When a child who lacks self-control picks on another child because he or she first picked on him, you will usually hear the words, “But he did it first.” This irresponsibility is even linked to the garden scene where Adam blamed Eve for first eating the fruit. But God, in His responsibility, sets a greater example by doing things first. He is the Originator of all life and goodness.
We love God because He first loved us. We give extravagantly because He first gave extravagantly. We heal because by His stripes He first healed us. We pray because He first prayed for us. We fast because He first fasted for us. We sing because He first sang over us. We write because He first wrote on our hearts. We forgive because He first forgave us. We worship God because He first worshipped us (1). That last one probably through you off, but think about it. We are the objects of His affection, which is why He sent His Son to die for us. Now that, is worship of the ones He loves! We die to ourselves because He first died for us. We live for Him because He lives for us.
All these things we do because He did them first. Like a self-controlled child we say, “But He did it first.” He is the Head of all things. He is the very reason for our existence. He is Supreme. He is the object of all worship and the point of all of life. He is the Alpha and the Omega. Nothing significant or of supernatural power can originate in you that didn’t originate in Him. In fact, nothing of greatness can originate in you that didn’t’ first originate in Him. He is the Source.
All this is why He is to not just first be acknowledged in “all things” with praise and thanksgiving, but He is to be first before all things. In fact, He is to be first and last.
He did it first.
(1) One definition of worship is extravagant respect OR admiration for OR devotion to an object of esteem. This would reveal that God does in fact, worship us. Of course, this is not in a perverted way as some might think. But He is extravagantly devoted to those He created in His own image. He is extravagantly devoted to those who He created out of the abundant respect He has for Himself and His craftsmanship. He has proven this devotion unto the death and unto life.
I have often had times of worship with God where I will say, “Oh God, I love you so much”, to which He responds, “Oh Preston, I love you so much.” This is amazing to me as with other scenarios of my worship towards Him is reversed back to me. But it can never be without knowing He does it first and without Him having done it first, I can not receive or do anything unto Him that He didn’t do first unto or for me. This is why worship goes back and forth in a holiness that is pure and undefiled from receiving praise AND becoming proud. It is receiving praise and remaining humble. It is one thing to keep your humility in tact when “people” elevate you with praise. It is another when God does it. His love will always test your heart more then the test of people’s praise because His praise is always genuine and without impure motives, where sometimes peoples motives are mixed. The ultimate point is this, God us first and foremost.