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 last Tuesday’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?

14 thoughts on “Not by Order of Importance

  1. Hmmm – I never did think about it like that. Thanks for that food for thought… which I won’t put into my little drawer (yes I also have one of those!) but will share with my family today! Blessings 💚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I just loved that post thanks for sharing!

    Hey Jen, can you send me a link to your post about going to that hurting place in Prayer and releasing God’s healing? I know someone who can really use that Word right now…


    1. You are welcome, Will! And I would love to look up whatever post you have in mind, but would you remind me of a few more details of it? I have written quite a bit about God’s healing, so not quite sure which one you are remembering?


  3. Like the small mom and pop family hidden restaurants, where the food tastes so gooood that you want to tell everyone,!! But at the same time you don’t? Lol. Cause then it won’t remain hidden for long.

    If I am continuously wondering to myself ‘my time to shine will come’ perhaps that’s why it never has arrived. Shine the light on Christ. Not ourselves. Amen

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this post. Have you ever wondered like me where John the Baptist spent his childhood. Where did his nurturing early years take place. Scripture tells us his parents and that Jesus is his earthly cousin but we hear no more until this wild unkept adult eating locusts and honey comes out of the desert, yet he brings the most enlightening message the world can ever receive…….when he sees Jesus at the Jordan River.. BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD WHO TAKES AWAY THE SINS OF THE World..
    Where did he grow up? Who educated him in the fullness of awareness of both the old Covenant and the New Covenant that would be Christ’s atoning sacrifice at the Cross, Who nurtured his childhood and teen upbringing. ???????

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Seeking where we’re going to be later, rather than nestling where we are right now, is so easy to do. I am thankful for where God has placed me at this moment, and I will seek to be present in all I do.

    Thank you for this reminder. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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