What Is Important :: By John Lysaught

I failed. I didn’t listen to the Holy Spirit about ten weeks ago.

I was getting bored and began to consider going back to school for a second master’s degree. I received my first one prior to being saved, and figured this would be an easy endeavor again (because I wouldn’t have to take all the classes required and would finish in less than a year). My gut, the Holy Spirit, told me not to do this, but me being my stubborn self listened to my mind and signed up as a full time master’s student. It was only two classes for a nine week term but it was a great mistake; I should have listened to the Holy Spirit instead of my mind.

Anyway, the gist of it is this: School interrupted what was most important to me, which is learning and studying about Jesus. The school work, reading, stress, and anxiety of school took first place in my life when it shouldn’t have been there at all. The Holy Spirit knew this would happen to me and that is why he urged me not to do it, but again, I didn’t listen.

It was a horrible time in school. I have finished all projects, papers, and reading so I am now getting back into His Word and look forward to reading Christian books and the Bible again instead of a text books about human resources.

I totally felt like a failure to God. I thought to myself that I was only taking a short break from my walk with Jesus and that short time would have little effect on me. It did though.

I missed Him. I strayed from the path. I put God on the back burner and it hurt. It hurt deep inside my heart and soul.

Yet the course was paid for by the Veteran’s Administration and I couldn’t afford to withdraw and reimburse them so I suffered through the time, all the while yearning to get back to God. I am not going back to school for any other terms. I’m at peace with this and the Holy Spirit has confirmed this in my heart.

This got me thinking about what is important. I talked it over with a good friend and spiritual mentor mine, Bishop Al Brown, when I began to feel the emptiness of my heart getting enlarged by not being in the Word like I should have been. He told me that anything that takes away or is not focused on my walk with Jesus is not worth the time and effort at this time in my life. Wow. How simple a statement that was but it hit me hard about what was important to me. I guess I just got so used to being in the Word and reading books about Jesus that I took it for granted that straying from that would not affect me. I was certainly wrong.

I think we all do this in our lives: listen to our minds instead of the Holy Spirit because we think we know best and/or we are not in tune to the Holy Spirit, or as I did, I just plain ignored him.

Matthew 6:33 says “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you”.

I didn’t seek the kingdom of God first. I was seeking worldly knowledge that I thought would add to my resume and make me look better to the world. What a mistake. I don’t need to look good to the world, but only to God and by failing to stay on path with Him; I failed myself in this walk. He is always there, but it was me who put Him on the wayside.

Proverbs 4:25 says, “Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.”

My eyes were twisted, to say the least. Have your eyes ever been off a bit, even slightly from the Lord? Maybe like me, seeking something worldly like a second master’s degree. Maybe you’ve gotten a new distraction like a new TV show that has taken your eyes from the Lord, or maybe just a simple hobby that takes all your spare time away, especially from the Lord.

I did, and if you’re like me, then you will understand that feeling. Let it go. Draw back on your hobbies, DVR that TV show, do whatever it takes to keep your eyes straight on the Lord, not looking away from Him in your walk with Him—ever. I learned the hard way and I hope by reading this you can see or avoid doing what some of us do that takes us off the path of the Lord.

By no means am I saying you shouldn’t seek to self-improve or to have hobbies. What I’m trying to impart here is for you to think about what is important to you. Is there something getting in your way with your relationship with Jesus, your true Lord and Savior, even a little bit? If so, a course change may be called for. A readjustment of priorities needs to be looked at. Adjusting the trim on the wings of your life needs some adjusting.

Matthew 6:24 says “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”

I’ve always took this verse for granted and never thought it would apply to me. Only after being in this degree program have I realized that I was trying to serve two masters, but I could only serve one and at the time it was not my true master, Jesus, but the master of the world through a fruitless and needless endeavor for me.

I love learning but my learning priorities got mixed up. I sought the love of knowledge of the world, not my true love of learning of the Lord. Did I despise the Lord when taking these courses? Of course not, but the gist is that I had a choice of two masters to serve and by default, I choose at the time to serve the world with hopes of improving my resume and my place in life. I was mistaken. I am not poor by any means, but chose unwisely to seek worldly gains, so by my own argument, I can attest that by default (it hurts to say this), I was loving mammon and despising God by my own ignorance.

