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  • pastoredshirrell

Out of ORDER

We’ve all been to gas stations that had a sign …pump out of order, or to public restrooms that had a sign… out of order. Sometimes our LIFE seems OUT of ORDER, or is that just me?

Our world-country is “OUT OF ORDER” on many different fronts that can be observed daily: woke, cancel culture, eradication of our freedoms, censorship, glaring double standard of much of news and social media, etc.

HOW do we RESPOND to an out of order sign at a public place? We don’t give up in despair and we don’t stay depressed over a “temporary” problem. We look for another fuel pump, restroom, etc. that is in working order.

We just celebrated Resurrection Sunday recently…The greatest event in human history! The day in which Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead. It’s the RECALIBRATION day for humanity. The birth of a child and or, the death of a loved one are reminders of the real priorities of life. Sorting through the maze of “stuff” that vies for our attention can be depressing. Like the cliche, “When you’re in a hole, stop digging.” When the world is out of order, let’s don’t go out of order with it.

When the World Is Out of Order, Let’s Don’t Go Out of Order With It

HOW can we avoid going out of order with a world that seems so out of order? Consider few principles that may help each of us to maintain perspective.

ONE - Focus on the ETERNAL rather than the TEMPORAL. It doesn’t mean denial or delusional, and it doesn’t mean retreat from the realities (good, bad and ugly) of life. The Resurrection is about Jesus. It’s about ETERNITY. We choose, not God, if we’re going to accept Jesus, who paid for our sins, or if we reject HIS offer of redemption. He’s our Savior. Some attempt to be their own savior. How’s that working out for you? Didn’t work for me either. HIS righteousness or our self-righteousness. How many believe they can become GOOD ENOUGH to make it to heaven? When is good, good enough? What is the Holy Spirit saying to you (us) today? We all live in reality, but we can choose what we FOCUS on. Some days are easier to focus than others. It isn’t about being John Wayne or Rambo. No, it’s about looking to and depending on HIS grace.... DAILY! Some days we do better than others. So, don’t walk in condemnation because you had a bad day or week.

When Is Good - Good Enough?

SECOND - the GREATEST battle is “SPIRITUAL” (Ephesians 6:12), but we’re also in a “cultural” warfare. So many issues are very real and will impact each of us and our children and grandchildren. Some want us to be SILENT on “important” issues impacting our families. The challenge of PRIORITIES and BALANCE are constant. Some are obsessed with the culture and AWOL on the spiritual front, while others are the opposite for a variety of reasons. When disciples retreat from the culture, someone will fill that void. Freedom isn’t free. Someone paid for it.

FREEDOM Isn’t Free

We can look for OPPORTUNITIES to be a blessing (salt & light) to others on our daily journey. Remember the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:33-36) who was considered a second-rate citizen in the Jewish society, but responded to the need of the man, (robbed and beaten) left along the side of the road. We can’t help everyone, but we can help someone. Too often we stay in our COMFORT zones and rarely interact with others who don’t believe exactly as we do. Anyone besides me ever resemble that remark? Salt and light are only useful outside the shaker and out from underneath the basket. Could our community benefit with more light?

We Can Curse the Darkness, or We Can Light a Candle

THREE - ENGAGE others in our DAILY WALK as the Holy Spirit directs with grace, love and wisdom. We’re all different (gifts, passions, backgrounds, etc.) and one size doesn’t fit all. We can look for ways to show respect and love to “everyone”. As a matter of fact, without speaking truth in love or demonstrating love, we build WALLS instead of BRIDGES to others. We can agree to disagree. How can we pivot or turn the conversation from the temporal to the eternal? How about CANCEL CULTURE - many struggle with guilt from their past. Christ has cancelled our past sins through HIS payment for our sins on the cross. FEAR, anxiety and chaos are rampant, yet Jesus is the Prince of Peace. One of God’s names is Jehovah Shalom. The Lord has not given us a spirit of fear, but love, power and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

I don’t pretend to have all the questions, let alone all the answers, yet I know the Lord has ordained each of us to live at this moment in history. When we’re confronted with whatever our “Out of Order” may be, we CAN CHOOSE: (1) To become obsessed with the current out of order sign. (2) We can retreat and stay in our comfort zone. (3) Or, we can look for ways to build bridges to others. We can be a part of the solution, or a part of the problem. We can be a part of a process that Paul described in (1Corinthians 3:6). Some plant, others water, but it’s God who brings the increase. It’s above our pay grade to change anyone, but we can plant seeds and water plants.

It’s Above Our Pay Grade to Change Anyone

Be obedient to whatever the Holy Spirit is directing you to pray, say or do, and LEAVE the RESULTS with HIM. HE will make a difference and we’re blessed to be a “small” part of what HE’s doing today.

HE’s in control, not us. Stay focused on HIM. Just as you focus on the road when you drive, maintain your focus on Him. I once read the story of a father caring his four-year-old son. The father was busy and looked for a way to occupy his young son. He took a newspaper that had a map of the USA. He quickly tore it into several pieces and asked his son to put it together. Thinking it would take a while, he was amazed when his son told him that he was done. "Son," the father asked, "how did you put the map together so quickly?" The little boy said, "Daddy, it was easy because it was a painting of Jesus." Jesus was on the backside of the map. When we focus on Him, all the other pieces of life seem to come together.

The next time you feel like you’re about to go OUT OF ORDER, ask the Holy Spirit to HELP you get back in order. He will. 7

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