Does God Want My First or My Best?

firstYou find the word “firstfruits” in the bible a lot, God wanting our first and our best. We’re taught in church to tithe first, off the top, instead of giving to God out of our leftovers. We’re taught to seek Him first at the beginning of the day instead of “penciling” God in somewhere later when we don’t have anything better to do. Yes, we’re also taught to seek him continually throughout the day, and to give more than just the tithe, but there’s a lot of talk about FIRST.

First, first, first.

On the other hand, we also know that God was displeased with Cain because even though he did bring an offering, it either wasn’t his best or his heart wasn’t in the right place. And we know that God instructed His people to choose the BEST lambs as sacrifices.

So God wants the first, best part of us, our day, our time, our everything.

But what if my first isn’t my best?

Now I’m not going to argue tithing to God first or making him first in my heart. What I struggle with is giving God the “first and best” part of my day. The first part of my day IS NOT the best part of my day. In fact the morning if often my worst and the last part of my day is definitely my best.

I was at my best at meeting with God daily, praying most fervently, studying His word diligently (and learning the most from it) during high school and college when I had my quiet time at the end of the day before I went to bed. You know, before marriage and kids. Getting married changed the pre-bedtime routine as you can imagine. I played around with my routine trying to find a good fit.

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Prompted by marriage and parenthood and encouraged by friends from church, I have tried to have a morning quiet time. I just can’t stick to it.

For years I have struggled with making my quiet time a regular habit. I  keep up with it a while, I fall out of it a while.

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And to be honest with you, most of the time I don’t really feel like I’m getting anything out of the reading, like I need a crash course in how to study the bible because all I’m doing is reading a passage and then going on about the rest of my business. But that can’t be true because there are other times that I read God’s word and He reveals truths to me and teaches my heart and I walk away feeling FULL. I just never feel that way in the mornings.

I have tried so many things and I’ve gotten to the point of wondering, and then back, and then returned again: Do I REALLY have to do this in the morning? Am I just beating myself up over not achieving something that MAN has decided is the way things should be? Or am I just trying to justify my lack of self-discipline by claiming the morning routine is just a form of legalism and instead I should just be praying harder that God would make me a morning person?

So do I? Have to have a quiet time in the morning? Because honestly I don’t feel like my quiet times can possibly be all that pleasing to God as they stand right now – either non-existent or non-intimate. And honestly I feel like I have the best time with God when I am cleaning my kitchen in the evening and listening to worship music or a sermon online.

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I know that those can’t be all I do alone, that I need to read and memorize God’s word, too, but I try (or plan to) do that in the mornings and well, we see how well THAT is going. I just always feel like there’s this “pressure” to fit into this mold I don’t fit into.

Do you have any testimonies in this area, encouraging scriptures or sermons you’ve heard or books you’ve read on this topic? Inquiring minds and late night owls everywhere (or at least in this house) want to know.

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Russell Earl Kelly
Russell Earl Kelly
February 12, 2009 6:41 pm

There are at least four sets of texts which prove that tithes and firstfruits are NOT the same thing. See Deuteronomy 26:1-10; 2 Chronicles 31:5; Nehemiah 10:35-39 and 12:44. Firstfruits were only very small token offerings which could fit in a small basket to be carried to the Temple per Deu 26:1-10. Tithes were only food from inside Israel and were brought primarily to the Levitical cities per Nehemiah 10:37-39. We are NOT taught that the tithes should be brought FIRST. Nor are we taught that tithes are necessarily the BEST. Read Leviticus 27:30-34 for both examples. Although money was… Read more »

February 12, 2009 6:42 pm

Aw, I have beat myself up about not being consistent too…but I think He’s just pleased for those times day or night that we stop and give Him some love. It doesn’t have to be long or drawn out or a full-on Bible Study…When we give God our best, it IS putting him first, no matter what time of day it is or how much time we “put in.”

God’s time is not like ours…He never sleeps OR slumbers…so I think He probably likes to have us all on different schedules. 🙂

Lori’s last blog post..Scams & Other Money-Making Events

Kristi @ RunWatchPlayWait
Kristi @ RunWatchPlayWait
February 12, 2009 7:11 pm

This has been a life long struggle for me, too! I am a night owl by nature, as well… I’ve tried many times to have a morning quiet time, and I’m barely conscious enough to remember what I’m reading! At this stage of life I’ve really come to a place where, as you said, it’s about giving God my best. For me, my best, most precious block of time during the day is naptime/ rest-time. Some days it’s not much, but if I can have my quiet time as soon as the kids go in their rooms, I usually have… Read more »

February 12, 2009 7:39 pm

Did you SNEAK into my head and write down my thoughts? This is so where I’ve been for the last few years. The morning just does NOT happen and the night time seems to be a blend of serving my husband and my daughter. My schedule doesn’t offer much consistency. In the last week I’ve volunteered to teach a ninth grade girls discipleship group. One of the requirements is a daily quiet time. I have to admit that I kind of went wide-eyed when I read that! I’ve felt so convicted about this area of my life for the past… Read more »

Your Mommie
Your Mommie
February 14, 2009 5:54 am

just a thought Boo’ful: for the Isrealites the day began at 6pm and was over the next evening. Sunset was the beginning of the day.
Love you!

February 16, 2009 12:21 pm

I’m late (I know). We just got back from a great V-Day weekend 😉 but I wanted to write ’cause this is SO TRUE! In high school/college I did my study at night– and that worked for me. Marriage changed that, motherhood added to it!

These days I struggle to make the time and my spiritual walk is hit and miss, but I LOVE what Kristi said about giving nap time. That would be the ultimate sacrifice of my time.

But if I’m going to try that I have to go!

Kelly@DesignsofMine’s last blog post..To Be or Not To Be?

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