Our lives are often complicated with chaos. Deadlines, family needs, and responsibilities consume our time and demand our attention. As our Creator, our Heavenly Father, our bridegroom, and our friend, the Lord deserves not only a spot on our calendar, but a priority in our lives. His will and plans should be at the forefront of our minds, rather than an afterthought. However, with the demands of everyday life it can be difficult to give God our best or to remember that our best is enough for him. It’s the how that often trips us up. How do we give God our best? While the meaning of best might vary from person to person, I believe there are some steps we can take to give God the very best we can.
In order to give God our best we must know him. Jeremiah 29:13 tells us that if we seek him with our whole heart, we will find him. By reading his Word and talking to him through prayer, we begin to build a lasting, personal relationship with him. Psalm 62:8 advises us to “pour out our hearts to him.” There is something special about sharing your life with God openly and honestly, as a best friend. By doing this, time spent with him is no longer superficial, but instead sincere.
Spend Time with Him
We can begin to give him our best by spending time with him every day. Spending time with the Lord daily establishes him as a priority in our lives and allows us to receive his instruction and guidance consistently. During the time we spend with him, it is important that we give him our attention and listen to him. Journaling, meditating on Scripture, or simply listening during prayer help us hear what God wants us to hear.
Love and Obey Him
To give God our best, we must love and obey him. Love and obedience go hand in hand. In John 14:15, Jesus stated that to love him is to obey what he has commanded. Purposeful obedience to God from a heart striving to honor him is love for God. In our lives, obedience is a necessary step in giving God our best. He may call us to do something outside of our comfort zone. Actually, he most likely will call us, at some point or another, to do something outside of our comfort zone. It is when we step out in faith and obey that God can use us for his glory.
Surrender to Him
In order to give God our best we must surrender our heart’s desires to his will and purpose. We know that God’s will is good, pleasing, and perfect (Romans 12:2). God is a gentleman. He is not going to demand any part of our life, but instead, will insist that our life is better in his hands than our own. After all, his hands laid the foundations of the earth, and his right hand spread out the heavens (Isaiah 48:13). Ultimately, I think we understand that God’s will for our life is far better than our own, but it can be difficult to make his will a priority when it conflicts with what we want. He has a purpose and design for our lives. The key is to allow God to use us for his purposes rather than for purposes we choose that might be outside of his will.
We must trust God in order to give him our best. God has been reminding me lately that he is not limited by what I can do. To give God our best, we must trust that he is able to do all things and will carry us through every situation, providing the strength we need to do his will. As we trust in him, he will make our paths straight (Proverbs 3:5, 6).
Use Your Talents
To give God our best, we must use what he has given us for his glory. Each of us has specific talents, skills, and resources, as well as spiritual gifts (see 1 Corinthians 12:1-11). God purposefully gave us these gifts so that we might satisfy the needs of his people and serve him better. We must seek the Lord’s guidance to discern ways to use our talents for good, and to discover opportunities both big and small to do the work he has called us to do.
Give What You Have
In order to give God our best, we must begin by giving him all we have right now. Second Kings 4:1-7 recounts the story of a woman whose husband had died and whose sons were about to be taken as slaves to pay off her debts. She told the prophet Elisha that she had nothing in her home except a little oil. From there, God was able use the small amount of oil she had and work a miracle with it. God produced more oil than she had jars to fill. She was able to sell the oil, pay off her debts, and keep her sons out of slavery. God used what the woman gave him and did more with it than she could have done alone. For us to give God our best, we must give him all we have. He will do the rest.
To give God our best, we must be patient with ourselves. Growth and development take time. This is something God has had to teach me. Recently, as I prayed to him with tears streaming down my face, stressed out and disappointed in myself for struggling to balance my worship ministry position and maintain my academic responsibilities, I prayed that he would help me serve him wholeheartedly and that I would remember that my best is enough. Before I finished praying, I felt the Lord was whispering to my heart, “It’s always enough.” God wants our heart. That’s all he has ever wanted. Once he has our heart, he will begin to present us with opportunities to serve him that challenge us to grow. If we do our best with what he has given us, doing all we can to serve and love him, it will always be enough. We must be patient and keep going no matter the cost. The Christian life was never meant to be easy. In fact, Jesus promised us the opposite. Even so, we know this for sure: “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15.58).
Makayla League is a junior Acting major at Ball State University. She also serves as one of the worship ministry assistants at Ball State’s Christian Campus House. She’s in love with the Lord and thankful for each opportunity he presents her to serve him and others.