What a great mistake. I keep saying this but it is so true. Only recently did I realize my mistake and turn back to God. Near the end of the term I put God before my homework for I no longer cared about school. I begun going through the motions at school and have been getting good enough grades, and am glad it is now over. I’m the type of guy who likes to get “A’s” in everything and so to let that ambition go was hard but an easy choice. I’m back to my true love of learning about Jesus; a subject much more worthy with greater rewards than any secular school can ever give me.

Proverbs 16:3 says “Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.”

I didn’t do this. My work at school was not for or to the Lord but for selfish means to an end that I have stopped doing for it is not worthy of the Lord nor will it lead to the plans He has established for me. What those plans are, I don’t know, but it didn’t include a master’s in Human Resources. What is important is to follow the Lord’s will, and to love Him with all my heart, soul, and mind.

2 Timothy 2:15 says “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Are you doing this? I didn’t but I am working toward it again. I am washed clean by the blood of Christ and am a saved sinner, destined through all hope, to go to eternity with Jesus. To be a child of the Son of God, Jesus, is to be approved through His sacrifice on the cross for our sins, yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

In our lives we must make time and ensure we spend time with Jesus through the study of His Word—the Bible and, like me, through books written about Christ written by people that are a lot smarter and have better insight and spiritual maturity so we can get closer to Him and keep us on the right path to Glory.

Proverbs 2:2-5: “So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.”

We must know what is important to us and that should be first and foremost the Lord. Everything else should be in second place in our priorities. Proverbs 2:2-5 (above) says this clearly that we must be attentive to the wisdom of the Lord and seek and search for it. I didn’t, recently, and I lost time with God, time lost in understanding Him and time lost on my precious walk with him. We must find and listen to the knowledge of God as put forth to us through the Bible and as inspired and lead by the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is our guide on this world that will keep us on the straight and narrow path to salvation, but we must listen. I learned this lesson greatly, and still fail a lot to not listen to the voice and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit will let you know what is important. Listen to that voice in your head, gut, or heart that tells you what to do or not to do. I’ve learned this lesson over and over again. I will not listen to that voice telling me not to do something and then as expected, after I did it and I failed or it turned out to be a mess, I then only could look back and say to myself that I knew the Holy Spirit was talking to me and I didn’t listen to Him on what was important.

I have a hard time admitting this because I want to be the best Christian out there, but I am human and I live in a fallen world as a sinful creature full of selfishness and selfish desires that get in the way of my walk with Christ all the time. I know I’m not alone and if you think you don’t do this then I question your honesty. I’ve tried to fake it, but I find that being honest about my failings with Christ is therapeutic and only strengthens me with Christ. I know that He is my center and most important part of my life. Even when I fail, He is always there to help me back on track.

I implore you, I beg you, to evaluate your life and look at it and take an honest examination of yourself and figure out what is most important to you. Is it Christ? Is He the center of your life and being? Is He the reason for getting up every day? Is He the reason for your life and do you rely on Him to guide you through each day? If not then it is time to change this.

Christ centered is the way to go.

Is this hard and do we fail at this? Yes, all the time. Don’t give up though. If you fail and if you fall, get back up, take Jesus by the hand and get back on the path of salvation to eternity with Him in heaven.

I can tell you that having Jesus out of my life for that short period had a profound and negative impact on me. I fell into old habits that were not good for my body and soul and regained that emptiness that I felt prior to being saved. It was miserable and I don’t want this to happen to you or me again.

You are important to Christ and He loves you and wants you—all of you including your heart. You need Him too, we all need him. He IS the way the truth and the life. He is our access to forgiveness and our way to salvation to gain entrance to heaven. If you are saved, you know this already and you know the importance of having a Christ centered life; to have Him as the most important thing in your life above all else. He is our life itself and our way to salvation.

It took a short time away from Him for me to realize how important He really is to me. If you were like me, or are like I was, it is okay. You can regain that relationship with Christ again. All it takes is that first step. That first step can be hard, but once you make it, the next step and the next step is easy and then you will find yourself running to Christ, to be with Him as the important and center of your life.

I’ll leave you with this to think about what is important to you:

Philippians 4:8: “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.”

With all blessings and love,

John Lysaught


All Scripture is taken from the King James Version of the Bible.