Our New Ordinary

“The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13 NLT)

If there’s anything special about me it’s that I’m not special. I’ve sometimes perfectly fit the description that I heard when I was selling cars – “a rock with lips!” Have you ever felt that way? It used to bother me because I would see every guy I knew, even, maybe especially, my friends, were bigger, stronger, smarter, better looking, and better athletes. And every girl to whom I was attracted was “out of my league.” I wasn’t distinctive, just very ordinary – then I met Jesus!

The Lord didn’t immediately turn me into a superhero, but He did immediately begin to change me from the inside out. He forgave, cleansed, healed, and redirected my life, beginning the transformation of my mind and character that He’s still working on as I write. In short, He gave me a “new ordinary.”

The person I was before I met Jesus is becoming a whole new species of being, one that’s never existed before (2 Corinthians 5:17). Am I perfect? Only as God sees me through Christ, but I’m working with God’s Spirit to become more like Jesus every day. So, what’s changed? Why do I have a new ordinary?

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Christine Caine made a great observation when she wrote: “Life is too short, the world is too big, and God’s love is too great to live ordinary.” To believe you can come to Christ and stay the same is to believe a lie. So, what does this new life look like?

Categorically, there are many areas of change in our lives that should illustrate and illuminate Jesus’ life being lived in and through us. I’ve seen people who when they came to the Lord were very plain and almost expressionless, but with God’s Spirit indwelling them, they became radiant and literally beamed with new life.

Habits change, the way we spend our time and money must change, giving time for the development of new godly habits like prayer and reading/studying God’s Word. But also finding a fellowship of God’s people who will walk with us and help steer us in right directions.

There’s a never ending season of learning and maturing that takes time and effort to discover, not only about God, but about ourselves. For example, how has God gifted you? You may be a teacher or salesperson, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that your spiritual gifts will be teaching or evangelism. They may be, but you may have gifts of compassion or helps; leadership, giving, or dozens of other spiritual gifts that send you in a direction you never would have considered before you came to Jesus.

The Lord called me to pastoral ministry early in my walk with Him. I didn’t have a clue what that meant, but the Lord put people in my life who did know, and they mentored and guided me. That’s one of the many values of being part of a vibrant and growing fellowship of believers. Something else I learned that had great value to me – in my quest to find my place in God’s plan for me, I learned a lot from my mistakes and failures.

If you’re not sure where God wants you, try many things, not necessarily at the same time, but don’t be afraid to work in the nursery, teach teens, go on missions trips, work with the elderly, serve on boards, volunteer in different areas of service within and outside the church. Test your proverbial wings and don’t be afraid to say “yes” when asked to do something that may frighten you. But never, never, ever settle for being ordinary! Stand out because you’re set apart to be a sacred tool in your Master’s Hands. And don’t be shy in sharing Him with others.

Blessings, Ed 😊

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