At first blush, this question may not seem theological at all. After all when it comes to prioritizing and ranking people or things. We have our favorite sports teams and our favorite flavors of ice cream. We prefer to spend time with some people more than others. People cannot go through life without developing preferences for some things over other things.

Yet the most pressing issue that we all have to deal with is what is the most important thing or person in life. What is it that should take precedence over everything else? For some people, this is a person; maybe a family member or a close friend. For others, it is a job or an activity to which they devote all their time and energy. And still for others it is a material object; something that they could not live without.

However, the reality is that most people are busing make gods after their own desires, but unwilling to acknowledge that there is one true God who should have the supreme place in their lives. According to the Scriptures, there really is no question about who is first and best of all. “Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts; ‘I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god” (Isaiah 44:6). Regardless of what we try to replace God with, there is nothing that can compete with God.

Consider the words of the Psalmists: “For You are the LORD Most High over all the earth; You are exalted far above all gods.” (97:9, emphasis added). And again, “For great is the LORD and greatly to be praised, He is to be feared above all gods.” (96:4, emphasis added). Clearly, God expects us to prioritize Him above all else.

For me there is no more profound statement regarding the superiority of God than Psalm 73: 25-26: “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Here the Psalmist reaches the conclusion that there is nothing on earth or in heaven which compares in value to God. The reality we have a tendency to look for strength and fulfillment in created things rather than in God. We settle for lesser things, instead of that which matters most.