“Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me; and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of the Lord.”
Order…..meaning organized, set into a certain path, prepared aforetime. Praise brings glory to the Lord, and here we are told that a life (conversation) that is well planned will see benefits from the Lord.
I don’t know how many times friends have come concerned that their lives were out of control. They just could not see how they had wound up in such a mess or with so tangled a web. But looking from the outside one could see that they were not living according to any plan. They spent when they did not have adequate funds, they made hasty decisions based on emotion without regard to the consequences, they made poor life choices in marriage, business, and acquaintances and then wondered why life wasn’t rosy.
On the other side of the coin, I have met others who live their lives by such rigor that there is no joy left. Everything had a place and everything had to be in place no matter what - this included their children and spouses. Their lives also produced a stress of their own and very little happiness found it’s way into the situation. They too wondered why life wasn’t what they had hoped for and their praise of the Lord was limited.
An ordered life is a balanced life where there is room for fun, room for spontaneity, room for discipline and room for planning. Such a life will see the hand of God and be able to flex with the demands of life based on the fact that God is in control. You see, for some people there was no control, for others there was only their own control. A godly life is one where God is in control – and He is the one who orders the universe!
What about you? Are you “flying by the seat of your pants” in life and winding up in messes? Or, are you trying to control every facet of your life and the lives of all those around you, but to no avail? God has a much better plan – why not try it His way for a while?
“….and if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation and the rest will I set in order when I come.”
I Cor 11:34
Paul is sending instruction to the Corinthian church on the order of the Lord Table. He has given them the basic instruction and then closes with, “and the rest will I set in order when I come.”
It reminds me of our Lord. He came to earth and set the ball rolling, first in creation, then in the crucifixion and establishment of His church…but there are things still yet to settle! He is going to return to set the rest in order! Praise the Lord!
I John 2:28 says, “And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.” When the Lord returns to call us home may it be our prayer that our lives are so ordered in Him that He has little or nothing to “set in order”. It means we must take time now to look to see that we are living in Him..abiding in Him.
O, sure, we won’t have everything right…but we can be making an effort to be doing the things we know we ought. I like Deuteronomy 29:29 because it gives me comfort and order about what things I should be doing and it also give me space to deal with the things I don’t understand. Moses wrote: “The secret things belong unto the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” See it? I am only responsible to do the things God has revealed unto me. If I do my part, as instructed or ordered by the Lord, then He will take care of the rest.
So, the question is – are you doing what you know to be doing according to the Word of God? Or, will God have to set some things straight in your life?
“For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.”
Raising children is always a challenge, and, a joy – sometimes! Kid will push the boundaries as far as they can and you just never know when they will decide to have a go! It is always funny to me to see how children act when their parents aren’t around. I have found it can go two ways. Either they are good as gold when away from their parents, or complete scoundrels!
My sister and I were only fifteen months apart and my parents were young parents. Consequently, we spent a lot of time with our grandparents. We would have a great time with Grandma and Grandpa and hardly ever were scolded. We loved them and didn’t want their displeasure. But, the moment our parents would arrive, for some reason, we just lost all decorum and would wind up in trouble embarrassing our parents and befuddling our grandparents. I remember them making comment that we had been so good and they didn’t know why we changed when our parents arrived. I don’t know either! Never figured that one out!
I was on the receiving end of the opposite type of behaviour when I was child-minding for some friends. They left their two pre-teens with me for a couple of days. No problem since I had children their age and knew these kids well. They had always been polite and well behaved when we had visited in their home, so I had no thought of concern. However, once the parents were out the door these children changed! Their language was hateful and they were totally disrespectful of authority. It was quite a strain on our whole family.
The verse says, “beholding your order”. Our testimony goes before us, it is something people look for and see even when we do not know they are looking. Paul was proud of the Colossian church because even when he was away, he knew that they were faithful and orderly in their lives. They were not acting as little children trying boundaries and bringing embarrassment.
And you? Are you the same on Monday as you were on Sunday? When you think no one is looking do you revert to poor language and poor behaviour? Do you realize that this is the definition of a hypocrite?
“For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting…” Titus 1:5
Paul had left Titus in Crete to do a job for the church – to ordain leaders and help this church get on it’s feet functionally. He was to look and see where the church needed to be strengthened and put into place the things necessary for proper administration.
When there are things in our lives that are missing (wanting)…we, too, need to be about filling that void, or, setting our house in order. This is a part of the process of sanctification – the growing in Christ. This is not a morbid looking at every crack or failure in our life. That type of introspection is not healthy. What we are being instructed to do is to ask the Lord to show us areas where we are lacking and then learn to yield to Him in growth and change.
Philippians 1:6 remind us, “He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 2:13 says further, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Both of these verses are precious promises that assure us that our “cracks” will be filled by His working in our lives. He left His Holy Spirit here with us to do this work and as we yield to this instrument of His peace we can find that a holy work is being done!
So – if you see cracks, if you feel voids, if there are things “wanting” or lacking in your spiritual life, you can be assured that God is aware of them and has made plans to set them in order!
Are you willing to yield?
“Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.” Psalm 119:133
Order – to establish. Psalm 37:28 says, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord; and he delighteth in his way.” Steps in our lives that are made on the sure foundation of God’s Word produce security and strength, a confident stride, and a directed path.
We do not have to go through life wondering or wandering. God’s Word is our guide and we can move securely through life even when the pathway seems obscured.
There is a poem I once read and one line went - “I stepped out on the seeming void and found the Rock beneath.” I love this mental picture! Stepping forward into a misty place and feeling the security of the rock beneath one’s feet! This tells me that even steps of faith, steps when we may not understand the path can be assured of the solidness and steadfastness of the Lord’s provision when we are living according to the Word.
It is also comforting to note that the Lord is involved in every step. He orders our steps. He prepared the way. He provides the map. And he secures the journey. “My Lord knows the way through the wilderness, all I have to do is follow!”
Are you following? Are your steps being made securely? Do you feel the Rock beneath your feet?