What does it mean to allow God to have the first and the final word over your life?
The phrase has been used so much by so many people; it is almost a modern cliché that many people take for granted. We hear it at church, shake our heads in agreement and pretend to either know what it truly means or pretend that we are so connected to God that we can always distinguish between his voice and our own desire driven voice.
This is not meant to criticize or attack anyone in particular. I often have difficulty controlling my own fleshly desires and limited mortal understanding to the extent that I do not always yield to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, fear, pride and ignorance keep us from truly understanding what it means for God to have the first and the final word over every decision and situation that we are faced with. We fear the judgment of others if we do not “act” like good Christians and nod in agreement when we are reminded that God should have the first and the last word. We are too proud to admit that we don’t know how to do so, and we lack the knowledge to figure out how to acquire the information that would help us to gain an understanding.
This dangerous mix of fear, pride and ignorance does and will continue to keep us in spiritual bondage. It keeps us tied to earthly habits of doubt and self-destructive decisions. Even many leaders in our churches truly don’t know what it means for God to be the Alpha and the Omega, although it always sounds so good when they say it.
The purpose of allowing God to have the first and the final word over our lives is to establish our relationship with him such that He will dominate our thoughts.
Philippians 4:8: says “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. When Paul gave the commandment to “think on these things”, it was not a mere suggestion, rather it was instruction to help us learn how to reign in our egos and let the qualities of the Holy Spirit permeate our thoughts.
Without the persistent practice of thinking about Godly things, the human mind will be saturated with thoughts that are pleasing to the flesh. These are sinful thoughts because they are diametrically opposed to the thoughts of the Spirit. Proverbs 16:2 teaches us that “All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.” – This speaks directly to pride. We humans are very good at convincing ourselves how to justify poor and hurtful thoughts and actions. Yet, no matter how convincing and manipulative we can be, the Lord knows the truth behind our façade. Psalm 10:4 says
“the wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.” But, if we learn to control our egos, Proverbs 16:3 teaches that we can “commit thy (our) works unto the LORD, and thy (our) thoughts shall be established.
This is important because God so deeply desires to have a covenant of love with each of us such that whatever we think or desire, we should have. But God will not build this relationship with us if our thoughts are preoccupied with selfishness, lust and greed. If we are preoccupied with our own interests at the expense of someone else, He cannot bless us.
If we are to truly change and yield to the Spirit, we have to seek the “Word” of God. My own very first rule in doing this is to admit what I do and do not know about God and His word, which I don’t know much either way. But how could I ever or anyone else for that matter? How would it ever be possible to really know an infinite and everlasting God and the power of His word? It would be rather presumptive of me to say that I know all about Him, when I don’t even know about everything on this earth and His Spirit flows throughout everything in the entire universe. To truly know Him would mean to know every component of everything.
I would rather say that I am getting to know God. Each day, I see His image in the many facets of His creations. And to better understand Him, I try to break things down to their most simple form. Because God is no respecter of humans, gaining an understanding of him is available to both the learned and the unlearned. Take for example, “the word of the Lord” – this is a phrase that is used repeatedly as a metaphor to represent many things. I have identified only twelve of them such that the Word of the Lord is represented in the bible as follows:
A Messenger, a disciplinarian, a commander, a protector, a minister, a warning, a hidden treasure, a privilege, an authority, a sign for things to come, an enforcer and an image of God.
Yet, should we take a deeper approach to understanding this phrase, we can dissect the meaning by understanding that the “Word” was represented as “Logos” in the original Greek manuscript of the Bible that was eventually translated into English. A “logo” according to contemporary understanding is an image used to express the character, goal or purpose of an entity. So when the bible says that “The Word was with God in the beginning and the word became manifest in the body of Jesus Christ who is also the Alpha and Omega, what is really being expressed relates to God’s will and purpose. So we understand “The Word of the Lord” manifested as Jesus Christ to be God’s first will and purpose and God’s last will and purpose. When we read “It was written” this phrase translates as the purpose and will of God was established. Therefore, if we follow the example of David in Psalm 119:11 and hide God’s word in our hearts, so too will the first and last will and purpose for us be established, as God will have free reign to be the source of the first and final word to our every thought, decision and action.
“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” Philippians 1:6