The beginning of the year is a good time to get things straight! We need to take inventory, tune-up, tune in and make sure we’re heading in the right direction. It’s time to get aligned.

When I think about alignment, I can’t help but think about my car. You could be traveling the smoothest road in the world, heading into the sunset. But if your car is out of alignment, it feels like you’re navigating a winding, gravel road in the dark! When your vehicle is out of alignment, your direction, your safety and your longevity are all at risk.

You probably have a pretty good guess where this is going …

There are two distinctively different definitions for alignment—both have significant spiritual implications. First of all, alignment refers to arrangement in a straight line, or in correct position. Secondly, alignment refers to a position of agreement or alliance.

If you want to be in the correct position to receive favor and blessing from the Lord, you have to align your priorities with God’s word! It’s time for a tune-up. We’ve got to put first things, first. Here are seven things God’s word says to do first:

  1. Get priorities straight: “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33 NKJV).
  2. Mend relationships: Matthew 5:24 says, “First be reconciled to your brother …”
  3. Take authority: No one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man.” (Mark 3:27).
  4. Give your whole heart: “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38).
  5. Seek inner purity: “For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also” (Matthew 23:25-26).
  6. Join with the body of Christ: In John 20:19 we see that even the disciples assembled on the first day of the week.
  7. Give God what’s His: That you shall take some of the first of all the produce of the ground . . . and put it in a basket and go to the place where the Lord your God chooses to make His name abide” (Deuteronomy 26:2).

I hear the overarching message, the age-old antic, “It’s what’s on the inside that counts!” And it is true. You can keep your car waxed and polished, but if you don’t change the oil, align the wheels and keep everything under the hood in check, it won’t do you any good.

Our Father is the creator of life, the giver of dreams. Our hope and our future are His. When we put Him first and align our lives with His word, we have nothing to lose and everything to gain!