Coming to God First

When I was younger, I made the mistake of thinking I had to have everything right before coming to God in prayer. I felt that if I didn’t have my act together, there was no point. As I’ve matured, I’ve learned how wrong this view was. 

From the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the Lord. But the foundation of the temple of the Lord was not yet laid.  – Ezra 3:6, ESV

The first thing the returnees to Jerusalem did was build an altar. Once that altar was built, they began to offer sacrifices. Note that the foundation of the temple, much less the whole structure, wasn’t started. These were people, led by God, who had returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. Yet they didn’t wait on the temple.

When I was looking to have everything right in my life, I was looking to have the temple complete, swept out, dusted, and shined up. That differs greatly from how these folks acted. They began connecting with God according to the ways they had been taught as soon as they could. They didn’t wait. The situation didn’t have to be perfect. They just needed to connect. 

The reality is that no matter how clean we think we have our lives, there is still trash and refuse in it. On our own we can’t completely clean it. So waiting until everything in my life was lined up was me lying to myself. The right approach is the one the returnees took: get connected to God as soon as possible. 

It doesn’t matter where you are today. Maybe you don’t have any relationship with Jesus Christ. Don’t worry about trying to get everything right. What is more important is starting that relationship. Perhaps you’ve drifted away. It is amazing how a phone call can pull people back together again and erase the years of disconnectedness. Prayer with God can do the same thing. It is just a matter of deciding to reconnect in such a manner. Or perhaps you are struggling with some sin. If you want to be done with it, if you are truly desiring repentance and forgiveness, He isn’t going to turn you away. And it may be you need His help to overcome the sin in the first place. You only get that by reconnecting with Jesus in prayer. 

Don’t wait on anything else. Come to God first. If you are earnest in your desire to do so, He will take care of the rest. Don’t stress over trying to clean yourself up. The truth is that we can’t ever be clean enough for God without His help. There will be time for cleaning once you are connected to Him. 

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