Work or Worship?

Our main purpose is to worship God in all that we do.

WORK-OR-WORSHIP-Purpose-quoteOur worship can come in many different forms: singing, writing, how we parent our children, the way we listen to our loved ones.  God’s Word does tell us to sing songs of praise to Him, but our Father doesn’t confine worship to music. We can worship God in the way we work at our jobs, in fact, we’re instructed to do just that.

“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.” Colossians 3:23-24 (NASB)

We should do all our work to please God and not men.  However, we should never allow work to become our god.  This is the subtle temptation that the enemy will put before us. We spend so much time at our jobs, we can subconsciously make it the most important thing in our lives.  We can begin to think that it’s our source simply because it’s where we get our paycheck.

As sons and daughters of God, we are called to look to Jesus as our source for all things.

“After these things, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, ‘Fear not, Abram, I am your Shield, your abundant compensation, and your reward shall be exceedingly great.’” Genesis 15:1 (AMP) WORK-OR-WORSHIP-Every-good-gift-quote

God told Abram (who would one day be renamed Abraham) that He would be his compensation. He did not say that He would make a way for him to find compensation. These words are just as true for us today. Our heavenly Father wants us to work and work well, and He will help us find the perfect job. He does not want that job to replace Him as our Lord.

Even though we get paid to spend at least forty hours of our week at our jobs, we should not see them as our provider.

Only God can provide everything we truly need.  When we look to Him as our supplier, shield and compensation, we guarantee that whatever we get will always be good.

“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” James 1:17 (NASB)

Order or Chaos: Prioritize Family

Sitting beside someone’s death bed is always an honest moment. ORDER-OR-CHAOS-Prioritize-Family-Refelction-of-Jesus-Quote

They are taking stock of their life: the moments of joy, the conversations and days they wish they could have back, and everything in between. They will rarely tell you of how they wished they could go back and work longer hours or watch more of their favorite TV shows. No, they all wish for more time with their family and close friends.

Keeping Jesus at the forefront of our lives is essential for success in every other area. Our family should come right after Him. Our relationship with our family should be a reflection of our relationship with Him.

Whenever we allow something or someone else to come before our family we invite chaos into our lives and our homes.

The way this usually happens is one or both of the parents make their job a greater priority than their marriage and children. Without having to speak a word we are telling our family that they are less important.

The problem with this isn’t that we spend less time at home or miss our children’s events; it’s that we are showing our family that we value work over relationships. So, while we are verbally teaching them to live by grace instead of law, we are modeling the opposite. We’ll also show them that it’s alright to speak one way and live another.

ORDER-OR-CHAOS-Prioritize-Family-priorities-in-line-QuotePlease don’t read these words as judgment or condemnation. It is important for us to know that if we’ve placed work or anything else in front of our family that the fix isn’t difficult. We simply have to change our minds about what’s important. It just takes rearranging our priorities to line up with God’s Word. We should not take that meeting and go to our son’s soccer game instead. We should pass on that side job and take our wife on a date. Everyday we should question whether we value as our priority our jobs or our relationships and consciously choose our relationships.

As we make this part of our daily routine, we’ll see our family life flourish.

We’ll also notice that we have more favor and creativity at our jobs.  This happens because when our lives are in line with God’s order it allows His wisdom and power to move freely in our lives.  However, all of this begins by consciously choosing to keep ourselves under the authority of Jesus and prioritizing our family.  

Order or Chaos: Priority

ORDER-OR-CHAOS-Priority-True-Identity-QuoteThe world we live in rebels against order and authority. 

We think if we place ourselves under authority, then we are giving up our identity and our freedom.  However, the kingdom of God does not work this way.  We find our true identity and the greatest freedom when we willingly place ourselves under God’s authority.

The first step in seeing order prevail over chaos in our lives is making Jesus our main priority.

Putting anything else in front of Him is a sign of our trying to live by our own power. Anything we prioritize above Jesus is something we think we can do without Him. Giving Christ preeminence in our lives allows His grace to work.

When we get the first step wrong, everything after it follows suit. This is exactly what happened to Adam and Eve. They were given paradise to live in, the authority to rule it and a perfect, simple order to follow. Everything was working in perfect harmony and one seed of doubt planted in Eve’s mind put all of creation back into chaos.

