Order and Chaos

November 15th, 2011

I was talking to someone the other day about spiritual struggles. This person is an athlete, and he has always found physical discipline to be much easier than spiritual and mental discipline. As I thought about what kind of advice I might be able give him, I asked him if he was regularly running and working out.

“Not so much,” he answered, “I guess I’ve let myself go a little.”

“You need order in your life—some routine,” I said, “Start somewhere—anywhere— and it will spill over into other areas of your life.”

The next day, I decided to take my own advice and add more structure to my sometimes hit-or-miss prayer and Bible reading routine. I started using The Grace-Filled Life, a devotional by Maxie Dunnam. The first devotion, appropriately, is about Genesis 1. Here’s a sentence that really grabbed my imagination: "God speaks, and everything changes at once—from nothing to everything, from chaos to order."

Did you catch that? God brought order from chaos by speaking.

Order is a good thing. Dictionary.com defines it as a condition in which each thing is properly disposed with reference to other things and to its purpose; methodical or harmonious arrangement.

Order helps us get things done. It gives us an anchor so we’re able to deal with the bigger problems we face. The truth is, if we’re unable to manage the everyday details of our lives, how are we going to deal with crises when they erupt? And how will we help anyone else with their issues?

Popular Bible teacher Joyce Meyer has said, “How are you going to face the devil when you can’t face a sink full of dirty dishes?”

She has a point.

If you need help bringing order to your life, a great place to start is the Bible. Find a devotional or plan to help you read and study God’s word in a methodical way. You’ll generally want to avoid making a practice of just opening up Scripture and reading “wherever”.

God speaks in other ways, too. Make a habit of praying, and learn how to listen to God when you pray. Surround yourself with people who know how to hear from God, who aren’t negative, and who regularly speak encouragement to you. Negative people are a dime a dozen—don’t give them access to your life.

When God’s word is spoken, listened to, and applied, things go from chaos to order.

Creating order doesn’t need to be confining. The word of God brings order, but Scripture tells us that “where the Lord’s spirit is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17 CEB). Freedom and order aren’t opposed to each other—they work together.

If you want to experience freedom, make changes to create more order in your life. Starting small is okay—you can even tackle one thing at a time if that’s what works best for you. Soon you’ll discover that organizing your life will actually set you free to do some of the bigger things that God’s calling you to do.


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