Order In The Court

Stephen Arterburn

St. Augustine defined peace as ‘the tranquility of order.’ That’s true on many levels, isn’t it? At the grandest of levels, Jesus Christ’s return will bring peace through the restoration of order lost in Eden. And on a far more mundane level, a disorganized life is synonymous with a hectic life. Whatever the context, the axiom holds: peace cannot coexist with chaos.

 

Men, how much order do you have in your lives? However much, my hunch is that it’s directly proportionate to the levels of tranquility and peace in your life as well. Is your desk and garage kept in such a way that you’re able to find what you need when you need it? How about those drawers and closets?

 

Guys, if you never can find what you thought you filed or can’t find the file, you’re much less efficient. If you can’t find a tool when you need it and have to buy another, you’re much less profitable. If you have to spend time hunting for your keys, your wallet, or your mail you’re much more frustrated. And if you can’t find the things you need when you need them, you’re much less prepared and confident.

 

In Ezekiel 38:7 we find the Lord telling His people just this: ‘Get ready; be prepared!’ These words are also on the lips of military leaders, coaches, athletes, musicians, and others whose lives demand excellence. Order puts us at peace, brings tranquility, and readies us for service.

 

 

 

 

One Attitude Required

Humility doesn’t save a man eternally, but is sure saves him a ton of grief. Humility doesn’t change a man’s circumstances, but it helps him submit to God’s purposes amidst his circumstances. Humility doesn’t speed up answers to prayer, but it accelerates the acceptance of God’s will. Humility doesn’t make decisions for a man, but it inclines his heart toward decisions consistent with God’s plan. Humility doesn’t earn a man more of God’s love, but it helps him experience God’s love at a deeper level.

 

For these reasons Scripture has a great deal to say on the topic of humility:

 

Psalm 25:9 says ‘God guides and teaches the humble.’

Psalm 147:6 says ‘The Lord sustains the humble.’

Proverbs 11:2 says ‘Wisdom belongs to the humble.’

Proverbs 22:4 says ‘True humility and fear of the Lord lead to riches, honor, and long life.’

Isaiah 57:15 says that the Lord personally dwells with and refreshes the humble.

Matthew 23:12 says that the humble with be exalted, and the exalted will be humbled.

And James 4:6 says that God is gracious to the humble.

 

Rewards, sustenance, wisdom, guidance, intimacy, grace, renewal, and revelation’all hinge on an attitude that accompanies our faith. The early-twentieth-century preacher and theologian Oswald Chambers called humility ‘the great characteristic of a saint.’ For all its benefits and blessings, humility is the best way to go for God’s man. In fact, it’s the only way to go.

Narrow Path To Living Water

Men, God doesn’t have a giant roulette wheel in the sky that determines our destiny. Nether are we subject to fate. Our lives are governed and guided by the merciful will of God, and His plan for us is one of blessing.

 

Blessing, of course, doesn’t mean the absence of suffering or conflict. For God brings these events and circumstances into our lives in order to facilitate growth and maturity. God will certainly give us what we need amidst them, and what He wants to give us most is the blessing of Himself. He longs for each of us to know intimately that a loving relationship with Him is sweeter, and more valuable, than anything else possible.

 

As God restores our souls, He also purifies our desires. He wants us to stop taking detours into the world’s glittering paths of possessions, power, and superficial pleasure. He wants us to stay on course and continue to move toward Him.

 

The narrow path leads us to Living Water’pure and deeply satisfying to our thirsty souls. I know this from experience. Even though the refining process is marked by periods of pain, I have found that knowing God is the only thing in the world that I truly desire. When my heart is right with Him, all of my other joys will follow. This, then, is my prayer for you. That you will walk the narrow path that leads to the Living Water.