When it comes to our relationship with God, the bible is clear. We must put God first. There is no middle ground.

Jesus often drew a clear line in the sand when it came to people’s commitment to him.

In Matthew 12:30, the Lord Jesus told the people following him “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”

The Lord told the church in Laodicea, from the book of Revelations 3:15, that they were “neither hot or cold. I wish you were either one or the other.”

And in Matthew 25 we’re told that one-day Jesus will sit on his throne and separate the wolves from the sheep. He will set the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

Many prefer to come up with a third option, a more neutral one. But there seems to be no third choice. The fact of the matter is that either God is first in our life and in full control, or we are in control and he is on the bottom. Those are our only 2 options.

I remember a time when this was really brought home to me.

It was a Sunday morning and I needed to pick a friend up for church. All morning the Lord was prodding me to stop and spend some time in prayer. My sons were young, so time was not something I had much of. Unfortunately, I did not obey his leading. Instead, I reasoned that I would fit time to pray on my way to pick my friend up for church. I did everything I needed to do. I fed my family and got ready for church. I then got in the car and even turned off the radio so I could give God my full attention.

I sensed a distance from God and I complained to him about it. “Lord, where are you? I’m here ready to meet you and where are you?” I heard the Lord speak to me in one of the most powerful ways I’ve ever heard. The Lord’s voice to me was not an audible voice. It was within me. But it was powerful and undeniably from God. He told me “I will never take 2nd place in your life. You either put me first or do not put me at all.” This was more than 30 years ago and I can remember this time as though it was yesterday. This encounter with God left a lasting impression on me. I literally cried out to him for forgiveness and vowed never to put him in 2nd place again. Of course I have not been perfect since then, but I can tell you keeping God first has always been my number one life goal.

Where we choose to place Christ in our life directly effects how we pray.

If Jesus is not on the throne and in full control, we will never have a fruitful and victorious prayer life.

When we are fully surrendered to the Lord and he is in his rightful place in our life, not only will our times of prayer be consistent, but they will also be filled with faith knowing God is in control. We will be able to confidently live out Hebrews 4:16 which tells us to “approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

Either Jesus is Lord of all or he’s not Lord at all. There is no middle ground. There is no third option.

Keep Christ in full control. Not only will you then live the blessed life God has in mind for you to live, but your prayers will reach the very heart of God.

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