“I resolve to put the Word before the world, because I believe Jesus Christ is worthy of my first, best, and last moments. He is the Main Character of this life I live, and I have the joy of being His daughter and disciple as I daily come before the throne of grace.…” (from the WBW Manifesto found in the Word Before World Journal)
When Jonathan Edwards, an 18th-century preacher, penned his list of 70 resolutions, he had one thing in mind: to live with an undivided heart for the glory of God. Like a thread woven throughout every declaration, Edwards had a burning passion to live with eternity in mind. In his lifetime, he wrote this simple yet profound prayer: “Lord, stamp eternity on my eyeballs.” Edwards had a vision and a perspective on life that he found in the Word couldn’t shake. It transformed his purpose and guided his every step, thought, and decision.
At the end of 2017, I looked back at my own list of resolutions I had made the January before with discouragement. Nothing I’d planned had turned out the way I’d hoped it would. As I looked back on that year, my heart ached at the amount of time I wasted lacking vision and passion. What was the culprit of my lack of clarity? Most often it was too much time spent on my phone comparing myself and my situations to the lives of other women. Gazing at others without first gazing at Christ is a surefire way to lose vision.
Within the first few minutes of waking up each day, I would put my eyes on the world before the Word and experienced the profound negative impact this had on my life. Text messages, emails, social media, the news — all of these things stirred emotions within me that didn’t set my feet on the path of righteousness. When I approached the day putting the world first, my passion for Jesus lessened. My mind was distracted, filled with to-dos, problems, disappointments, and discontentment, and I found it hard to open His Word with joy.
It was time for a change.
Instead of making 70 resolutions like Edwards, I made one: I resolve to put the Word before the world. Done.
Deep down, I knew that if I did that one thing throughout the year, the rest of life would fall into place. If my mind was filled with the truth of God’s Word, my decisions would inevitably change as well. God’s Word brings revival to our weary souls, restoration to our broken hearts, hope to our hurting would, and life to our longing eyes. It is more precious than the most costly treasure that can be found in the universe, and it never changes, yet always changes us (Psalm 19:10).
Putting the Word before the world inevitably changes … everything.
Jimmy Needham, singer and songwriter, said, “Being satisfied in Christ rights a thousand wrongs.”
“Word before world” is ultimately about making Christ supreme and center in our lives. It’s a simple phrase you can remember first thing in the morning, and, if implemented, will transform your life. Being satisfied in Christ will change your thinking, working, giving, spending, sacrificing, and living. And this kind of soul satisfaction is stirred and awakened as we seek to know Jesus more in all of the Word.
Instead of the overwhelming list of resolutions you might feel obligated to make, let each goal filter through this one resolution that will change everything: Word before world. May Christ be in all, through all, and above all you do this year as you put Him first, in His rightful place.
Putting the #WordBeforeWorld with you,