When life is out of order, ask yourself a question. Whose order is life out of? Huh? Pardon me? What the heck am I saying? I know, here I go again. Shabby chick Christian writer Walk by Faith Ministry lady, tossing around those words that make absolutely no sense. Exactly. Precisely. That’s my point. Some things are just plain old out of order when it comes to the human mind. Seriously, when life is out of order, it may simply be out of order when we look with our human eyes. But what happens when we see with eyes, and a heart, full of faith?
The Bible is plain and clear about the need for order, but the Bible refers to God’s order. In other words, we are called to be in order in the context of God. His way. The Bible is not necessarily referring to how we humans perceive order. Let me give you an example.
This morning, I rushed – and I mean I RUSHED – around to get all the doggies taken care of. Lots of doggies. Eighteen doggies, including three paralyzed ones. Lots to do. And I rushed. I was excited to get my day started. Okay, I had already started my day. But I was looking forward to spending time with the Lord and getting to my writing. I had a plan. An agenda. In actuality, I had an ORDER. I wanted things to go according to the order I envisioned in my mind. Isn’t that what the world teaches? There is a way to do things. And that way should be just like everybody else’s way, right?
Anyway, ahem. Back to my point. Yeah. This is it. My agenda this morning was not God’s, but I figured in my heart that the order of the day should be a certain way. I figured when I finished taking care of the dogs, I would make breakfast and study the Bible, spend some time perhaps with my God’s Notebook talking to and listening to the Lord, and then WRITE. Yeah. I’ve been so excited about writing recently, as I have come to an amazing level of freedom. At any rate, my order was set. Call it an agenda. Plan. Whatever. But to me, it was an order of the day.
Like a program. Ever been to a service where everything has an order? Wedding. Funeral. Graduation. Theater. Sports game. Think about it. There is always an order. Even most church services have a set order. But how often is that order set by that Lord? And, most importantly, here is a question. If the Lord “interrupts” our human services to bring a new order, are we open to it?
Imagine to my surprise this morning when a few titles to devotionals poured into my heart. Now wait a minute. Wait a second. I know I have prayed the Lord would pour into me and through me. And I know I am learning to wait on the Lord. But who is He to interrupt my order? If the truth be known, my order this morning had just a little bit – okay, maybe a little more than a bit – to do with human beings. How does the world do things? Well…..
Yeah, human beings as a whole have our own way of doing things, don’t we? And it’s hard to walk away from the pack of humans and march to our own barking dogs, eh? Or, more accurately, it can be challenging to walk away from the world and to truly walk by faith – to learn to live according to the Lord rather than humans. And here I am, learning to do exactly that.
Haven’t you heard people talk about morning devotionals, morning quiet time, morning time with the Lord, morning Bible study. And haven’t you heard people talk about how their lives are in order? Even writers, yes. Writers spend a certain amount of time at the computer, write? They dedicate certain exact hours to their writing, write? I mean, right? Okay, you get the point. Order, order, order. Our order. Let’s be frank. Probably most of us are living by the order created by humans. First this, then that. This day, this. That day, that meal. Agenda, agenda. And perhaps that order is the Lord’s, perhaps not. Not? Imagine the Lord having His own order. Wow. What a concept. But how many of us have stopped to even consider this, actually stopped amid our busy lives of OUR order?!
But here’s my next question. If God interrupts your day today with something, are you willing to break out of your human order to surrender to Him?
Yesterday, when I went to Wal-Mart to get medical gloves for two of the paralyzed doggies in my care, I arrived just in time to see a very elderly man exiting a car. His daughter had her hands full. He had a walker, and even with the walker could barely walk. His wife sat in the passenger seat with oxygen. Clearly, the daughter was overwhelmed. She was dropping the man at the front of the store, but had to find parking and then bring her daughter with oxygen into the store.
Wildly, and I mean wildly, I just landed right by the man’s side. I stuck out my arm, and into the store we walked. I am telling you, it was as though the whole thing had been planned right down to the second. I had arrived at the exact time they needed help, and I can promise you it was not me. It was God. He just used my body to walk the man to his little electronic buggy to wait for the rest of his family. I had a jolly old time teasing the man about how we were a good looking couple, and cracking a few jokes. I can be a joker for anyone who thinks I’m always serious!
