I find it interesting at how many times I hear people say that they need to get their lives back together FIRST, before getting right with God. (“Interesting”, because that’s completely backwards).
Now, I’m a guy who doesn’t always think fast on his feet. For instance, everything that I wish I would have said to my friends during such conversations, I usually think of a few weeks later when I’m washing dishes with my ipod playing in my ears. Then I get upset at myself because it took me this long to think of these things to say.
So anyway, if I HAD thought quicker at the time, this is what I wish I would have said (me in bold):
“Huh…Have you ever been to a doctor for anything?”
“Why did you go to the doctor? Do you remember?”
“Because I caught a cold.”
“So you caught a cold. So what? Why go to the doctor?”
“So the doctor could give me something to get better.”
“Why didn’t you try to get better on your own first, then go to the doctor after you’re feeling better?”
“That wouldn’t make sense. You don’t go to the doctor when you’re feeling better, you go when you’re sick.”
“Right, but that’s what you said you want to do with God…you’re trying to get better before you go to Him.
Jesus said the same thing, that the healthy don’t need a doctor, but it’s the sick who do. But He also said that He came for the sake of those who know that they are sinners, not for those who think they are righteous, nor those who think their lives are already ‘put back together’.”
Here’s the thing. When people say they want to get their lives back together before going to God, two things come to mind: 1) that they’re happy with what they’re doing in their lives…they like the sins they’re committing and have no intentions on wanting to stop doing them anytime real soon; 2) trying to do everything on their own and live their lives without God or God’s help is what got them to this point in the first place. So what makes them think that they can “get their lives back together” without Him, if their own efforts got them to where they are now?
Don’t you see? The reason your life is not together now is because you stepped away from God in the first place. And if your distance from God has gotten you to this point, then what makes you think you can put your life together while still separated from Him? (How’s it going so far?)
Also, God demands our hearts, and to fully do that, we need to be on our knees when we come to Him. But if it’s even possible to get our lives “back together” first, then by the time we do come to God, we’ll no longer be on our knees, but standing. And if standing, then you won’t be giving your whole heart because you’ll be saying in your heart, “Look what I did on my own.” That’s why it’s backwards.
In the paragraph above, you may have noticed that I put quotes around “back together”. I did this because, if your life was really together the first time, then you wouldn’t have left God’s presence in the first place. That’s another problem with such plans. If you rely on your own efforts, then you will only get to where you were before you fell away. But if you want to really get right with God, then you need to get past your original starting point. To do this, you must get right with God, first. THEN, ask and allow HIM to put your life together, like never before, with Him as the one leading your steps, thoughts, and actions. But this can happen only with God in your life first.