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“First Things First”

By: Ivone Lamanilao

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

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I’d strayed away from God for two years! I was discouraged when I failed to pass the Nursing Licensure Exam twice. I became rebellious in the sight of God. I seldom asked God for something, and when I did it’s all about questioning of what God had done in my life. I graduated BSN with a huge debt. I had a student loan that cost 20 thousand US dollars, excluding the 10% annual interest. I was so depressed. I threw questions to God like, “How could I get rid of it? Why did God allow me to finish college and bring me this failure?  How can I pay it?”

I remember that I promised God to go back to missionary work once I would finish college. However, my family and friends were against about it. I begged them to allow me to go and serve the Lord. However, they didn’t listen. They said, “How will you pay your loan if you are a missionary?” My family sent me to a review center. There I took the test, but their plan was not God’s will for my life. I didn’t pass that exam. I was frustrated and upset of my family that I left the church. My heart wouldn’t listen to any advises. So, I went to Manila and looked for a job but nothing happened for a year. I was a total failure!

So when my cousin told me that his employer needed a private nurse, I grabbed the opportunity to have work by taking care of a geriatric old folk. At that time, I decided to take the board exam for the third time around. I reviewed while watching the old man. However, I wasn’t informed of the last day of filing for the NLE at PRC.  Again, I asked God, “Lord, why do you always fail me? What do you want me to do in my life? It seems that you are happy to see my failures in life! Where is your promise to answer those who call upon your name?” I was angry with God. I didn’t want to trust Him anymore.

Then, a realization came to me. I had promised for three times that I would serve God. And I failed to fulfill those promises three times as well.  Whenever I was asked to serve God through the 1000 MM, I refused. One day, Ma’am Vil called up and asked me if I would join the 1000 MM training. And without hesitations, I accepted the call. I knew it was God’s leading and I’ve realized what He wanted for me to do, it is to serve Him first! He says, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33.

We should be very careful about making promises. Deuteronomy 23:23 says, “You shall be careful to do what has passed your lips, for you have voluntarily vowed to the LORD your God what you have promised with your mouth.”

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