Jonathan's Perspective  

Aug 21

'Ordering Lives'

What if you could order your life just the way you wanted?  Would you be more productive at work?  Would you be more efficient at the 'have-to-do things' so you can do more of the 'want-to-do things'?  Perhaps you could 'order' your kids, so that you didn't have to deal with the constant battles and frustrations.  Perhaps you think of ordering your life as discipline to take the necessary steps to become someone or achieve something you want.  We all wish we could order our lives to get more of what we want. 

Perhaps that is the nub of our problem.  We tend to order our lives around our desires rather than God's desires.  We begin with our feelings then move onto our actions and self-justification.  God is calling us to a much better life.  God wants us to order ourselves around him and the fabric of the world/relationships as he created them to be.  Instead of starting with ourselves, perhaps we should start with God.  Who is God?  How am I to live in this world God made?  How should I order my own life?  How should I order my family and work relationships?

The biblical order of transformation should look like this:

God > My Decision to live in response to God > Learning about who God is > Trusting God enough to put this into practice > Feelings of joy, peace, and contentment as I find out that God's way is life-giving.  

More simply put the order is: God > My spirit/will > My thinking > My actions > My feelings.

To fill this out a bit more, let's touch briefly on each step in the transformation process.  First, we look to God, who is our creator and to whom we are ultimately responsible.  Second, we have to decide whether or not we will follow God.  There are only two alternatives: to align our lives with God or our desires.  Once we have decided to live in, for, and by God, we can move to the next step.  Third, we need to know all we can about God so that we know what God desires of us, how God can help us live by his grace, and what our individual purpose is.  

Paul puts this beautifully, 'Be transformed by the renewing of your mind, then you will be able to test and approve what God's good, pleasing, and perfect will is.' (Rom 12:20)  We principally learn about God through the scriptures' record of salvation history from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22.  It is therefore, critical to study it so that we gain knowledge, understanding, and wisdom to live our lives.  Fourth, we put our knowledge into action.  The Letter to the Philippians puts it this way, 'Work out your salvation...' (Phil 2:12)  'Work' refers to our physical energy, labor, effort producing actions and speech.  The salvation which we have received is for us to work into our lives as we are restored to what God intends us to be.  Finally, our feelings come as a reward for living as God wants us to live.  It is not to say that it is always easy and fun, but that it is right and good which bears the fruit of emotional and relational stability and contentment. 

 

How are you ordering your life in response to God?  What is the next step that the Holy Spirit is calling you to take?  Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you in a scriptural understanding of God so that you can experience the only life worth living.

Pressing into 'life that is truly life',

Jonathan

 

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