Not by Order of Importance

Bible page turning

“And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the desert until he appeared publicly to Israel” (Luke 1:80, NIV).

Does this sound familiar? If you read yesterday’s devo, I’m sure it does. This statement about John the Baptist is quite similar to the one we looked at regarding Jesus’ developmental timeline. Interestingly, they are close together in the book of Luke.

Did you ever notice, though, that John got launched into ministry before Jesus did? They were pretty close to exactly the same age, and yet Daddy God put John into the public spotlight first. This provides some wonderful food for thought.

Oftentimes, we conceptualize “first” as “more important.” Winning first place in a competition; making a certain activity the first priority of the day; sharing a thought that is “first and foremost” – these are a few examples of the ways we culturally look to the idea of “first” as being the most desirable. If “first” is most important, then why did John get to move into his ministry first, ahead of Jesus?

My conclusion is that Daddy doesn’t think the way we do. His thoughts are so much higher than our thoughts, His ways than our ways. He does not put people into public spheres of influence because they are more important than others. He does not move them into the spotlight because they have somehow proven themselves as “better.” He appoints individuals to positions of spiritual leadership because He is a brilliant strategist who knows exactly what is needed for the advance of His kingdom, at exactly the right time.

He needed John in public ministry first because John’s role was to prepare the way for Jesus. Daddy’s strategy was perfect. Everyone who listened hungrily to John’s preaching was eagerly ready for Jesus when He began His ministry. Daddy knew exactly what He was doing.

Has it ever seemed to you that others repeatedly get promoted into a public place of influence ahead of you? Have you have long been faithful serving behind the scenes, and yet not felt like your gifts have been allowed to fully shine?

Daddy sees. Daddy understands. He is so, so proud of you. And, He knows exactly what He is doing. His strategies are sometimes hard to understand, but His wisdom is infinite. And His beautiful heart of perfect love can be trusted. Keep on serving in faithfulness; keep on waiting for His perfect timing. Keep on submitting and yielding. Deeply trust Him in the execution of His timeline for your life.

One more thought on this, though. Christmastime is coming soon. That time of year, I usually get some goodies that I particularly enjoy. I divide all the holiday sweets into two categories: the ones that I am willing to put out for anyone to munch on… and the ones that I hide in my drawer for only me. My favorites – I want to keep them for myself!

Could it be, if you are still in a hidden place, that it’s actually because you are Daddy’s favorite? Could it be (at least for now) that He wants to keep you for Himself?


If both John and Jesus spent about 90% of their lifetimes in the season of preparation for the ultimate unfolding of their destinies… can we nestle in deeper into Daddy’s bosom and take profound contentment in whatever the current season is?


8 thoughts on “Not by Order of Importance

  1. Those who are first, will be last…Jennifer, the impact on my life, this season I live in, has had produced a spirit of contentment, I have never experienced or expected. Though most of what I valued and found comfort in, is no more, that which our loving Father has revealed to me is priceless and irreplaceable. Contentment is often so very temporary but the peace and joy and love that Christ living in us is often impossible to express. In You Lord Jesus, I am content, knowing You will never leave me or forsake me. Amen Len wisniewski.
    *Jennifer-today is another court date-your prayers would be a comfort.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. William Carey said “expect great things from God, attempt great things for God”. As we ‘attempt ‘ to serve God sometimes it’s easy to be impatient. This devotion is a great reminder that we can trust God’s timing and be content where we are and serve as we can.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am so glad it encouraged you, Rob! I have so needed Daddy’s patient, persistent reminder of this truth so many times, I am so grateful that He cherishes the opportunity to help us remember. Thank you, truly, for sharing your thoughts here with us!


  3. Patients! sadly not one of my greatest gifts, Jennifer. When the Lord blesses me, I often want to shout it out to others and move quickly in that gift ! I must learn to STOP – in the moment and relish and cherish the gift, before giving it away. His gifts are meant for us but also for others in His timing. len wisniewski

    Liked by 1 person

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