The first time I remember hearing the old saying, “Cleanliness is next to godliness,” I thought that was just SO sacrilegious! (I think I was about 20 at the time.)
Because, anybody that has read their Bible through knows that THAT is not a verse in the Bible.
But I have since then discovered that the Holy God we worship is a God of order.
“for God is not a God of confusion but of peace,” 1 Corinthians 14:33a (NASB)
“He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:17
So, I was thinking recently that if our God, who holds the universe together, were to let things go like I do at my house, orbits would get off kilter, planets and stars would collide, and the universe as we know it would be destroyed.
So, maybe that saying isn’t so far off base after all!
Then I was thinking about how God has established a spiritual order for our lives, as well.
After we put our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins, there is a certain order He desires to see in our lives.
- Love God first.
- Love others because you love God first.
Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” Matthew 6:33
In Revelation 2:4,5 He commends the church at Ephesus for their good works, but He says,
“I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place — unless you repent.”
I’ve got to be first to admit that I have lost my first love more than once and have had to repent.
I’m not sure why I let myself get lured down those rabbit trails till I find myself standing in an unfamiliar place in that spiritual forest, looking up at trees so tall and thick that I can barely see the sky, and wondering what exactly is the way back to the trail.
So, what are some steps we can take in getting back to the right path in our walk with the Lord?
- The first step is to start a conversation with the Lord. At this point it might sound something like this,
“Lord? I know You’re with me even though I can’t see you, and even though You aren’t pleased with my having wandered off the path. Please show me the way back.”
- Then, sit down with His Word and let Him speak to you from it. (I have a laminated prayer of confession that has those verses He has shown me through the years that show how I’ve gone astray. I use it over and over, anytime I feel like something is just not right, but I can’t put my finger on it.)
- Confess that you’ve left your first love, and confess what other things you have elevated in your life to the place only He should occupy, and ask for His forgiveness. (1 John 1:9)
- Ask for His help banishing those things from that place of idolatry, and reaffirm your love for God, not just in words, but in deeds.
- Find a prayer partner who can lift you up in prayer and hold you accountable.
Here’s a short version of a prayer you might pray; you’ll need to fill in your own specifics.
I’m sorry, Lord Jesus, for having left my first love, for having put myself, my desires, the opinions of others,____________, ____________(you fill in the blanks), on the throne of my life when only You should be there. Please forgive me.
I surrender my life to You again.
I give You the steering wheel.
I trust You to take me where You want me to go and at the right times.
Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit and guide me along the right path.
Help me to seek You first in everything at all times.
Please help me to walk in victory for Your glory and honor.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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