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Four of the most important words in the Bible are, "In the beginning, God ..."

These four words offer us a profound lesson about the necessary role of God in our lives, leadership and destiny.

Before the beginning of creation, when we were but a thought in the mind of God, He had a plan. That plan was rooted in His desire to share His love. God prepared Jesus Christ to be our messenger of His love before the foundation. In the beginning, before the earth had even taken form, the Holy Spirit was hovering, full of potential energy, waiting for the word of God to be spoken (just as He does today). And then, in Genesis 1, God spoke, and we and all that we see, taste, touch, and smell were created.

There is power at putting God in the beginning. With God as your foundation, the possibilities in your life are endless. When God is at the beginning of your story and Christ is the Cornerstone, you cannot go wrong. He will lead you, guide you and protect you, steering you into the fullness of His favor under the shadow of His wings.

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But it isn't enough merely to build our life and ministry on the bedrock of His promises and plan for us. Just as a house requires upkeep to prevent the harsh outside elements and insects from slowly turning the house to ruin on top of the foundation, we must be mindful to continue to maintain all that God has entrusted to us. If we desire to remain in His will, centered in His promises and effective for the kingdom, we must choose every day to put God first. In the beginning of each day, we must turn to Him. Before each act of service or ministry, we must turn to Him. At the outset of any new plan or endeavor, we must turn to Him. If God's mercies are new every day, should the same not be true of our devotion to Him?

Sometimes the routine of life, disappointments and setbacks, sin, or other distractions can cause us to take our eyes off of our Leader. Even something as simple and godly as going about the business of leadership can capture our attention so fully that we forget to put God at the beginning of everything. When this happens—when God is no longer our guiding force—we are likely to wander off the path of His will.

This week I challenge you to consider this one question as you lead: Are you putting God first in your life every day?

How long has it been since you told the busy world revolving around you, "No, I must take time to first hear from the living Creator of life. What does He desire of me? I long for Him for the next breath I breathe. He is the form, the function and the focus of my life"? Whether it has been the better part of a day, the better part of a year or the better part of a decade, I encourage you to make time today to put God first.

Let Him be at the beginning of your time, desires and efforts so that those four crucial words—"In the beginning, God ..."—form the pattern of your life.

In the beginning of each day, God.

In the beginning of each week, God.

In the beginning of each month, God.

In the beginning of each year, God.

In the beginning of marriage, God.

In the beginning of business, God.

In the beginning of the school year, God.

Let God be the beginning of a life far greater than anything you have ever known.

You are beautiful. I see Jesus in you.

Have an awesome week!

Mikel French has challenged spiritual awakening all across America, where many celebrations extended into multiple weeks, and has conducted celebrations in France, Sweden, Russia, Romania, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Germany, South Africa, Malawi, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Haiti, Japan, Singapore, India and Thailand. He conducted an outreach celebration in Manila, Philippines, reaching 200,000 teenagers with the book of hope. Through the generous support of partners, he has presented the message of Jesus Christ to millions of people in the nation of Russia through televised citywide soul-winning celebrations. Mikel considers it an honor to assist in conducting the annual pastor's conference, where thousands of pastors from Russia's 11 time zones come for training, teaching and equipping. Mikel and his wife, Marsha, reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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