Research has shown that the sign “Out of Order,” is one of the most effective and adhered to sign. Speed limits are often ignored, warning labels on cigarettes are virtually ineffective, but the “Out of Order” sign has a very high rate of compliance. Sad to say, there are too many individuals that are walking around with an, “OUT OF ORDER,” sign. They are not in a fit state to be used of the Master, nor are they producing the fruit that they should be producing in their lives. Thus the “Out of Order” sign is one of the labels that we should avoid at all costs.
Normally, the proper order of counting forward is 1-2-3. So, counting forward 2-1-3 is out of order. Math, spelling, music, and all of life are based on rules of order. Business meetings in churches usually go according to Roberts Rule of Order because it is God’s will that the church do everything decently and in order. Order is a key factor in all of life. Dirt is just matter out of place. In the garden, and in your pots for plants it is good, for that is its place. But on your floor or face it is out of order.
What I am driving at in all these illustrations is the paradox of how the same thing can be good or bad depending upon its place, or proper order. Sin is often seen as something good, but it is out of order, and that makes it bad. Sex is not wrong until you get it out of order. Anything good can become bad just by being out of order. My telephone number begins with 788, but if you dial 878 you have used the right numbers in the wrong order. Subsequently, this will result in my phone not ringing and you not being able to contact me. How can the right numbers lead to the wrong number? It is because they are the right numbers out of order.
The point is that a lot of good things in life become wrong, and their value lost or turned to a negative, by being out of order. Jesus makes it clear in Matthew 6:33 that man’s first order of duty is to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and then all else will fall into place. If you start wrong here it is like getting your first button in the wrong hole. All the rest will also be out of order so that nothing fits right. Believe it or not, everything religious can be out of order if it takes priority over your relationship to God. Relationship must come first, and then religious activity can be good, but if you reverse that order, then religious activity can be bad. The best things in the world can be bad when they are out of order.
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:36-40).
Everything God obligated His people to do, as recorded in the Old Testament, was an extension of either loving God or loving man. There are really two things God requires: (1) to respond properly to Him, and (2) to respond properly to others. Some will ask, where is self in this? Loving God as you should will generate a healthy self-concept. When that love for God prompts appropriate service to your fellowman, you will be loving your neighbor “as yourself.”
It behooves us to love God and make this our highest priority. Out of this love for God, there will develop a healthy and active love for people. Everything else relates to these two basics imperatives.
How is your love life? Does it follow the order prescribed by Jesus in Matthew 22:36-40? Anything other than this order, is “Out of Order”. Blessings!