If you've ever purchased a car, you've seen the owner's manual. It's the book that tells you about the "non-negotiables" for maintaining the car. These are things like changing the oil, filling the tank with gasoline, topping off the transmission fluid, and having tires with adequate tread. We spend a lot of time making sure these non-negotiables are done so that when we get in the car, it runs properly.
The same principle is true for the life of a believer. We must spend time on the non-negotiables so that our lives may glorify God. But what are the non-negotiables? They must be defined in order to maintain and fulfill them. In seeking the Lord, I have discovered what I believe to be seven non-negotiables for life. Each principle is centered on the Lord, bringing the glory to Him alone, and the fulfillment of each is essential to the healthy Christian life.
#1: Seek God, not sin.
For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel, "Seek Me that you may live." —Amos 5:4
God is the life-giver. We will find life in no other. But as sinful creatures, our hearts are naturally prone to wander from our Creator. Our souls were made to pursue God, know God, and walk with God—nothing else. It's only as we pursue Him that we live. In the book of Amos, God tries over and over again to get the attention of His people. He allows them to experience famine, drought, and pestilence and yet, as God says in Amos 4:11, "you have not returned to me." But Amos 5:4 reminds us of where life is found. God says, "Seek me that you may live." These words should get our attention. We will only find life in seeking Him.
#2: Fear God, not men.
The fear of the Lord leads to life, so that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil. —Proverbs 19:23.
Our God is holy and is the Lord God Almighty. When I think of the power He holds, I can't help but fear Him and hold Him in reverential awe. Do you care more about what men think of you than God? Then learn to fear God, and you will be preoccupied in walking in His presence, not wondering what other people think of you. You will begin to live your life in light of eternity, and the temporal views of men won't matter anymore.