Order in the court!
[mk_dropcaps style="fancy-style"]H[/mk_dropcaps]ave you ever felt overwhelmed, and not by any one particular event but by the order of the environment you were in? What the heck is “order” anyway?
Order is defined as:
-arrangement or disposition of people or things in relation to each other according to a particular sequence, pattern or method.
Synonyms: organization, arrangement, or (the one I find most interesting) line
Having an organized environment has an impact on our capacity to think creatively and stay focused. Perhaps it is my performance bent, but there is a particular level of satisfaction I get from having a clean room, clean car and a clean house. I know “organization” is often used as a buzzword and thrown about frequently in business.
This is not the kind of “order” I want to talk about today. There are enough practical tips out there on physical order of our external world to help you in that department. My favorite key to obtaining & maintaining organization is to have a simple plan and stick to it. The “order” I want to unpack has everything to do with our internal order. Or, if you use the synonym “line,” I want to address the question, “What is your internal world lined up with?”
One of the books I read this year, that I know will be a reference time and again, is “Ordering your private world” by Gordon MacDonald. If you struggle with having order internally or externally, this is a must read. For those of you who are very career-minded and driven, it is easy to focus on the external only. But in scripture it warns
[mk_blockquote style="line-style" font_family="none" text_size="16" align="center"]Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.- Proverbs 4:23[/mk_blockquote]
If you don’t keep your heart in alignment with the word and will of God, things will start to unravel. Whatever is inside us will come out. Sometimes, being bumped hard enough is all it takes for the unraveling to begin and for us to become aware of the issue. The desire of being proactive in our own strength at times can be elevated in our hearts above the voice of God. He is always speaking to us after all but if we are so busy in the midst of the noise it is hard to see the ability to see order as an option.
This morning I was reading Psalm 139. I strongly encourage you to read that aloud to hear its power. Let me take this time to focus on the last two verses. (22-23)
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.
These verses come after David’s long list of places that God will follow him (and us) to. It is as if no matter how busy we keep ourselves we must realize God’s presence there. No matter how chaotic our lives seem God is a God of order and can bring peace to even the most complicated and confusing situations. Confusion is not from God. In all our coming and goings inner order comes when we submit to God’s sovereignty in our hearts giving Him free access to point and and correct what must be cut away. But here is the crux of where frustration comes in: focusing on doing over being. What is really going on in your heart?
These last two verses challenge me because this is getting very real, and really raw with Jesus. It’s an open invite that says, “Hey Lord! Come on in and see all my mess!” That sounds fun, doesn’t it? But here is the thing; God already knows you. He knows the mess, but even more, He sees the beauty, the strength, the courage and the gifts that are inside you. David, a man after the heart of God, ends this so beautifully. He invites the lord to lead him in the way everlasting. That is the line to follow. The order we keep. It is not a formula. It is not always orderly in the measure in which we use, (looking pretty from the outside) but it is systematic and organized in agreement with His word and His principles.
Our part is to ask and listen. Just as I mentioned in Work Hard. Play Hard, we cannot be lukewarm, but all in to His promptings in the moment that He speaks them. This brings order to our hearts and our very soul that no cleaning, or system of organization to your house, or planning could ever do.
Where has God highlighted an area you need to bring in order in your heart?