. johnson permalink

    thanks for the inspiration of your word .God will continue to use you to bless us in Jesus name amen.once again am saying thank you and be lifted in all you do

  60. Thanks for your encouragement. I’m also struggling at the moment fanancially and in my relationship with my husband but I just believe God will sort it out. Through God everything is possible. Never look around to solve problems but look up to God and He will not forsake us. My priority is to stay close to God and to be obedient to Him.

  61. Hi Mark ,this is so true of what u are saying,i need this r4ight now,ihave been motivated to make God my priority.
    be blessed.

  62. Rebecca permalink

    Thank you Lord!!!!!!!

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