As a young private in the Army, we were required to recite our general orders upon command. However, it wasn’t enough to just say the order, you needed to say it with the proper military decorum. For example, “Drill Sergeant, my first general order is ‘I will guard everything within the limits of my post and quit my post only when properly relieved.’ Drill Sergeant.” Some of the military decorum seems silly to me these days, but to this day, I can recite my general orders, so they must have done something right!
To scan the scripture and narrow down all of the general orders gems God gives us into the top three has been harder than I originally expected. However, the first general order is a no brainer. So without further delay… Our First General Order is:
“And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matt 22:37-39 (see also Deu 6:5, 11:1, 11:13, 30:6, 30:16, Joshua 22:5, Mark 12:30 and Luke 10:27)
This idea of loving the Lord God with all we have is not a new idea, it’s the first idea. God, in the beginning, made us for relationship with Him. The first relationship of record was established between God and man. God imagined us in His image and likeness, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” Gen 1:26, before He ever formed Adam from the ground. From the moment God thought of us, He loved us and formed a relational bond with us, His dearly loved children.
To love God with all our heart, soul and mind is the truest, most intimate form of worship. This act of worship was important enough for Paul to reemphasize in Rom 12:1, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” The word body Paul uses here in the Greek means, “the body as a sound whole”. In other words; your heart, soul and mind, all of you!
During your personal Pit Time today, think about your relationship with God and how you can truly worship him in your everyday, ordinary life.Our relationship with God is much different than our relationships with others, but without a doubt they affect each other. Next week, we will dig into the depths of the second half of our first general order.