ORDER-OR-CHAOS-Priority-Matthew-QuoteWe invite disorder when we abandon the order God has established.

Our heavenly Father is so loving, though, that He does not make His established order difficult to achieve. In the Old Testament mankind was required to keep God’s laws, and when they disobeyed war, famine and poverty ensued.  Now we live in a time when Jesus has fulfilled the law, so He tells us to do one thing.

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33(NASB)

God will bring all the things we seek and desire to us when we have given the rule of our lives to Jesus.  This goes far beyond any physical thing.  What we’re really after is peace.  What we really need is power.  Both of these things, and others like them, can and will always be found inside God’s established order with Jesus at the forefront.  

Order or Chaos: Rescued From Darkness

Adam and Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden plunged all of creation into chaos and darkness. 

All of the systems were disrupted and mankind lost his authority over the earth. This darkness is easy to point out in certain places: the media, poverty and hunger, disease and war. However, all of these things are outward. The real darkness is the one inside.

The biggest separation is the one between man and God. The darkness we see in the world is merely a reflection of the darkness in the souls of mankind.  This was not God’s original design for us.  So, He made a way for us to get back and go beyond what He originally intended.

Adam and Eve brought sin into the world and people’s hearts.

We are born with disorder in our souls and have no way to get out of it on our own. We try to cover it or cope with it, and some people just embrace it. What we’ll find is that Jesus is the only real cure for the disconnection in our hearts. Sin broke the connection between God and man, so He sent Jesus to bring restoration.

“In other words, God was using Christ to restore His relationship with humanity. He didn’t hold people’s faults against them,” 2 Corinthians 5:19 (GW)

God’s desire for us is to live a blessed and orderly life, and He knows that we won’t get there by ourselves.

The first step we take is asking Jesus to save us from the darkness we are born into. Before we can begin to live as God intends for us to live, we have to get out of the fallen world’s system and get into God’s kingdom.

“God has rescued us from the power of darkness and has brought us into the kingdom of his Son, whom he loves. His Son paid the price to free us, which means that our sins are forgiven,” Colossians 1:13-14

This is the biggest step we can take to get out of chaos and darkness. We must invite the God of order to change our lives from the inside out, by asking His Son, Jesus, to come live inside us.  

Order or Chaos: How Do You Live?

Chaos has been around since the beginning of timeORDER-OR-CHAOS-God-intervened-quote

Chapter one of Genesis tells the story of God creating the heavens and the earth, and everything in them. The second verse says that the earth was “formless and void.” This means that the world was in a state of chaos and turmoil. So, God intervened.

The first thing God spoke into existence was light. This wasn’t the creation of the sun and the moon, though. Those would come later. “Light” in this verse means order. Before our heavenly Father could create the land, trees, fish, or Adam and Eve, He had to speak order into existence. It would be the canvas on which He painted the rest of creation. The foundation of His world had to be order, because it would be the standard for everything else He made.

All of creation works inside of an ordered system. The seasons change in time, the gravitational pull of the moon controls the tide and our hearts pump blood through our bodies. These systems work in the timing in which God made them to work. When the timing is off, creation is thrown back into chaos.

God made our lives to work in order.

When we try to live outside of it, we throw ourselves into chaos. Our lives will become formless and void. He is what gives us purpose and meaning. The only place to find it is in relationship with Him.

This is why the devil showed up in the Garden of Eden. He tempted Adam and Eve out of God’s beautiful order in an attempt to let chaos dominate the earth once again. However, God already planned for that. He knew Adam and Eve would sin and that He would have to expel them from the Garden. He already knew He was going to make a way for mankind through His Son, Jesus Christ. ORDER-OR-CHAOS-Story-quote

This is not just the story of the beginning of creation. It’s the story of all of our lives.

We live in a chaotic, purposeless world before we meet our heavenly Father. He saves us through His Son, Jesus and opens our eyes to who we really are. He brings us into His order and His system, giving us the opportunity to prosper inside of it.

If your life seems chaotic and without direction, stay with me for these next blog posts.  I’ll teach you how to live in God’s systems and experience His new life.