12 Apr An Internally Ordered Life – Part 1
“Therefore having this ministry by the mercy of God…”
ESV II Corinthians 4:1 Every Believer has a ministry! That ministry is two-fold and includes the responsibility of making disciples and use of the gifts that the Holy Spirit grants to each Believer. So, you are created by God to impact this culture by obediently using the tools and gifts that God has graced to you.
One of the concepts I have learned over my years is the importance of an inner life that governs the outer world of activity. That is NOT the case in many people today! Rather the outer world of activity has them so busy that there is little time to make disciples or impact the world using the gifts that the Holy Spirit has given.
Several years ago I came across some basic life principles from the book, Order in Your Private World, by Gordon McDonald. These life principles have helped me in my own life, so I thought I would pass them on and see if they might help you. There are 14 principles, so this may take a couple of weeks to get through.
Life Principle #1: If my private world is in order, it will be because I am convinced that the inner world of the spiritual must govern the outer world of activity.
Personally, I got hammered on this one! I found myself frustrated because it seemed my activity was driving my world. The schedule was full and there seemed to be little time to calibrate internally. On top of that, the activity was good stuff. Work. Church. Sports. Family. Friends. Etc. So how do you adjust these things? And do I just tuck ministry in there somewhere as just another activity?
So what happens is that we end up redefining ministry so it fits what we are doing or we just never quite get around to discipling others or using our gifts. That leads to frustration. Either that individual is frustrated or those around that person are frustrated. And that frustration is going to surface at some point. You can only hold a beach ball under water so long.
So how do you get to the place where the inner world of the spiritual governs the outer world of activity? Let’s take a stab at it.
Where is your time spent? Do a survey of your time and see where it is spent. Write is out so you can see it.
- From that list write out your priorities based on the allotment of your time. I understand you have to work 40 hours, so take that into account. Your time and schedule with reflect your priorities, so write them down.
- How much time is given to the inner world of the spiritual?
- So what adjustments can be made that will begin to reflect your priorities? And where does making disciples and impacting your world fit?