What does this have to do with order? Everything. See, I think we humans become so attached to our silly little human agendas, our plans, our ways, our order, our wills, yes, our WILL!!!!!!!!, that we miss the opportunities the Lord places in our lives. And, when we don’t miss them, but we see them, we do we do anything about them? Or, are we too stuck in our order, our A B C, or 1 2 3, this is our order, to do anything with these opportunities? How sad. No, how tragic. Because for those of us who say we live our lives for the Lord, or want to learn how to, how stuck we can still be to our own order. Imagine how much we miss!
You know, I never got the gloves. I really could use them. I’m almost out. But get this. When I went to the pharmacy to get them, my pharmacist buddy was working behind the counter. I became friends with her because of all the doggie prescriptions I have had to fill. She called me two days ago about trying to re-home her parents’ dog. Do you know something? We never figured out what to do with the dog. God moved our order, our plan, clear out of the way. And we yielded to Him. God used me to do a mighty work in her. I prayed for her according to what the Holy Spirit prayed through me, and she ended up in tears. She then bounded off to spend time with the Lord, and was a brand new, refreshed, revived woman yesterday at the store. Yes, the store into which I had come with my order – my agenda – my plan.
When we ended our phone conversation two days ago, these words popped out of my mouth with a laugh, “And you thought you called me about a Chi-hua-hua.” Imagine, I can’t even spell the word! But I got a good laugh out of it. See what happened when we gave up our own plans?
But do you know something? Giving up our human plans is one thing, but what about our order? Truthfully, lots of people are stuck with rigid orders. Everything in order. A. B. C. If I had stuck to my order this morning, I would not be writing right now. I would be cooking oatmeal and studying the Bible, perhaps miserably. Eating breakfast and studying the Bible are good things, but I would have missed what God clearly wanted me to do. So here I am, out of order.
But doesn’t the Bible call us to be in order? Yes. But let’s not get His order mixed up with ours. Isn’t it tragic that our order has to be “interrupted” by God for Him to get our attention? Why should He have to interrupt us? Shouldn’t He have our attention in the first place? And shouldn’t we not be so rigid with our days that He has to grab our attention to let us know He wants us to do something differently?
It’s a bit easier for me to change the order of my day because I have a flexible life, and because I am a very all-over-the-map woman to begin with. I don’t have too rigid of an order to begin with. But just like everyone else, my human will can be strong enough to say, “Okay, God, what’s up? You’re interrupting how I planned to do things today.”
I heard a man preach not too long ago about order. I suppose he was calling us to be in order. Well, I’m going to do something wild here and call you to do something entirely different. Why not be out of order today? Why not be out of your own order and dive into the Lord’s? Why not surrender your life to the Lord today so completely that you live in His will, in His order for the day, for His glory?
Father, we need your help. Really. Seriously. We are stuck in our ways. We are stuck in our order. Even those of us who think we’re surrendered, I bet we can go to deeper levels of surrender. Lord, help us to live for you. Help us to stop being so rigid. Help us to fall out of order. Help us to fall out of our order and into yours. Help us not to feel, and to act, interrupted, when you come along to say we’re not in your will.
Help us to live in your will. Help us to let go. Help us to trust like we never have before. Help us to surrender, utterly, to cast ourselves into your arms. Let your will be done! Let your will be done! Let us not mumble, and grumble, when you call us to do things differently than we are. Let us not moan and complain when you call us out of our order. Let us be willing to live differently – differently than we have, and differently than the rest of the world.
Let’s live the way you have called us to live. Help us to walk in your love. Forgive us for where, and when, we have fallen short. Cleanse us. Teach us. Grow us. Draw us into a relationship with you beyond our wildest imagination. Give us a hunger for your Word, to study it, to live it. Let us look, and act, different than the world. And let the world be drawn to you through our out-of-order lives – our lives lived in your order, yes, dear Father, for YOUR GLORY! Amen.
Isa 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
Isa 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”