UCAN sharing: Order
Scripture: Jer. 29:10-14
There are many plans in a man’s heart, Nevertheless the LORD’s counsel—that will stand. Prov. 19:21
Order: definition: a condition in which each thing is properly disposed with reference to other things and to its purpose; methodical or harmonious arrangement:
Everyday most people run around trying to make order of our lives. We organize and use energy to prepare events with the hope that all goes well but it doesn’t always work. Even the most careful perfectionist must admit that no matter how hard they try there are things that can’t be ordered. We can’t control the weather or how other people will respond. Time is either to fast or too slow. Sickness and death are some of the strongest factors that we have no control over. In short man’s order is shallow and weak at best. It is limited in its range and impact. We can make something like order but true lasting order that rises above circumstances is beyond us. Sadly this doesn’t stop millions of people from believing they can control their lives and devoting their lives to trying. As a result there is a built in instability in who we are. Underneath our surface lies insecurities and doubts that grow fear. The more fear the more we long for order the more we work to get it. We are a stressed, worried and fearful people with some people becoming obsessed with control in an effort to order their world.
Man’s efforts at order often mean others are hurt, may low or pushed aside. Consider the Roman Empire and how big it was. By most standards it can be said to have been a success yet today it is no more. Rome was built on the power of fear. Fear of the might of Rome and the leaders there used the Roman army to enforce its laws. There was order but it was achieved by force. The Roman army was kept busy fighting for the Empire. Those who didn’t conform were destroyed. This pattern can be seen throughout the history of man; order is gained at a very high price from others. But this order is fragile and corrupt as can be seen in the case of Roman. What defeated Roman was not from the outside primarily but the inside. Greed and corruption led Rome to fall.
In a similar way we all struggle when believe that we can bring stability and control to our lives through our own efforts. Because man is fallen and unable to achieve lasting order with goodness the order we create produces it own problems. What is supposed to build us up becomes part of what brings us down. For example, much of the technology of today has sped life up so that we can do more in less time. This is good but it also means that the person has to keep up with the demand. So where before things took days they now take hours which creates pressure to perform. Here man’s effort to create order on the surface works but takes a toll on man. This can be seen in much of what man does. Man’s order works only part of the way but never 100%.
In Gen. 1 God created all things and we see that as he did they were good. Reading Genesis 1 we can see order in how God works. For example, he created the earth before he created the plants. God’s perfect order was and is reflected in creation. Even today man fails to recognize it but daily the sun rises and sets, tides go out and come in and so much more. From the smallest particles making up matter to the immense size of the universe it all reflects an order. Even in the most chaotic of environments man can see order because the one who created it all is a God of order. Man can never achieve this level of organization no matter how much effort is put in to it
God’s order is nothing like man’s order because God is nothing like man. Order is a product of the source. Take two people for example; one is very organized and orderly. Another personal is unorganized and makes piles, doesn’t exactly know where things are. Both have an order but one has more order. God simply has the perfect order. Because God is perfect, almighty, all knowing and eternal His order reflects who He is. The source of the order is vital in determining the results. God points us to His creation because in it we can see who He is and know his greatness (Isa. 40:26). Man outside of God can’t relate to the order of God. A carnal man can’t understand that God can speak and what was not is. God can make something out of nothing. He is not limited by time or lack of knowledge or power so for Him to create perfect order, that is a world full of harmony and peace is nothing but who he is. So God’s world will always reflect a natural order where everything is connected and works together with love and peace. This is the kingdom that is here and will be fully established when Jesus returns.
Man being God’s most intimate creation, since we are made in His image and he created us last, has a place in God’s order; that is we belong in His kingdom. When we choose now to be seek His kingdom and live for it we are given the order that is God himself. We become part of God’s glorious kingdom in spirit for now but when Jesus returns we will be given a new body and enter God’s perfect world (1 Cor. 15). Jesus spoke of this repetitively calling us to live for God’s world and not for this world which is passing away.
If God has passed order and peace to believers through the work of Jesus why is that so many Christians fail to show it in their lives? The answer is simple: pride. In Isa. 29 the Israelites needed reassuring. They had greatly sinned, were far from God and must have lost hope but God had his plans and wanted them to know that his plans remained and would succeed. This is vital that we all see and get this. God’s plans are based on his will and God’s will can’t fail and never changes (Isa. 55:10-11). So when we align our lives with His will we enter in to his order. Our lives are no longer governed by our power and knowledge but by the power and wisdom of God. But man must yield his life completely to God and seek God with all his heart. There can be no other gods in a man’s life for God’s order to work in a person’s life. This is why so many Christians suffer and struggle because they are still trying to do what only God can do: bring order, peace and power to their lives. Man has been proud and stubborn since the beginning. We put our faith in what we can see and do because that is what we believe in. Consider the current trend of thought as seen in evolution, humanism and freedom from God it all is based on the hope that man will find a way to order his world. So man chooses to do it his own way without God and will fail.
When a person totally trusts God and chooses not to reason for themselves then God can lead that person in his perfect will (Prov. 3:5-7). God’s perfect will for any person is individually perfect for that person. It is tailored made for each person since we are all different and have different skills and dreams. But God being who he is knows you from before you were conceived so He can prepare the perfect journey for your life and find true fulfillment. If we believe in God’s love and choose to pursue Him for it then He can establish who we are and it makes our lives complete. Does it mean we are perfect and trouble free? No. We are never going to escape the troubles of this world but we can live as though they don’t rule over us. This means a mindset set on things above (Col. 3:2). We are no longer people rule by fear and insecurities of this world since we are part of God’s kingdom. Note this is a mindset. A mindset is a way of thinking based on some key idea. Our key idea is God’s everlasting, unconditional love. This is why in Isa. 29:13 God expresses the condition for his blessings in our lives, we have to love him with all we are and seek him to obey and trust Him. This will only happen when we see our need and see He is the answer to all our life’s desires. It is faith that because of His love He will do what he has promised and we will live it.
Perhaps you have been striving for order in your life for a long time. You have labored hard but have little true peace and control. Perhaps you are successful in ordering your life but it comes at a high price to you forcing you pursue being in control. No matter what the condition if you will turn to God and humble yourself, acknowledge that you can’t order your life and that you really want him to lead you then God will show you the way if you stay with Him. Then you will find rest for your soul from the fears and worries of this life (Heb. 4:1-3). Choose today to make seeking God to love him your number one priority and then he will give you all you need.