Sunday, December 13, 2009

Your every day ordinary life...


I struggle with the ordinariness of my life.

The "get up, get dressed, eat, go to work, come home, go to bed, repeat it all the next day" ordinariness.

It seems like Paul's life was so much more exciting than that. A LOT of people's lives seem more exciting than that!

Here is Paul's advice for me...

Romans 12
1 -2 "So here's what I want you to do, God helping you:
Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.
Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.
Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.
Instead, fix your attention on God.
You'll be changed from the inside out.
Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it.
Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you."

OK. OK.
So, give what you are, what you have, where you are in life to God.
As pathetic, or boring, or hum drum as it may be.
1 -2 "Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering."
Don't look so much to do something dramatic or amazing for Him, just embrace what God does for you - in your day to day, hum drum life.

But. BUT! Don't get anesthetized by your culture. It has a cumulative effect on you. That is how you can get so far from God's will that you are useless as a Christian.
"Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.
Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking."

Maybe that explains one of the oddest things about God's work on earth. He takes people from a culture where they fit perfectly, and transports them to a culture where they never completely fit in. And that is how he spreads the good news around the earth. Whether its Koreans in Brazil, or Chinese in Turkmenistan, or Americans in Ghana, God's Good News has always spread by Christians going across barriers.

Our job is to put God first. Put our primary attention on God and his work in our lives. And that creates the transformation internally that he desires.
"Instead, fix your attention on God.
You'll be changed from the inside out."

It doesn't stop there.

As I've read through the Bible this year I am always amazed at the simple, direct obedience of the people God used. God said - they did. Period.
"Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it."
So - I guess you have to listen.
But you also have to obey.
I think at the heart, disobedience is lack of faith. Lack of trust. I hear what you want God, but I am not sure that will work out so good. I think I will do what I want to do, because I am more confident that my own plan for my life will work out better than your plan.
Of course when you write it out it seems preposterous, but that is how we think, sometimes.

Then, ultimately, what God wants for you (for me) isn't dramatic, heart pounding action, it is maturity as a God following person. The kind of person that points people to God by their word, by their life, by their deeds.
"Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you."

And so Paul finishes his thought...

3 "I'm speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you.
Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it's important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God.
No, God brings it all to you.
The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him."

Living in pure grace.
Our every day, ordinary life.

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